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Oregon’s Reign as Unanimous No. 1 Continues in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Poll
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Make it four straight weeks at No. 1, three of those as the unanimous choice, for Oregon (44-5) in the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll as the Ducks again picked up all 32 possible first-place votes to maintain their firm grip on the top spot.
Winners of 10 consecutive games, UO opened last week with a 4-2 victory over Portland State before sweeping past Stanford (W 7-0, W 7-1, W 7-2) to hold on to a two-game advantage in the Pac-12 Conference regular-season standings over No. 2 UCLA (44-4). The Bruins tallied a 5-0 mark, taking both ends of a doubleheader at Long Beach State (W 10-6, W 8-1) before sweeping a three-game set at California.
To view the complete USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll, please click this LINK.
Arizona State (42-7) and Florida State (47-6) took advantage of losses by teams rated higher last week, advancing a pair of spots to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. The Sun Devils rolled over Southern Miss in a non-conference set, outscoring the Golden Eagles by a combined total of 19-0. The Seminoles swept a series from Georgia Tech, in the process securing the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title as well as the No. 1 seed for the upcoming ACC Championship.
Florida (42-10) moved down two slots to fifth after routing in-state foe USF (W 17-1 in 5 inn.) but losing two of three against then-No. 15 Missouri (L 3-5, W 9-4, L 4-5).
A high-profile series victory over then-No. 13 Georgia allowed Alabama (42-9) to rise a position to sixth and clinch at least a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season crown.
Big Ten Conference defeats against both Purdue (L 2-3) and Illinois (L 2-10 in 5 inn.), as part of a 3-2 week, proved the culprit as Michigan (39-9) plummeted from fourth to seventh in the latest poll.
Tennessee (39-9) held on to the No. 8 spot after earning a big series triumph at then-No. 9 Kentucky, while Arizona (39-9) blasted through five match-ups against New Mexico State and Utah to improve its home winning skein to 27 straight games and advance a slot to ninth. Having lost the aforementioned series against the Lady Vols, the Wildcats (40-11) fell a single position to round out the top 10.
Former-No. 25 Northwestern (29-14) suffered a three-game sweep at Ohio State to fall out of this week’s rankings, opening the door for the entrance of LSU (31-20) at No. 25. The Tigers rolled past then-No. 20 South Alabama (6-1) before sweeping Ole Miss (W 10-1 in 5 inn., W 3-1, W 13-4 in 5 inn.).
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.