OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- For the first time since 2003, a team outside of the Pac-10 Conference sits atop of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll.
The University of Michigan, riding an incredible 27-game win streak, is the top-ranked team in the country after knocking off then-No. 5 Texas and then-No. 1 Arizona in the championship bracket of the KIA Classic. This marks the first time in school history that Michigan has held the No. 1 ranking in any softball poll.
"I think it's great for softball in this part of the country and for the Big Ten in particular," noted Hutchins about her first No. 1 ranking. "At the same time, the true No. 1 gets to be decided on the field and that's the opportunity we are looking forward to. I am happy for our kids because they have played good, steady softball all season and this type of recognition speaks well of our conference."
Michigan suffered its only loss came to Baylor (7-6) on February 12 in the opening game of the season. Since its loss to the Bears, the Wolverines have outscored their opponents 158-20. Baylor is the first team other than Arizona, California or UCLA to hold the top ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25.
Arizona, who still garnered seven first place votes, saw its win streak snapped at 21-games with a 1-0 extra inning loss to Texas. The Wildcats also lost 6-2 to Michigan in the finals of the KIA.
While the KIA Classic was a positive experience for Michigan, it was not so kind to Louisiana-Lafayette which went 1-3 and dropped five spots to No. 13 in this week's rankings.
Dropped out: None.
Others receiving votes: BYU (26), Creighton (24), Long Beach State (14), Illinois State (12), Southern Illinois (10), Oklahoma State (9), Auburn (7), DePaul (2), Syracuse (1), Virginia Tech (1), Penn State (1), Ole Miss (1).
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll is voted on by NCAA Division I coaches representing 15 different ASA regions and 12 different collegiate conferences. The poll is also voted on by selected softball media members.
For more information check out the official site of USA Softball.