May 1, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama softball team (45-5) swapped places in both national polls as now the Crimson Tide check in at number three in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll and number four in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll.
California pushed its season-high streak of weeks at No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll to six when the Association released the latest rankings on Tuesday.
The Golden Bears (45-3) received 29 of 30 first-place votes in the latest poll after sweeping then 15th-ranked UCLA (33-15) last week. Arizona State (42-5) received the remaining first-place vote and moved up to second after taking all three games of a Pac-12 series from then 11th-ranked Washington.
Despite dropping a game to Arkansas (25-24) last week, Alabama (45-5) moved up to third in the new rankings, while Oklahoma (40-7) won a pair of games, including one over rival Oklahoma State (24-21), and jumped up one spot to fourth.
Louisiana-Lafayette (44-2) rounded out the latest top five in fifth, marking its first appearance in the top five since February 16, 2005. The Ragin' Cajuns completed a three-game sweep of Western Kentucky to extend their current win-streak to 10 games.
For just the third time this season and the second consecutive week, no teams entered or exited the poll. Baylor (30-18) edged out Tulsa (36-1) by just five points for the poll's final spot and remained at No. 25 for the third-straight week.
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 30 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.
California (45-3, 16-2 Pac-12) remains the top team in collegiate softball for the sixth consecutive week. Following an spectacular home stand that resulted in a series sweep of then-No. 14 UCLA (33-15, 9-9 Pac-12), the Golden Bears received all 20 first-place votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll, released today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America.
California opened the weekend strong with a 3-0 shutout in the first game of their series with the Bruins. The Bears defense continued its dominance in game two again shutting out UCLA 8-0 (six innings). In the third and final game of the series, California gained the sweep with a 10-3 performance giving them 45 wins on the season and 16 in Pac-12 play.
Arizona State (42-5, 14-2 Pac-12) remained at No. 2 with their own series sweep of then-No. 13 Washington (36-14, 7-12 Pac-12). The Sun Devils outscored the Huskies 29-8 in the three-game series. Jumping two spots to No. 3, Oklahoma (40-7, 14-4 Big 12) went 2-0 on the week with wins over Oklahoma State and Central Arkansas. No. 4 Alabama (45-5, 21-4 SEC) dropped one spot this week and No. 5 Tennessee (44-9, 22-6 SEC) picked up four wins to propel them into the Top 5.
No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (44-2, 19-2 Sun Belt) was also perfect on the week gaining one spot in the poll. Florida fell three spots to No. 7 after splitting a doubleheader with then-No. 25 LSU and dropping two of three in their weekend series with Kentucky.
Rounding out the Top 10: Louisville (47-2, 16-2 Big East) gained one spot to No. 8 following a 4-0 week; No. 9 Missouri (37-10, 14-7 Big 12) also moved up in this week's poll going 3-0 against Iowa State; and No. 10 Texas (39-8, 13-6 Big 12), which took two of three from then-No.16 Texas A&M.
Moving up three spots in the Top 25 is No. 12 Oregon (34-12, 11-8 Pac-12) which went 2-1 against conference foe then-No.11 Arizona. No. 14 Hawaii (40-5, 14-3 WAC) continued their climb up the poll also jumping three spots after a series sweep of Fresno State.
Although there was some movement in the rankings, the Top 25 teams remained the same this week.
There are only two weeks left in the regular season polls for the 2012 NCAA Division I softball season. One final poll will be released on June 12 following the conclusion of the NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.