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Make It Five Straight Weeks at the Top of the USA Today/NFCA Poll for Unanimous Choice Oklahoma
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Top-ranked Oklahoma (34-2) maintained its firm hold on the No. 1 spot in the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball rankings for the fifth consecutive week, again the unanimous choice after receiving all 31 possible first-place votes from the top 25 committee.
The Sooners registered a perfect 4-0 record against rated teams over the past week by virtue of its 3-1 victory over then-No. 20 Tulsa and a sweep of a three-game home series against then-No. 18 Baylor (8-3, 9-3, 8-0 in 6 inn.).
Arizona State (36-4) took two-of-three in a high-profile Pacific-12 Conference set against then-No. 14 Stanford (12-6, 11-2 in 6 inn., 3-4) to remain at No. 2, while Florida (38-4) posted a 3-1 week to hold steady in third despite dropping the finale of its Southeastern Conference home series against Mississippi State (9-1 in 6 inn., 4-2, 5-6).
Fourth-rated Alabama (35-6) routed Jacksonville State during a mid-week match-up (11-3 in 5 inn.) before nabbing a vital series victory over then-No. 7 Missouri (4-1, 4-9, 14-6 in 6 inn.). No. 5 Tennessee (34-6) moved back into the top five on the strength of a pair of commanding mid-week triumphs over Western Carolina (11-2 in 5 inn.) and Tennessee State (19-1 in 5 inn.) and an impressive sweep of a three-game series at SEC Eastern Division rival Georgia (10-3, 9-2, 6-1).
Texas (35-4) advanced a pair of slots to sixth following its 8-0 (5 inn.) victory over Texas Southern and a pair of wins against Western Kentucky (4-0, 3-1), while Oregon (33-6) made the largest positive move within the top 10, shooting up three positions to No. 7 on the strength of a three-game league sweep of Utah (11-3 in 6 inn., 11-1 in 6 inn., 5-2) and a series triumph over then-No. 5 California (5-1, 1-3, 9-3).
Following a 3-2 week with a pair of wins over Missouri State (12-0 in 5 inn., 7-0) and a series loss at No. 4 Alabama (1-4, 9-4, 6-14 in 6 inn.), Missouri dropped a spot to eighth. California (30-6) plummeted to from fifth to No. 9 after a 3-3 weekly effort that included two victories over then-No. 19 Arizona (6-2, 5-1, 3-7) and the aforementioned series defeat against the then-10th-rated Ducks. Rounding out the top 10 was Texas A&M (31-7), fresh off three consecutive victories over Colorado State (10-0 in 5 inn., 3-1, 10-2 in 5 inn.).
Two teams No. 24 USC Upstate (32-3) and No. 25 North Carolina (31-13) entered the poll this week, taking the former positions vacated by Oregon State and Wisconsin, respectively. For the 24th-rated Spartans, the national ranking marks the first in program history.
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 the complete USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll, please click here.