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Oklahoma Continues Reign at the Top of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Poll
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Oklahoma (37-2) maintained its unanimous hold on the top spot in the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll, receiving all 31 possible first-place votes to sit at No. 1 for the sixth-straight week.
The Sooners picked up a series sweep of Texas Tech (9-0 in 6 inn., 6-0, 13-7) over the weekend, and in the process, improved their winning streak to 10 straight games while establishing a new mark for the best start in program history.
Arizona State (38-5), Florida (41-5), Alabama (37-6) and Tennessee (38-6) held firm in positions two through five, respectively. The second-ranked Sun Devils nabbed two of three match-ups from then-No. 14 Washington (1-3, 7-1, 2-1) in a high-profile Pacific-12 league series, and the No. 3 Gators topped USF during a mid-week tilt (9-1 in 6 inn.) before winning a hard-fought Southeastern Conference series at then-No. 18 Kentucky (7-4, 2-4. 6-3). The fourth-rated Crimson Tide stepped out of league action for the week, defeating both Mississippi Valley State (8-5) and UAB (11-0 in 6 inn.), and the fifth-ranked Lady Vols improved their winning skein to a season-best 15 games via a mid-week victory over Tennessee Tech (12-3 in 5 inn.) and a series sweep of Auburn (5-3, 6-1, 6-0).
In all, the top seven teams remained unchanged from last week as Texas (38-4) continued at No. 6 and Oregon (36-6) remained in the No. 7 position. The sixth-ranked Longhorns rolled past Iowa State in Big 12 play (8-0 in 5 inn., 12-4 in 5 inn., 7-2), while the seventh-rated Ducks easily swept past longtime Pac-12 rival Arizona, winning three match-ups from the ‘Cats by scores of 5-3, 8-0 in 5 inn., and 9-0 in 5 inn.
Louisville (37-6) utilized a perfect 5-0 week with wins at Providence (16-2 in 6 inn., 17-6 in 5 inn.) and versus Connecticut (3-2 in 8 inn., 8-0 in 6 inn., 4-1) to rise three slots and enter the top 10 for the first time in 2013 at No. 8. Michigan (35-7) also improved a trio of spots to ninth following its rout of Western Michigan (8-0 in 5 inn.) and a league sweep of rival Michigan State (21-2 in 5 inn., 11-2 in 6 inn., 8-7 in 8 inn.). A pair of defeats at then-No. 19 UCLA as part of a 2-2 week helped California (32-8) drop a single position as the Golden Bears rounded out this week’s top 10.
Just a week after entering the Top 25, former-No. 24 USC Upstate (35-5) and No. 25 North Carolina (33-15) were bounced right back out the poll as USF (35-12) and Louisiana-Lafayette (30-11) entered in those vacated spots, respectively.
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 visit this link.