Feb. 10, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A 4-1 weekend at the BYU Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, was good enough to lift the Tennessee Lady Vol softball team one position in both the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls for the week ending Feb. 8. UT currently rates 11th in the NFCA and 12th in the USA Softball rankings.
The Big Orange was led offensively by an outstanding effort from current USA Softball National Collegiate Co-Player of the Week and Southeastern Conference Player of the Week Tiffany Huff. The Saugus, Calif., native hit a blistering .647 with two doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs. Freshman Jessica Spigner delivered a .471 average with a team-best three home runs in her debut weekend, while fellow rookies Shelby Burchell (.417) and Dee Dee Fryer each blasted their initial collegiate homers. Sophomore Kelly Grieve (.389) and senior Lillian Hammond (.600) keyed the attack from the top two spots in the order, terrorizing opposing defenses with seven stolen bases in eight attempts. Freshman pitcher Cat Hosfield posted a 3-1 record with a 0.64 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 22 innings during her initial stint wearing the Orange & White.
It proved to be a topsy-turvy opening weekend of collegiate softball action as only three members of the preseason Top 25 remained unbeaten. Alabama climbed into the No. 1 slot in both polls with a 4-0 record, followed by last week's top team the Florida Gators. UF dropped a 1-0 decision to unranked Baylor during a three-contest set.
The big mover of the week proved to be Washington. The Huskies used a perfect 5-0 weekend in St. George and a razor-thin, 2-1 victory over Tennessee to climb 11 spots in the NFCA poll to No. 10 and eight positions up to No. 7 in the USA Softball rating.
The Lady Vols will venture down to Orlando, Fla., over Feb. 13-15 for the UCF Early Bird Tournament. Tennessee will open the event against North Florida at 9 a.m. ET. Live stats should be available through utladyvols.com via Gametracker.
|USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll February 10, 2009|
|3||Arizona State (4)||5-1||662||2|
|T-24||San Diego State||2-1||48||25|
|Others Receiving Votes: Mississippi State 47, Kansas 31, Long Beach State 30, Purude 24, UC Santa Barbara 21, BYU 20, Virginia Tech 12, New Mexico State 11, Florida Atlantic 10, Notre Dame 9, South Florida 8, Oregon State 8, Louisville 8, Iowa 7, Hofstra 7, Creighton 6, Hawaii 5, Oklahoma State 4, Auburn 4, Baylor 4, Texas 3, Nebraska 2, Central Florida 2, Oregon 2, Georgia Tech 2|
|Dropped Out: No. 20 Virginia Tech, No. 24 Long Beach State|
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Records through Feb. 8, 2009, are shown. First-place votes are in parentheses.
|ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25|
|24.||Long Beach St.||2-2||35||20|
|Dropped Out: North Carolina and Virginia Tech|
|Others receiving votes: North Carolina (27), Ole Miss (23), Southern Illinois (17), South Florida (16), Oklahoma State (14), Baylor (9), Mississippi State (9), Notre Dame (9), Oregon State (7), BYU (6), Louisville (6), Nebraska (6), San Diego State (5), Florida State (5), Creighton (3), Florida Atlantic (3), Texas (3), Auburn (2) and Oregon (2).|
First-place votes are in parentheses.