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Ducks Pegged No. 6 in ESPN.com / USA Softball Preseason Poll
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 01/29/2013
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EUGENE – Looking ahead to next week’s season opener, the University of Oregon softball team continued its successful run in the polls with its highest ever ESPN.com / USA Softball preseason ranking announced Tuesday. 

The Ducks were tabbed sixth in the preseason edition – only one spot lower than their ranking at the end of last season (fifth).

For comparison’s sake in other USA Softball preseason versions, UO’s previous best was last year’s No. 11 polling. Among Oregon’s six top 25 USA Softball preseason rankings, it also stood 13th in 2004 and ’05, 14th in ‘11 and 23rd in ’08. UO also received votes in 2010, ’09, ’07 and ’06.

In this week's poll, 11 upcoming Duck foes were ranked top 25 – No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 California, No. 4 Arizona State, No. 12 LSU, No. 13 Michigan, No. 14 Arizona, No. 15 Florida, No. 16 Washington, No. 19 UCLA, No. 20 Stanford and No. 25 Hawai’i. 

One other Duck opponent – Oregon State – also received votes.

The No. 1 spot went to returning national champion Alabama, while Tennessee rounded out the top five by taking 5th. 

Overall, the Ducks were one six of the schools in the preseason top eight that were Women’s College World Series returnees (with the others - No. 10 South Florida and No. 12 LSU - close behind).

With seven teams in the top 20 overall, the Pac-12 Conference shared the most top-25 sightings with the SEC. The Big 12 sported three squads, the Big East held two, and five other conferences – the ACC, the Atlantic Sun, the Big Ten, the CAA, and Sun Belt – each had one team.

A complete list of ESPN.com/ USA preseason rankings is listed below, and more information on ESPN.com/ USA Softball polls is available at the http://www.usasoftball.com/folders.asp?uid=7248 URL address.

In last week’s NFCA-USA Today preseason rankings, Oregon flip-flopped with Tennessee with the Ducks and Volunteers tabbed No. 5 and No. 6. Both squads matched their NFCA year-end positions from 2012, and the top four were also the same as the final 2012 edition.

Altogether, Oregon has now been ranked for 43 straight polls by USA Softball, and its week-by-week USA SB/ NFCA rankings in that stretch follow: 2013 – Preseason 6/5. 2012 - Preseason 11th/16th, 2/14 19/19, 2/21 21/19, 2/28 18/18, 3/6 15/18; 3/13 14/17; 3/20 15/17; 3/27 16/17; 4/3 17/18; 4/10 15/19; 4/17 14/18; 4/25 15/16; 5/2 12/13; 5/9 12/13; 5/16 12/12; 6/12 5/5. 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.

The Ducks come off their second-ever Women’s College World Series trip and second-most wins ever (45). UO beat every Pac-12 rival for the third time in school history, and its 13-9 Pac-12 mark earned a second straight third-place conference finish. Oregon also went 25-15 against NCAA tourney advancers, and 16-13 vs. top-25 teams in 2012.

In just over a week, the Ducks kick off the season vs. Western Michigan on Thursday, February 7 in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. 

In the four weeks following, UO then travels to tournaments in Las Vegas (Louisville Slugger Classic, February 15-17), Palm Springs, Calif. (Cathedral City Classic, February 22-24), Orlando, Fla. (Citrus Classic, March 1-3) and Fresno, Calif. (Bayer Cropscience Classic, March 8-9), 
  
Oregon’s first home tilt is against returning New Mexico on Wednesday, March 13, and its first Pac-12 series is at home vs. Stanford, Saturday-Monday, March 23-25.


 
ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll (1/29/13)

Rank Team 2012 Record Points Final 2012 Ranking 
1. Alabama (13) 60-8 490 1
*2. Oklahoma (7) 54-10 486 2
*3. California 58-7 449 3
*4. Arizona State 53-11 445 4
5. Tennessee 52-14 414 7
>6. Oregon 45-18 390 5
7. Missouri 47-14 346 11
8. Georgia 45-17 332 10
9. Texas 47-13 297 12
10. South Florida 50-14 285 8
11. Louisiana-Lafayette 53-6 272 9
*12. LSU 40-25 263 6
*13. Michigan 42-17 233 15
*14. Arizona 38-19 226 13
*15. Florida 48-13 225 16
*16. Washington 39-19 213 14
17. Texas A&M 41-18 195 19
18. Louisville 55-5 188 18
*19. UCLA 36-20 144 21
*20. Stanford 40-19 131 20
21. North Carolina 43-15 69 25
T22. Baylor 34-22 67 RV
T22. Hofstra 42-15 67 17
24. Florida State 47-16 66 22
*25. Hawai’i 44-9 44 23

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

Dropped Out: None
New to Poll: None
 
Others receiving votes: Notre Dame (24); Syracuse (23); Kentucky (20); Georgia Tech (18); Virginia Tech (17); Tulsa (14); Texas Tech (12); Mississippi State (9); *Oregon State (8); Northwestern (7); Oklahoma State (3); Central Florida (3); South Alabama (2); UMASS (2); BYU (1)

* Denotes Duck opponents in 2013
 


USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll (1/22/13) 

http://nfca.org/top25/index.php?cat_id=1
Rk Team Record Totals Prev
1 Alabama (25) 60-8 765 1
*2 Oklahoma (5) 54-10 745 2
*3 California (1) 58-7 704 3
*4 Arizona State 53-11 684 4
> 5 Oregon 45-18 635 5
6 Tennessee 52-14 626 6
7 Texas 47-13 534 9
8 Missouri 47-14 496 11
9 Georgia 45-17 490 10
*10 LSU 40-25 475 7
11 Louisiana-Lafayette 53-6 429 12
12 South Florida 50-14 423 8
*13 Arizona 38-19 406 13
*14 Florida 48-11 342 18
*15 Michigan 42-17 326 15
*16 Washington 39-19 316 14
17 Texas A&M 41-18 296 19
18 Louisville 55-5 255 17
*19 UCLA 36-20 216 20
20 Hofstra 42-15 203 16
*21 Stanford 40-19 183 21
22 North Carolina 43-15 102 24
*23 Hawai'i 44-9 89 22
24 Baylor 34-22 80 RV
25 Florida State 47-16 58 RV

Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame (43), Georgia Tech (29), Syracuse (27), Kentucky (23), *Oregon State (22), Texas Tech (12), Virginia Tech (11), DePaul (10), Northwestern (5).

-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 2013


 
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