BERKELEY, Calif. – Despite losing its second game of the year, California still remained the No. 1 team in both the USA Softball and NFCA polls, released Tuesday. The polls mark the fourth consecutive week that the Golden Bears (39-2 overall/11-1 in the Pac-12) own first place in both rankings.
Heading in to last week with a 13-game winning streak, California overpowered Saint Mary’s 9-0 before putting its perfect Pac-12 record to the test against then-No. 13 Arizona (29-12, 8-7 Pac-12). The Bears edged the Wildcats 2-0 before suffering an 8-3 loss, their first loss in Pac-12 play and their second loss overall. Cal bounced back in the final game of the series, besting Arizona 6-0.
|AROUND THE DISH|
|NFCA poll | USA Softball poll|
|Division I Softball Statistics|
Valerie Arioto, a USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year top-25 finalist, notched two home runs in the final game, bringing her season total to 19.
Arizona moved from No. 13 in both polls to No. 12 in the USA Softball rankings and held even at No. 13 according to the NFCA poll.
In the USA Softball poll, the Bears captured 15 first-place votes, marking the ninth time in 10 weeks the Bears were the top-ranked squad. No. 2 Alabama (40-2, 17-2 SEC), the only other team this season to hold the top ranking, captured five votes, preventing the Golden Bears from garnering a third-consecutive sweep of the first-place votes.
The Bears received 24 of 30 first-place votes in the NFCA poll this week and have now topped the poll for four consecutive weeks. No. 2 Alabama (40-2) picked up the remaining six first-place votes and finished in second, while Florida (38-5) held tight at third. Arizona State (36-5) and Texas (35-5) also stayed put in fourth and fifth, respectively, despite losses to then 25th-ranked Oregon State (27-14) and then-unranked Texas Tech (34-10).