February2015

Gators perfect weekend keeps them atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

February 10, 2015

Oklahoma City, OK


Gators perfect weekend keeps them atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — With a perfect 5-0 record over the weekend, the Florida Gators (5-0) remain No. 1 in the nation in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today.  Claiming 17 of 20 first-place votes, the Gators secured their pre-season place atop the poll while Oregon (6-0) claimed the final three first-place votes to clinch the No. 2 spot.

 

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

 

As the defending National Champions, the Gators were put to the challenge as they played in a Top 10 matchup against then-No. 8 Michigan (3-1) at the USF Softball Classic in Tampa, Fla. The Gators defeated the Wolverines in dramatic fashion, taking a 2-1 win after a wild pitch brought home the winning run.  The Gators also faced off against in-state foe South Florida (3-2), where the Gators overcame a two run deficit in the seventh inning to take the 10-5 win over the Bulls.  In their five games played, the Gators displayed their offensive strength, outscoring opponents 46-6 while capturing three wins via run-rule.

 

Coming in at No. 2 for the second-consecutive week, the Oregon Ducks also went undefeated after participating in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. In their first Top 25 matchup of the season, the Ducks faced off against then-No. 25 Texas (3-2) and came out with a 9-0 (five inning) win.  In their final game of the tournament, the Ducks were challenged by Nevada but battled back to earn their sixth-straight win by a score of 12-8. The 6-0 start is their best since opening the 1989 season while the Ducks outscored opponents 55-15 and claimed three run-rule victories. 

 

Oklahoma (5-0) also held their pre-season ranking at No. 3 after securing five wins at the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Sooners pitching staff came out in full force as senior Shelby Pendley (Rio Rancho, N.M.) pitched a shutout win over Hawaii while freshman Paige Parker (Independence, Mo.) threw the ninth perfect game in Oklahoma history in a rematch against Hawaii, an 8-0 (five inning) win. Parker becomes the third freshman to record a perfect game in Sooner history.

 

No. 4 Alabama (6-0) were threatened in their first game of the season against then-No. 23 South Alabama (3-2) in Mobile, Ala. A clutch two-run hit by Chandler Dare (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) pushed a late rally by the Crimson Tide in the seventh inning after Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) had three stolen bases before scoring the winning run in the seventh to give the Crimson Tide the 2-1 win. The Crimson Tide then traveled to Gulf Shores, Ala. to compete in the Sand Dollar Classic where the Crimson Tide recorded three run-rule victories against Eastern Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast and Florida International while also capturing wins against Houston and McNeese.

 

Florida State (3-1) rounds out the Top 5 after a 3-1 performance as hosts of the Renegade Classic in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles split games with now-No. 6 Kentucky (4-1), winning 3-2 in their first matchup, but falling short 3-1 in their last meeting.  The reigning USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, senior pitcher Lacey Waldrop (Chester, Va.) issued 12 strikeouts while going the distance in the big 3-2 win against Kentucky.

 

Rounding out the Top 10: No. 6 Kentucky moved up one spot following a win over No. 5 Florida State; No. 7 Michigan also moved up one spot after a 3-1 showing at the USF Softball Classic; No. 8 Louisiana-Lafayette (4-0) rose one spot after an undefeated week as hosts of the Louisiana Classic; No. 9 Georgia (6-0) also moved up following a flawless 6-0 opening week; No. 10 UCLA (4-2) dropped four spots after struggling in their opening weekend, dropping games against then-No. 21 Notre Dame (4-1) and No. 24 Texas A&M (3-2).

 

Making the biggest jump in the poll this week is No. 12 Minnesota (5-0) who opened their season with an 8-0 (five inning) over then-No.13 Washington (4-1) at the UNLV Sportco Kick Off Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.  Falling five spots in the poll, No. 21 Arizona State (4-3) made the biggest drop this week after losing to San Diego 5-3, then-No. 25 Texas 9-4, and Cal State Northridge 8-6 (eight innings).

 

New to the poll this week is No. 23 California (4-0) who went undefeated at the Kajikawa Classic, while last week's No. 25 Texas dropped out of the Top 25 following losses to No.2 Oregon and Stanford.

 

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 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 74 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 and have claimed seven 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, nearly 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!

 

 

Nick Dorety

ASA/USA Softball

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

2801 NE 50th Street

Oklahoma  City, OK 73111

 

405-425-3422 - work

405-757-5306 - cell

ndorety@softball.org

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