Softball Rankings: Week 9
April 10, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama softball team remained ranked number two in the country in both polls, the two organizations announced Tuesday. It is the third week in a row the Crimson Tide has held the second spot in the rankings.
California (36-1, 9-0 Pac-12), with 20 first-place votes, remains the top team in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. For the second-consecutive week, the Golden Bears swept the No. 1 votes following a series sweep of Pac-12 opponents Utah. Cal outscored the Utes 33-6, recording a third-straight series sweep of a Pac-12 rival this season.
Alabama (37-2, 14-2 SEC) held on to the No. 2 spot after a 2-1 weekend, which included a 3-2 loss to No. 21 LSU (29-10, 11-3 SEC). Arizona State (35-4, 7-1 Pac-12) jumped two spots to No. 3 after going 3-0 against then-No. 12 UCLA (25-10, 2-4 Pac-12). The Sun Devils defeated the Bruins 9-1 (6), 9-1 (5) and 4-2, marking the second time in the series history that the Sun Devils have swept UCLA. With the sweep, UCLA suffered the biggest fall this week, dropping five spots to No. 17. Sitting at No. 4 this week is Florida (35-4, 15-2 SEC) which bounced back from a season-low rank at No. 6. The Gators posted a 4-0 record last week, including a 9-1 (6) victory over No. 22 Florida State (35-8, 10-2 ACC).
No. 5 Texas (32-4, 7-2 Big 12) dropped two spots after a 1-2 weekend against now-No. 9 Missouri (30-6, 9-3 Big 12). With the series win, the Tigers earned a coveted Top 10 spot for the first time since the Feb. 14th poll. With only one point separating them, No. 6 Oklahoma (32-5, 8-2 Big 12) and No. 7 Louisiana-Lafayette (33-1, 8-1 Sun Belt) rose one spot apiece, while Washington (33-6, 4-5 Pac-12) dropped in the polls this week to No. 8 after suffering a 2-0 defeat and 5-3 loss to then-No. 16 Arizona (25-10, 4-5 Pac-12). Rounding out the Top 10 is No. 10 Tennessee (31-9, 13-6 SEC) which went 1-1 with then-No. 10 Georgia (30-8, 9-5 SEC) and 3-0 with Auburn.
South Florida (36-5, 9-0 Big East) continued to climb the Top 25 poll, rising two spots to No. 16. The Bulls remain perfect in Big East play following a 5-2, 9-1 and 6-0 series sweep of St. John's. Previously No. 13, Stanford (28-10, 2-7 Pac-12) dropped two games to No. 15 Oregon (25-8, 4-4 Pac-12), and fell to a season-low No. 18 ranking while the Ducks climbed two spots from No. 17.
The Top 25 teams remained the same this week, with the Pac-12 represented by eight teams, three of which are in the Top 10. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Big 12 have five teams apiece while the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Big East have two teams each. Not to be forgotten are the Sun Belt, Big 10 and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), who are represented by one team each in the Top 25. For the third consecutive week, California topped the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll, the Association announced on Tuesday.
California (36-1) completed its third consecutive Pac-12 series sweep this weekend by topping Utah (23-12) three times and garnered 29 of the 30 first-place votes in this week's rankings. No. 2 Alabama (37-2) picked up the remaining first-place vote this week, despite dropping its second game on the year to previous No. 24 LSU (29-10).
Florida (32-4) used a SEC series sweep of Ole Miss (16-21) and a mid-week win over win over No. 21 Florida St. (35-8) to jump from sixth to third this week, while Arizona State (35-4) jumped from seventh to fourth with a Pac-12 sweep of then 13th-ranked UCLA (25-10). Texas rounded out the top five in fifth by dropping two spots after a Big 12 series loss to then 11th-ranked Missouri (30-6).
The week's biggest gain went to Arizona (25-10), which moved from No. 17 last week to No. 13 this week after taking two out of three on the road at previous No. 4 Washington (33-6). No teams fell from the rankings or entered the rankings in the latest edition of the rankings for the first time this season.