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Cathi Aradi

UCLA Nearly Unanimous at No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It’s no April Fools’ Day joke. In fact, the vote was nearly unanimous as UCLA (33-2) garnered 31 of 32 possible first-place votes to remain at No. 1 for the second consecutive week in the April 1st edition of the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll.

The Bruins were thoroughly dominant over the past seven days, defeating then-No. 5 Washington (W 4-0) before taking both ends of a doubleheader from UCSB (W 5-1, W 9-1 in 5 inn.) and sweeping a Pacific-12 Conference series against Utah (W 8-0 in 5 inn., W 13-3 in 6 inn., W 4-1) as part of their 6-0 week.

To view the complete USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll, please click this LINK.

Tennessee (31-3) rose a slot to second and received a single first-place nod after sweeping a Southeastern Conference series (W 9-2, W 7-6, W 5-2) from then-No. 4 Florida for the first time since 2004. 

Despite five wins during the week, a March 25th upset at BYU (L 5-6) proved the likely culprit behind Oregon’s (30-4) falling one rung to No. 3. A victory at Jacksonville (W 6-2) and a home league sweep of LSU (W 9-1 in 6 inn., W 2-1, W 5-1) allowed Alabama (31-5) the opportunity to leap three spots into the fourth position in the latest poll. No. 5 Michigan improved one slot after rolling into Happy Valley and crushing Penn State over a trio of match-ups by a combined score of 40-4. 

The Gators dropped to sixth following their tough weekend in Knoxville, while Arizona State completed a sweep of nationally ranked Stanford and took two-of-three from instate rival and then-eight-rated Arizona to skyrocket from 11th back into the top 10 at No. 7.

Florida State (33-4) run-ruled Florida A&M and secured both ends of an Atlantic Coast Conference doubleheader against North Carolina (W 6-0, W 5-3) to move up a single position to No. 8. Washington (21-10) plummeted from fifth to ninth after losing all four of its weekly league match-ups against UCLA and Oregon, while Arizona fell two spots to round out this week’s top 10. 

With no poll exits for the third consecutive week, USC Upstate, USF, California, Houston, James Madison, Long Beach State, N.C. State, LSU and Mississippi State remain just outside of the rankings among “others receiving votes.”

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.