Tide Ranked 7th

The Alabama softball team of Coach Patrick Murphy is picked second in the Southeastern Conference this year, but that doesn't mean the defending SEC regular season and SEC Tournament champions don't rate national merit. Regular appearances in the Women's College World Series will get that kind of respect.

It's true that Alabama is rated behind Tennessee in both the SEC and national polls, but that doesn't take away from the Crimson Tide's pre-season ranking.

The Alabama softball team was listed at number seven in the USA Today/NFCA Top-25 preseason poll released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Wednesday.

The Tide is listed in the same spot Bama finished the 2006 season. Bama was seventh in the final poll after advancing to its fourth Women's College World Series in school history. Alabama finished the season with a 54-11 record and won the SEC Championship for the first time.

The top spot in the poll went to defending national champion Arizona, which earned 23 first place votes. Tennessee, the unanimous pick to win the SEC in 2007, followed the Wildcats with seven first place votes for second in the poll. Rounding out the top five were UCLA, 2006 national runner-up Northwestern, and Arizona State.

Oregon State is ahead of the Tide in sixth, while Stanford, the team UA swept in the NCAA Super Regional last season, is close behind Alabama in eighth place. LSU is the third SEC team in the top-10 and is listed in ninth while California is 10th. The SEC placed five teams in the top-25, second only to the Pac-10 which placed seven teams, including six in

Alabama's 2007 schedule includes five Top 25 teams and three others that received votes. Bama will face Tennessee, LSU, Georgia (ranked 14th), Louisiana-Lafayeette (19), Auburn (24), and teams receiving votes but not ranked, North Carolina State, Florida, and Florida Atlantic.

Alabama will begin its season February 9-11 at the Century-Tel Softball Classic hosted by Texas State University. The Tide will begin its home schedule the following weekend, February 16-18, hosting the annual Bama Bash!

USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Softball Poll

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by NCAA Division I head coaches representing each conference. Final 2006 records are shown. First-place votes are in parenthesis.

Rank, School, 2006 Record, Pts., Pvs.

1. Arizona (23), 54-11, 737, 1

2. Tennessee (7), 61-12, 679, 3

3. UCLA, 50-9, 648, 4

4. Northwestern, 50-15, 647, 2

5. Arizona State, 53-15, 594, 6

6. Oregon State, 43-16, 579, 8

7. Alabama, 54-11, 485, 7

8. Stanford, 42-18, 481, 12

9. LSU, 55-14, 471, 11

10. California, 48-14, 436, 9

11. Michigan, 44-15, 400, 10

12. Washington, 35-25, 353, 15

13. Texas A&M, 34-19, 323, 22

14. Georgia, 54-15, 320, 13

15. Nebraska, 44-12, 280, 14

16. Oklahoma, 40-21-1, 274, 18

17. Texas, 55-9, 273, 5

18. Baylor, 38-22, 248, 20

19. Louisiana-Lafayette, 50-12, 235, 16

20. Louisville, 45-11, 211, 17

21. Fresno State, 37-19, 198, 23

22. South Florida, 50-25, 181, 18

23. Massachusetts, 41-16, 123, 24

24. Auburn, 36-22, 84, 21

25. Florida State, 44-30, 79, 25

Others Receiving Votes:

North Carolina State 74, Cal State Fullerton 54, San Diego State 49, Florida 47, Georgia Tech 40, North Carolina 21, Southern Illinois 17, Long Beach State 15, Florida Atlantic 14, DePaul 12, BYU 11, Notre Dame 10, Hofstra 8, Kansas 5, Virginia Tech 3.


BamaMag Top Stories