EUGENE – After a 5-1 trip to the Citrus Classic last weekend, the University of Oregon softball team (13-3) climbed three positions to No. 15 in the ESPN.com-USA Softball poll, and remained No. 18 in the NFCA-USA Today edition announced Tuesday.

The Ducks were among seven conference teams sighted in the top 20 overall - three of which earned top-five slots for the third straight week.

Glancing at this week's polls, 11 Duck foes this season were ranked top 25 (USA Softball/ NFCA) – No. 1/2 California, No. 2/1 Alabama, No. 3/4 Washington, No. 5/5 Arizona State, No. 10/10 Stanford, No. 12/12 Missouri, No. 13/13 Arizona, No. 16/15 Baylor, No. 18/17 UCLA, No. 23/24 North Carolina and No. -/23 New Mexico.

Five other Duck opponents – BYU, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Utah - received votes in at least one poll.

Compared to last week, Cal and Alabama remained first in the USA Softball and NFCA editions for the fourth and second straight weeks, respectively, and No. 4/3 Florida rounded out the top five.

For comparison's sake, a complete list of the Pac-12's teams rankings from last week follows: No. 1/2 California, No. 2/1 Alabama, No. 3/4 Washington, No. 5/5 Arizona State, No. 10/11 Stanford, 14/15 Arizona and No. 16/14 UCLA.

Oregon has now been ranked for 32 straight editions by USA Softball and 25 straight polls by the NFCA. UO's week-by-week USA SB/ NFCA rankings in that stretch follow: 2012 - Preseason 11th/16th, 2/14 19/19, 2/21 21/19, 2/28 18/18, 3/6 15/18. 2011 - Preseason 14th/14th, 2/15 14th/14th, 2/22 13th/13th, 3/2 13th/13th, 3/9 15th/14th, 3/16 16th/15th, 3/23 15th/16th, 3/30 14th/15th, 4/5 15th/16th, 4/12 17th/17th, 4/19 19th/21th, 4/26 16th/19th, 5/3 12th/17th, 5/10 11th/14th, 5/17 11th/12th, 6/15 14th/15th. 2010 - 3/8 25th/-; 3/15 25th/-; 3/22 21st/-; 3/29 21st/ RV; 4/5 17th/ RV; 4/12 17th/23rd; 4/19 18th/20th; 4/26 19th/20th; 5/3 20th/22nd; 5/5 20th/22nd; 5/10 21st-t/22nd; 6/15 14th/14th.

More information on the USA Softball and NFCA polls are available at the http://www.usasoftball.com/news.asp?uid=5398 and http://nfca.org/top25/index.php?cat_id=1 URL addresses.

Last weekend in the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla., Oregon went 5-1 with wins over No. 24 North Carolina (5-4), Illinois State (5-2), Pittsburgh (3-2), Purdue (8-1) and Virginia (6-2), while its only loss came to World Series returnee and No. 10 Baylor (2-1).

The Tar Heel win raised UO's season record vs. top-25 teams to 3-1, and its win over the Redbirds gave it a 5-2 mark against 2011 NCAA tourney advancers.

Senior shortstop Kelsey Chambers knocked in Oregon’s first three game-winning RBI, and junior second baseman Kaylan Howard socked a two-run, seventh-inning game-winning homer in the finale vs. No. 24 UNC.

Junior outfielder Allie Burger added the other GW-RBI with her three-run triple vs. UVa, and led UO in batting for the six games  (.500, 4H). Two other outfield starters topped .300 - junior Samantha Pappas (.412, 7H) and freshman Janie Takeda (.368, 7H). Sophomore first baseman Kailee Cuico hit her third homer of the season vs. Purdue, and led UO on the trip in RBI (6) and walks (5).

In the circle, junior pitcher Jessica Moore (9-3) went 3-1 with wins over No. 24 UNC, Pitt and UVa, and topped the Ducks in ERA (0.94), complete games (4), strikeouts (26) and opponent batting average (.191). Frosh Karissa Hovinga (4-0) won both of her starts vs. Illinois State and Purdue, and in her 11.1 innings, struck out seven and walked none.

This week, the Ducks look ahead to their final early season tournament in the Bayer Cropscience Classic at Fresno State, March 9-11. UO has games against two returning NCAA tourney qualifiers in Fresno State and San Diego State, and another foe, Purdue, was a postseason advancer two seasons ago. More event tourney information is located at the www.GoBulldogs.com website.

Afterwards, the Ducks’ home opener follows immediately after against returning World Series qualifier and No. 1 Alabama, Tuesday, March 13 at 5 p.m.

 

NATIONAL POLLS (3/6) – Poll #4
 
ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

http://www.usasoftball.com/folders.asp?uid=3208
Rk    Team    Record    Totals    Prev
*1.    California (16)    16-0    496    1
2.    Alabama (4)    17-0    478    2
*3.    Washington    19-1    456    3
4.    Florida    19-1    439    4
*5.    Arizona State    20-2    420    5
6.    Texas    17-1    403    6
7.    Georgia    18-2    376    7
8.    Oklahoma    14-3    357    9
9.    Tennessee    14-3    350    8
*10.    Stanford    18-3    314    10
11.    Louisiana-Lafayette    17-0    289    12
*12.    Missouri    10-3    280    13
*13.    Arizona    16-4    260    14
14.    Michigan    15-5    217    15
>15.    Oregon    13-3    195    18
*16.    Baylor    14-5    192    11
17.    Louisville    15-0    183    19
*18.    UCLA    14-6    159    16
T19.    Auburn    16-3    146    17
T19.    Hawai’i    17-0    146    22
21.    Texas A&M    14-7    93    21
22.    Florida State    17-3    59    20
*T23.    North Carolina    14-5    43    24
T23.    Syracuse    9-6    43    RV
25.    South Florida    13-4    38    23

Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (25)
New to Poll: Syracuse (RV)

Others Receiving Votes: *New Mexico (30); DePaul (19); Arkansas (3); Georgia Tech (3); Kentucky (3); *BYU (2); Mississippi State (2); *Oregon State (2); Kansas (1); SC Upstate (1); UMass (1); *Utah (1)

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

* Denotes Duck opponents in 2012



USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll 

http://nfca.org/top25/index.php?cat_id=1
Rk    Team    Record    Totals    Prev
*1    Alabama (24)    17-0    742    1
*2    California (6)    16-0    726    2
3    Florida    19-1    681    3
*4    Washington    19-1    661    4
*5    Arizona St.    20-2    626    5
6    Texas    17-1    606    6
7    Georgia    18-2    564    7
8    Oklahoma    14-3    536    8
9    Tennessee    14-3    503    9
*10    Stanford    18-3    470    11
11    La.-Lafayette    17-0    439    12
*12    Missouri    10-3    417    13
*13    Arizona    16-4    365    15
14    Michigan    15-5    320    16
*15    Baylor    14-5    312    10
16    Louisville    15-0    309    17
*17    UCLA    14-6    288    14
>18    Oregon    13-3    260    18
19    Hawai‘i    17-0    223    22
20    Auburn    16-3    168    19
21    Texas A&M    14-7    159    21
22    Florida St.    17-3    127    20
*23    New Mexico    17-3    87    24
*24    North Carolina    14-5    38    RV
25    DePaul    11-4    27    RV

Dropped Out: No. 23 Oklahoma St., No. 24 Nebraska

Others Receiving Votes: Syracuse 17, *Oregon St. 6, USF 14, Arkansas 12, Georgia Tech 12, *Oklahoma St. 10, *Utah 9, S.C. Upstate 3, LSU 1, *Nebraska 1, Pacific 1

-The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by NCAA Division I head coaches representing each conference. First-place votes are in parentheses.

* Denotes Duck opponents in 2012



 
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