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January 22, 2013

Tide tops preseason poll

TUSCALOOSA | The defending national champion University of Alabama softball team is ranked No. 1 in the preseason USA Today/NFCA coaches' poll, garnering 25 of a possible 31 first-place votes in the poll, which was released Tuesday.

The Crimson Tide, which finished 60-8 last season on the way to winning the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City to capture the NCAA championship, beat out 2012 runner-up Oklahoma for the top spot. The Sooners, with five first-place votes, are ranked second, followed by California (with one first-place vote) in third. Arizona State at No. 4, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Georgia and LSU rounded out the top 10.

Other Southeastern Conference teams ranked in the top 25 were Florida at No. 14 and Texas A&M at No. 17. Kentucky and Mississippi State also received votes. Alabama is three-time defending league champion, and also won the SEC Tournament last season.

Alabama's schedule includes games against top-25 teams Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Missouri and LSU on its 2013 schedule.

Alabama opens its season Feb. 8 at the UNI Dome Tournament. The Crimson Tide will play Illinois and host Northern Iowa on the opening day of the event, with games against Drake, Green Bay and a second game against Northern Iowa to finish out the weekend. UA's home opener is set for Tuesday, Feb. 12, against South Alabama.

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll
Rank Team 2012 Record Totals Final 2012 Poll

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. USF 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), BYU (4), Houston (3), Tulsa (2), Mississippi State (2), Illinois State (2), South Alabama (2).


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