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Cathi Aradi

Oregon Becomes the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll’s First Unanimous No. 1 of 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After several close calls over the past few weeks, we have the first unanimous No. 1 of 2014 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll as Oregon (36-5) received all 32 possible first-place votes to top the rankings for the second consecutive week.

The Ducks remained at the pinnacle of the listing after rolling past in-state rival Oregon State, during the opening two games of its “Civil War” series, by scores of 10-5 and 10-2 (6 inn.). 

UCLA (35-4) remained a solid No. 2 by defeating Cal State Fullerton in the Bruins’ lone weekly match-up, 5-2.

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

A win over Western Michigan (W 8-0 in 5 inn.) and a commanding, three-game sweep of rival Michigan State (W 9-1 in 5 inn., W 8-0 in 5 inn., W 14-0) helped Michigan (33-6) climb a pair of positions from fifth to third. Tennessee (35-6) held steady at No. 4 by routing Tennessee Tech and rebounding from a series opening loss to secure its Southeastern Conference road series at then-No. 21 Texas A&M (L 1-4, W 15-2 in 5 inn., W 5-3). Florida (37-8) rose one spot to fifth following its unbeaten week that included wins over then-No. 8 Florida State (4-2), Florida A&M (9-0 in 5 inn.) and N.C. State (10-0 in 5 inn.). 

Arizona State (38-6) advanced a slot to sixth by virtue of its sweep of Pac-12 foe Utah (W 5-1, W 4-3, W 7-4), while No. 7 Alabama (37-7) plummeted four positions as a result of its series defeat at unranked Mississippi State.

Kentucky (36-8) utilized five consecutive victories, including a league sweep at Ole Miss, to re-enter the top 10 at No. 8. The Wildcats’ three-spot improvement meant that No. 9 Florida State (39-6) and No. 10 Arizona (34-9) each dropped a single position in this week’s poll. 

As has been the norm as of late, there were no exits from the latest rankings. LSU, Houston, DePaul, Long Beach State, McNeese State, Mississippi State, James Madison, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, California, Lipscomb, Louisville and N.C. State all managed an inclusion 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.