May 13, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The final softball polls before the NCAA Tournament have been released and Alabama is ranked fifth in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and the USA Today/NFCA poll.
Alabama is ranked No. 5 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll for the third-straight week, holding as the highest-ranked SEC team. The top five remains unchanged, with Oregon and UCLA as the top two teams while Florida State jumped into the No. 3 spot ahead of Arizona State, who fell to No. 4 this week.
Alabama moved up one spot for the third-straight week in the USA Today/NFCA poll, from No. 6 last week to No. 5 this week. The top five is the same in both polls, with the Ducks earning 29 of a possible 32 first-place votes as the remaining three went to the second-ranked Bruins.
Eight SEC teams are now ranked in the Top 25, the most of any conference: Alabama (5/5), Florida (6/6), Georgia (7/7), Tennessee (8/9), Kentucky (14/5), Missouri (15/6), Auburn (22/21) and LSU (23/23). Texas A&M is receiving votes in both polls while Mississippi State earned one vote in the USA Today/NFCA poll.
Alabama earned the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, hosting South Alabama, USC Upstate and SIU-Edwardsville in the regional round. South Alabama (21/22) and USC Upstate (24/24) are also ranked in both polls. The Tide fell from No. 2 to No. 3 in this week’s RPI behind SEC foes Florida and Georgia.
For the second-straight season, the SEC qualified 11 teams to the NCAA Tournament with six hosting regional rounds. Alabama, Florida and Georgia are all positioned to potentially host Super Regional rounds, as they are ranked in the top eight.
This weekend, Alabama (45-11) will appear in its 16th-consecutive NCAA Tournament, hosting the Tuscaloosa Regional starting on Friday, March 6 against SIU-Edwardsville at 6 p.m. CT. Every game of the Tuscaloosa Regional will be streamed online on WatchESPN.
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