Oklahoma City---For the first time this season the Tennessee Lady Volunteers (51-4) are not the top team in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll instead its the Alabama Crimson Tide (50-4), who hold the top spot for the first time in school history, as announced today by the Amateur Softball Association. Tennessee dropped to No. 2 after losing two of three this past weekend in Baton Rouge to rival LSU (48-8), who received one first place vote.
The battle for No. 1 in the regular season top 25 poll and the champion of the Southeastern Conference will be decided this weekend as Alabama travels to Knoxville for a three game series against the Lady Volunteers. Alabama, Tennessee and LSU are all currently tied for lead in the SEC. In conjunction with leading the SEC, they also represent three of the top five teams in the nation in this week’s poll.
It was a tough week for those at the top with nine of last week’s top ten being upset at least once. Oklahoma (49-6), with a first place vote, remains at No. 3 this week despite a loss at Kansas (32-19-1) while LSU moved up one spot to No. 4 after its series win over Tennessee. Arizona (35-10-1) dropped back to No. 5 after losing on the road to Stanford (31-14-1). The second game of the Arizona-Stanford series was called after 12 innings at a 0-0 tie, the first tie for Arizona since 1986.
The SEC and Big 12 Conference continue to dominate in the top 10 this week with each Conference being represented by three teams. The SEC has three teams ranked in the top four while the Big 12 has No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 6 Texas A&M (39-8) and No. 7 Baylor (43-12). Rounding out the top 10 is the Pac 10, represented by No. 5 Arizona and No. 9 Arizona State (45-13), and the Big Ten, represented by No. 8 Northwestern (41-10) and No. 10 Michigan (40-9).
Hawaii (45-9), who cracked the Top 25 for the first time in school history back on February 27 of this year, continues its climb this week to No. 14 in the country. Missouri (36-20), currently tied with Baylor atop the Big 12 Conference standings, achieves its highest ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll this week at No. 18.
Oregon (39-14) had the most significant drop of the week falling three spots to No. 20 after losing to UCLA (33-13) and being swept by Washington (32-13).
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 84 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit 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 the 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 eight World Championship titles including the last six consecutive. For more information about USA Softball, please visit www.usasoftball.com
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