Alabama No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Jan. 29, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Alabama softball team, the defending national champion, has secured the No. 1 spot in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced Tuesday. The Crimson Tide claimed 13 of 20 first place votes in the poll, following its first-ever NCAA Women’s College World Series title.

At the 2012 NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City, the Tide, led by Most Outstanding Player Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.), overcame two rain delays and an early three-run deficit to earn the Southeastern Conference (SEC) its first National Championship title. Coming off their runner-up finish, the Oklahoma Sooners stole seven No. 1 votes in the poll.  The No. 2 ranking matches Oklahoma’s highest preseason ranking in school history.     

Six of the schools in the pre-season Top 8 participated in the 2012 WCWS with seventh ranked Missouri and eighth ranked Georgia being the exceptions. Missouri saw their season come to an end at the hands of now-No. 12 LSU, while Georgia fell to now-No. 5 Tennessee at the Knoxville Super Regional in 2012. California starts the season at No. 3 with Arizona State, Oregon, Texas and South Florida claiming 4, 6, 9 and 10, respectively . No. 10 South Florida finished the 2012 season at No. 8 following their program’s first WCWS appearance, while LSU, who ended the 2012 season at No. 6, comes in at No. 12 this week.

The Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12) and SEC lead the way with seven teams ranked in the pre-season Top 25, while the Big 12 boasts four squads in the first poll. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Big East have two teams representing their conferences, while the Big 10 Conference, Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association and Sun Belt Conference each had one team among the Top 25.

Of the teams ranked in the pre-season poll, four squads had athletes on the 2012 USA Softball Women’s National Team.  Alabama is represented by Traina, Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) and Jessica Shults (Valencia, Calif.) play for Oklahoma, Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) plays for Tennessee and Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa) plays for Missouri.

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is currently in its 11th year. Starting Feb. 12, regular season polls will be released for 14 consecutive Tuesdays with the final poll of the season to be released on June 11 following the WCWS. The first of 14 USA Softball Collegiate Players of the Week will also be announced on Feb. 12 with a new player chosen each Tuesday of the regular season. 

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25
2013 Season – Pre-season – January 29, 2013 

Rank

Team

2012 Record

Points

Final 2012 Ranking

1.

Alabama (13)

60-8

490

1

2.

Oklahoma (7)

54-10

486

2

3.

California

58-7

449

3

4.

Arizona State

53-11

445

4

5.

Tennessee

52-14

414

7

6.

Oregon

45-18

390

5

7.

Missouri

47-14

346

11

8.

Georgia

45-17

332

10

9.

Texas

47-13

297

12

10.

South Florida

50-14

285

8

11.

Louisiana-Lafayette

53-6

272

9

12.

LSU

40-25

263

6

13.

Michigan

42-17

233

15

14.

Arizona

38-19

226

13

15.

Florida

48-13

225

16

16.

Washington

39-19

213

14

17.

Texas A&M

41-18

195

19

18.

Louisville

55-5

188

18

19.

UCLA

36-20

144

21

20.

Stanford

40-19

131

20

21.

North Carolina

43-15

69

25

T22.

Baylor

34-22

67

RV

T22.

Hofstra

42-15

67

17

24.

Florida State

47-16

66

22

25.

Hawaii

44-9

44

23

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

Dropped Out: None
New to Poll: None

Others receiving votes: Notre Dame (24); Syracuse (23); Kentucky (20); Georgia Tech (18); Virginia Tech (17); Tulsa (14); Texas Tech (12); Mississippi State (9); Oregon State (8); Northwestern (7); Oklahoma State (3); Central Florida (3); South Alabama (2); UMASS (2); BYU (1)