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Margin Remains Close But Alabama’s Still on Top of USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Poll
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Make it three straight weeks at the top of the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll for Alabama (16-0) as UA capped off a perfect 6-0 week by rolling through its home-hosted Easton Bama Bash.
The Crimson Tide garnered 20 of a possible 31 first-place votes for the second-straight week while actually extending its advantage on No. 2 Oklahoma (15-0) from seven to nine total points. The Sooners received 10 first-place nods after flexing their muscle at the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., registering a 5-0 mark with marquee victories over then-No. 13 Georgia (5-0), No. 14 Arizona (5-0) and No. 23 Florida State (6-0).
Arizona State (16-0) held firm at No. 3 after its four-game home sweep of Portland State, while Florida (16-1) and Texas (16-1) each climbed a single spot to Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. The Gators were 4-1 at the Mary Nutter Classic, topping Loyola Marymount, Oklahoma State, Syracuse and Georgia Tech but suffering their initial defeat of the 2013 campaign in a marathon, 4-3 (12 inn.) loss to then-No. 7 Missouri. The Longhorns posted a mid-week shutout of Houston Baptist before going 4-1 in hosting the Texas Invitational. UT was dealt its first loss, falling 7-4 to then-No. 24 Tulsa before rebounding to top the Golden Hurricane during the event finale rematch, 1-0.
Missouri (9-1) moved up a single position from seventh to sixth following its 4-1 week at the Mary Nutter Classic, while Tennessee tumbled three spots from No. 4 to No. 7 after suffering close, back-to-back defeats to unranked Northwestern (2-3) and then-No. 16 UCLA (0-2) in going 3-2 overall out in Palm Springs. California (11-2), unbeaten Texas A&M (17-0) and Oregon (13-3) round out this week’s top 10.
Three teams, No. 12 UCLA (13-1), No. 16 Stanford (14-3) and No. 18 Washington (10-5), each rose four positions to tie for the largest jump in this week’s rankings. Georgia (7-6) was dealt the largest drop, plummeting 10 spots from 13th to 23rd after four consecutive losses at the Mary Nutter Classic. Oregon State (13-3) entered the Top 25 for the first time this season at No. 24 after securing victories over Colorado State, Maryland, Nevada, Illinois and Georgia Tech in Palm Springs.
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 31 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.
To view this week's complete USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll, please click this link.