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NCAA.com | February 11, 2014

Florida steals No. 1 rank from Tennessee

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Behind a perfect 6-0 performance at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Tampa, Fla., the Florida Gators (6-0) have taken over the coveted No. 1 spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced Tuesday. Florida earned just one more point than pre-season No. 1, the Tennessee Lady Vols (4-0), and occupy the top spot for the first time since March 8, 2011. The Gators, who were ranked third in the pre-season poll released in January, received six  No. 1 votes this week while Tennessee garnered  11, No. 3 Washington (5-0) received two and No. 5 Arizona State (6-0) claimed the final first-place vote.  

Michigan keeps their hold on the No. 4 spot this week following a 3-1 performance in Tampa, Fla. Rounding out the Top 10 this week: No. 6 Alabama (5-0) outscored opponents 48-3 at the Troy Subway Invitational; No. 7 Oklahoma (3-2) fell five spots following a 3-2 performance at the Easton Tournament in Fullerton, Calif.; No. 8 Nebraska (3-1) collected a 7-0 win against UTEP, a 4-3 victory against No. 12 Florida State (4-1) and an 11-0 (five-inning) shutout against New Mexico State before falling 5-1 to Florida State; No. 9 Kentucky (5-0) cracked the top 10 for the first time this week after a perfect weekend in Long Beach, Calif.; No. 10 Oregon (4-1) fell two spots after posting a 4-1 record at the Kajikawa Classic.

Making the biggest jump this week in the poll is Stanford (6-0), who jumped six spots to No. T14. The Cardinal offense came alive at the Kajikawa Classic, exploding for 60 runs while only giving up three runs on defense. On the flip side, Texas suffered the biggest fall this week, slipping six spots to No. 16 after a 4-2 opening weekend.

Dropping out of the top 25 are preseason No. 23 South Florida, who suffered losses to Florida and Michigan and preseason No. 25 UAB (1-3) who earned losses to then-No. 22 South Alabama (5-0), McNeese State and Syracuse. Entering the poll this week are No. 22 Arizona (3-0), who swept Southern Mississippi at home and No. 24 Minnesota (5-0) who went undefeated at the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La.  

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