After claiming their second-consecutive national championship at the 2015 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, Florida was voted No. 1 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll of the 2015 season, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The Gators (60-7, 18-5 SEC) end the season right where they started, in the No. 1 spot, sweeping all 20 first-place votes after a 10-1 performance in the post season, including a 5-1 campaign in Oklahoma City during the NCAA WCWS.
To advance to Oklahoma City, Florida first outscored its regional opponents 14-0 to advance to the Super Regional round. The Gators then shut out Kentucky twice in the Supers, to earn a coveted spot in the WCWS and defend their 2014 title.
The Gators started their week in Oklahoma City with a 7-2 win over then-No. 9 Tennessee (47-17, 15-9 SEC) before posting a 4-0, shutout over then-No. 7 LSU (52-14, 15-9 SEC). The Gators then punched their ticket to the Championship Series against Southeastern Conference (SEC) rivals, then-No. 4 Auburn (56-11, 18-6 SEC) in a thrilling 3-2 (nine inning) win. Facing off against then-No. 3 Michigan (60-8, 21-2 Big 10), the Gators kept the title in the SEC, taking two-of-three games from the Wolverines, including a 4-1 win in the final game. The 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Lauren Haeger, was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
After advancing to the Championship Series for the first time since 2005, Michigan finished the season at No. 2 following an impressive post-season campaign. En route to Oklahoma City, the Wolverines advanced out of the Regionals by beating Oakland 9-1 (five innings), then-No. 19 California (39-18, 10-14 Pac-12) 9-1 (five innings) and Pittsburgh 10-3. Michigan then faced then-No. 16 Georgia (44-17, 14-9 SEC) in the Super Regionals, pushing past the Bulldogs 10-3 and 7-6, to earn a trip back to Oklahoma City for the first time since 2013. At the NCAA WCWS, Michigan shutout then-No. 6 Alabama (48-15, 17-7 SEC) 5-0 and topped then-No. 8 UCLA (51-12, 19-5 Pac-12) 10-4. The Wolverines locked their spot in the Championship Series with a 6-3 win over LSU. In the Championship Series against Florida, Michigan dropped a 2-1 decision in game one before coming back with a 1-0 shutout to force a third-game.
Auburn finished the season at No. 3 following their program's first appearance at the NCAA WCWS. The Tigers dropped a 6-1 decision in their first-ever game at the NCAA WCWS, but rallied back for a 4-2 win over Tennessee and an extra-inning thriller against UCLA in which the Tigers came out with the 11-10 (10 inning) victory. A 3-2 (nine inning) loss to the soon-to-be Champions Florida eliminated Auburn from the tournament.
LSU finished the season at No. 4 after a 2-2 performance at the NCAA WCWS in which the Tigers opened the tournament with a 6-1 win over Auburn before falling 4-0 to Florida. The Tigers kept their time at the NCAA WCWS going with a 5-3 win over Alabama before dropping a 6-3 decision to Michigan to end their season.
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball Regions as well as members of the National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.
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