LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The defending national champions will begin the 2013 campaign just how they ended 2012, as the number one team in the country. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) tabbed Alabama No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll.

USA TODAY/NFCA COACHES' POLL
Check out the full rankings.

The defending national champion Crimson Tide (60-8) received 25 of 31 possible first-place votes to lead the way in the top spot, while the remainder of the top five remained unchanged from last year’s final ranking.

National runner-up Oklahoma reaped five first-place votes to sit second, California (58-7) was third after garnering a single first-place nod, Arizona State (53-11) rated fourth and Oregon (45-18) rounded out the top five squads.

Tennessee (52-14), Texas (47-13), Missouri (47-14), Georgia (45-17) and LSU (40-25) made up positions 6-10, respectively.

Syracuse (43-16) and Oregon State (36-23) were the only two teams to drop out of the poll from 2012 to 2013, but each were included among the squads listed among the receiving votes column.

The Pacific-12 and Southeastern Conference led the way with seven selections each, while the Big 12 Conference boasted three teams in the ratings. Other leagues placing teams in the listing were the Big East and ACC (two each) as well as the Big Ten, Colonial Athletic Association, Big West and Sun Belt (one each).