"It is a huge credit to all 18 ladies on this team and everybody who has ever played at Alabama," said Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy. "It is such a quick 11 years. They have gone by so fast. I feel fortunate to have been with the program since day one and seen every game in the history of the program. It is almost a too good to be true story."
The Crimson Tide is the only undefeated team left in Division I softball at 24-0 on the season. They are off to their second best start in school history. The 2001 team began the year 27-0 and was ranked as high as third in the country. Alabama has also been ranked No. 3 the last two weeks and once last season.
This week's poll also marks the first time in the history of the poll that two SEC teams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 as Tennessee remained ranked first despite a loss to Florida last weekend. The two SEC squads were neck-and-neck in the voting with Tennessee holding just a 10-point lead overall and tallying 12 first place votes compared to eight for Bama. The Tide has now been ranked in the Top-10 for 22 consecutive weeks and in the Top-25 in the last 66 polls.
"It is a great day for the SEC and SEC softball," said Murphy. "I am not sure when we first started that the SEC would ever have the top two ranked teams. We have all worked really hard to get to this spot."
Alabama will play a pair of ranked teams this week on the road. They open the five-game road trip with a doubleheader on Wednesday against No. 22 Florida in Gainesville, Fla. The Tide then head to Columbia, S.C. to face No. 24 South Carolina for a three-game weekend series beginning Saturday at 1 p.m.