National champion Oklahoma unanimous No. 1 in final coaches' poll
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- After serving as the No. 1-ranked squad for the final 10 weeks of the regular season and sweeping to the national championship, Oklahoma wrapped up the 2013 campaign as the unanimous choice for the top spot in the final USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll.
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The Sooners (57-4) reaped all 31 possible first-place votes after rolling through the NCAA Regional/Super Regional rounds and Women’s College World Series with a perfect record of 10-0. OU outscored its opposition by a 32-8 count in Oklahoma City, Okla., sweeping new No. 2 Tennessee (52-12) in the best-of-three WCWS Championship Series 5-3 (12 inn.) and 4-0. In fact, the only two contests the Lady Vols lost in NCAA tournament action were to the eventual champion Sooners.
National semifinalists Texas (51-10) and Washington (45-17) concluded the campaign at third and fourth in the rankings, respectively. The Longhorns improved three positions from No. 6 in the final regular-season poll, while the Huskies leapt seven slots from No. 11. A 1-2 overall mark that included a victory against Nebraska (9-8 in 15 inn.) and losses to both Tennessee (9-2) and Texas (3-0) at the WCWS dropped Florida (58-9) from No. 2 to No. 5.
Fellow WCWS participants Michigan (51-13), Arizona State (50-12) and Nebraska (45-16) held down positions sixth through eighth, respectively. The Huskers made the largest improvement of any team included in the final top 10, skyrocketing nine spots from 17th in the previous NFCA poll. NCAA Super Regional eliminations contributed to Oregon’s (50-11) plummet from third to ninth and Alabama’s (45-15) dropping one slot from ninth to 10th.
Three teams fell from the final rankings: No. 22 USF (45-16), No. 24 Tulsa (42-16-1) and No. 25 Wisconsin (44-13). Those exits opened up spaces for the entries of No. 15 Florida State (44-19), No. 16 UAB (40-19) and No. 25 Hofstra (46-13).