February2015

Top ranked Gators continue reign atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

February 18, 2015

Oklahoma City, OK


Top ranked Gators continue reign atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Florida Gators (11-0) continue their reign atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll following a perfect 6-0 weekend at home in Gainesville, Fla.  The No. 1 Gators are led by a pitching staff who recorded a great performance from the circle, stifling opponents to just four runs total throughout their weekend while striking out 52 batters.  The Gator offense continued to shine as they outscored opponents 41-4.  These stats were enough to secure the Gators 18 of 20 first place votes while Oregon (6-0), who comes in at No. 2 in the poll this week, stole two first place votes away from the Gators.

 

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

 

Running their season-opening win streak to 11 this past weekend, Florida faced off against Jacksonville State before taking on North Carolina (NC) State, a team who has received votes in every poll this year, and Iowa.  The Gators continued their dominant showing following opening week as they defeated Jacksonville State 16-1 (five innings) prior to their home opener against NC State.  Florida was tested in their first game against the Wolfpack, utilizing strong pitching and aggressive base running to take a 1-0 win.  The Gators would take an additional two wins over NC State, 5-3 and 3-0, and two 8-0 (five inning) shut out games over Iowa to secure a flawless 6-0 week.

 

Oregon remains the No. 2 team in the country this week.  Following a week off, the Ducks set their sights on a nine-day road trip to Texas where they will face three ranked opponents, No. 22 Texas A&M (7-3), No. 11 Baylor (9-0) and No. 25 Tulsa (7-3). 

 

Oklahoma (9-1) held on to the No. 3 spot this week following a 4-1 run at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz.  The Sooners captured two wins against ranked opponents, edging by then-No. 15 Washington (8-2) 8-7 before splitting matchups against No. 21 Arizona State (8-4).  The Sooners took game one against the Sun Devils 5-1, but a walk off grand slam from Bethany Kemp (Santa Clarita, Calif.) gave the Sun Devils the 8-4 upset while handing the Sooners their first loss of the season.

 

Cracking the Top 5 for the first time this season is No. 4 Michigan (8-1), who went undefeated at the Unconquered Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla.  The Wolverines captured two big upset wins over then-No. 5 Florida State (7-3) to move them up three spots in this week's poll.  Michigan also put up two run-rule victories over Georgia Tech, 10-0 (five innings) and 10-2 (five innings), and a shutout over Western Kentucky, 8-0 (five innings). 

 

Dropping one spot to No. 5 this week is Alabama (11-1), who went 4-1 at the Nike Invitational in Stanford, Calif.  The Crimson Tide opened the invitational with a 13-0 (five-inning) shutout win over Pacific and a 15-6 win over Stanford before coming up against a tough Cal Poly squad.  Alabama took the 1-0 (eight-inning) win, its first extra-inning game of the season, before dropping a 4-1 decision to Stanford.  The Crimson Tide rallied to close out the invitational with another shutout win, 10-0 (five-inning), against Pacific.

 

Rounding out the Top 10: No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (9-0) rose two spots this week following a near shutout weekend as hosts of the Mardi Gras Classic; No. 7 Georgia (10-0) rose two spots after a 4-0 performance as hosts of the Bulldog Invitational; No. 8 Florida State dropped two spots after falling twice to Michigan; No. 9 Kentucky (6-2) also fell three spots to No. 9 after a 2-1 week in which the Wildcats dropped a 9-8 game to unranked Kennesaw State; No. 10 Arizona (9-0) cracked the Top 10 for the first time this season after a flawless 6-0 week at home.

 

California (9-0) rose three spots this week to No. 20, making the biggest jump in the poll this week after a 5-0 showing at the Fresno State Kickoff in Fresno. Calif.  The Golden Bears picked up two run-rule wins over UC Davis, a 10-2 (five inning) decision over UC Riverside and a 6-0 shutout over Sacramento State before closing out the weekend with a 14-9 win over host Fresno State.  Making the biggest drop in the poll this week is last week's No. 19 Notre Dame (5-4), who fell four spots to No. 23 following a 1-3 weekend that included two losses to then-No. 16 LSU (10-0) and a loss to unranked Hofstra. 

 

New to the poll this week is UCF (8-0), who comes in at No. 19 following a 4-0 weekend which included two shutout wins over two Top 25 ranked teams.  The Knights shutout No. 18 Missouri (4-1) 1-0 and then-No. 12 Minnesota (8-1) 4-0.  Dropping out of the poll this week is Nebraska (4-6), who went 0-5 at the Unconquered Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla.


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.

 

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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/.
 
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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/.

 

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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!

 

 

Codi Warren

 

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