January2015

Reigning NCAA WCWS champions Florida land at No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll

January 27, 2015

Oklahoma City, OK


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 27, 2015

 

Reigning NCAA WCWS champions Florida land at No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — Following their program's first NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) Championship, the Florida Gators will begin this season exactly where they left off in 2014, at No. 1.  Announced today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball, the Gators tallied 15 of 20 available first place votes to capture the No. 1 spot in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll while the Oregon Ducks nabbed four and UCLA received one first place vote.

 

Click here to see the complete listing of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate 2015 Top 25 Preseason Poll.

It took Florida just two games in the Championship Series to secure their first-ever National Championship at the 2014 NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.  With a 10-1 record in post-season play last year, Florida outscored opponents 81-10 during the road to Oklahoma City, with half of their wins coming via run-rule.  The Gator's top spot will be tested during their opening weekend at the USF Softball Classic in Tampa, Fla., where they will face off against the preseason No. 8, Michigan.

 

The Oregon Ducks also garnered first place votes in the preseason Top 25 poll following their historic 2014 season in which the Ducks set a program record with 56 wins while reaching the final four at the NCAA WCWS.  The Oklahoma Sooners come in ranked at No. 3 to start the year, while last year's runner-up at the NCAA WCWS, Alabama, landed at No. 4.  Closing out the Top 5 is Florida State, where reigning USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Lacey Waldrop (Chester, Va.) will lead the Seminoles from the circle.

 

Rounding out the Top 10: UCLA captured one first place vote en route to a No. 6 preseason ranking, Kentucky earned their highest preseason ranking at No. 7, Michigan will start the season at No. 8, Louisiana-Lafayette landed at No. 9 and Georgia closes out the Top 10.   

 

Seven of the eight teams that competed in the 2014 NCAA WCWS will start the 2015 season in the Top 10.  The Southeastern Conference (SEC) leads the way with nine teams ranked in the preseason Top 25, while the Pac-12 boasts five squads in the first poll. The Big 12 and Big 10 are represented by three teams, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Sun Belt Conference each have two and Conference USA is represented by one team in the preseason Top 25.

Of the teams ranked in the preseason poll, seven squads have athletes on the 2015 USA Softball Women’s National Team.  Oregon is represented by Janelle Lindvall (Stevenson Ranch, Calif.) and Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) while Alabama outfielder Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.), Arizona infielder Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.), Florida infielder Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.), Michigan infielder Sierra Romero (Temecula, Calif.), Tennessee catcher Annie Aldrete (Monterey, Calif.) and UCLA pitcher/infielder Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) will suit up for the Red, White and Blue this summer.  Both Carda and Romero were also Top 3 Finalists for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year in 2014.

 

Six teams ranked in the Top 25 also have athletes on the 2015 USA Softball Junior Women's National Team, who will play at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City this August for the International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women's World Championship.  LSU will be represented by Emily Griggs (Wichita, Kan.) and Allie Walljasper (Manteca, Calif.) while Florida's Nicole DeWitt (Garden Grove, Calif.), Louisiana-Lafayette's DJ Sanders (Columbus, Miss.), Oregon's Jenna Lilley (North Canton, Ohio), Tennessee's Meghan Gregg (Williamson, Ga.) and UCLA's Johanna Grauer (Pleasanton, Calif.) will wear "USA" across their chests this summer.

 

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is currently in its 13th year. Starting Feb. 10, regular season polls will be released for 14 consecutive Tuesdays with the final poll of the season to be released on June 9 following the NCAA WCWS. The first of 14 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week accolades will also be announced on Feb. 10 with a new player chosen each Tuesday of the regular season.

In addition to conducting the ESPN.com/USA Softball collegiate Top 25 Poll and the USA Softball Player of the Week, ASA/USA Softball is also in the 14th season of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. The Top 50 Watch List for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be announced Jan. 28 with the Top 25 announced April 8, the Top 10 announced May 6 and the Top 3 announced May 20. The 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed May 26. 

 

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives of nine Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball Regions as well as members of the National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.

 

About ASA
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
 
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.

 

About the NCAA Women’s College World Series 
The ASA Hall of Fame Stadium serves as the home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). For the 25th year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and complete for a National Championship title. Last year, over 70,000 fans attended the WCWS. Experience It Live May 28 to June 3 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2015 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and make a date with champions!

 

 

Codi Warren

 

Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Amateur Softball Association of America/USA Softball

Office 405.425.3431 | Cell 405. 420. 2817

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