Tide Softball Stays In Nation’s Top 5

As it has for the entire 2015 season, Alabama softball is again ranked in the top five in this week’s polls, coming in at No. 5 in both the USA Today/NFCA and the ESPN.com/USA Softball week seven polls.

Coach Patrick Murphy’s Crimson Tide is 22-7 overall and 6-3 in Southeastern Conference play. Of Alabama’s 29 games, 24 have been against teams ranked in the nation’s top 25. Bama is 6-6 in those games.

Alabama is ranked No. 5 in the USA Today/NFCA poll for the third straight week and slides into fifth in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll after tying for fourth place last week with Michigan, who holds sole possession of the No. 4 spot this week.

The top six in each poll remain the same as last week, while Auburn is now ranked in the top 10 in both polls, sliding from No. 11 last week to No. 9 this week in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Mississippi State is the only team this week to drop out of the Top 25 after losing two games to Ole Miss last weekend.

The SEC has nine ranked teams in both polls, including five in the top 10 and three in the top five: LSU (1/1), Florida (3/2), Alabama (5/5), Georgia (7/7), Auburn (8/9), Kentucky (16/15), Tennessee (15/18), Missouri (20/20) and Texas A&M (23/23). South Carolina and Mississippi State are receiving votes outside the top 25.

Last weekend, Alabama fell in two games to Florida but bounced back for a big win in game three to avoid the series sweep. Trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, a two-run homer by Haylie McCleney sparked the Tide offense as they added three more runs in the next inning to pull ahead 5-1, which ultimately proved final.

Up next, Alabama continues its homestand with a midweek matchup against Georgia Tech on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CDT before welcoming Texas A&M for a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

It’s dangerous to take any team lightly, but Georgia Tech has struggled to an 11-19 record, including a 4-8 ACC mark. The Yellow Jackets lost six straight games to open the season and Tech has lost seven of its last eight. A word of caution, though: Georgia Tech’s first win of the year was against nationally ranked Nebraska.

Bama’s Haylie McCleney continues to light it up. Against a good Florida team she was 5-8, including a home run and triple in Bama’s Monday evening win. she is hitting .494 with a team-leading nine doubles, 20 stolen bases, 20 walks, and 23 RBI.

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