The LSU and University of Louisiana at Lafayette softball teams were ranked in the final softball polls released Tuesday.
LSU was No. 6 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 7 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25, while ULL was No. 9 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll and No. 12 in the USA Today/NFCA poll.
LSU made the biggest gain in both polls after qualifying for the program’s third Women’s College World Series. The Tigers were only the third team to reach the WCWS after knocking off two national seeds on the road dating to the 2005 season, when the current regional/super regional format was adopted.
LSU’s No. 6 ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll is the program’s highest since May 15, 2007, while the No. 7 rating in the USA Today/NFCA poll is the program’s best since February 19, 2008. The Tigers have been ranked in 94 of the last 103 editions of both polls.
LSU finished its inaugural season under coach Beth Torina with a 40-25 record. It marked the 14th time in 16 seasons that the Tigers finished with at least 40 victories since softball was reinstated in 1997.
Joining LSU from the Southeastern Conference in the final rankings are national champion Alabama (No. 1/No. 1), Tennessee (No. 6/No. 7), Georgia (No. 10/No. 10) and Florida (No. 18/No. 16). Arkansas and Kentucky received votes in both polls. The Tigers also met Oklahoma (No. 2/No. 2) California (No. 3/No. 3), Arizona State (No. 4/No. 4), South Florida (No. 8/No. 8), Missouri (No. 11/No. 11), Michigan (No. 15/No. 15), Texas A&M (No. 19/No. 19) and Florida State (RV, No. 22) during the 2012 season.
ULL won its own regional title and compiled a 53-6 record, and the No. 9 ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll marks the 10th time in school history the Cajuns have been ranked in the top 10 to end the season. The ranking also marks the ninth time in the past 10 years ULL has been in the top 25 to conclude the season.
The Ragin Cajuns, who began the season ranked No. 23/24, remained in the top 25 of both polls the entire season.
After starting the season with a school record 28 straight wins, ULL won its 11th regular season Sun Belt Conference title in the past 12 years and hosted their first regional since 2002.