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Sooners Ranked No. 1 By ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Coming off a season-opening 5-0 weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., the University of Oklahoma softball team is ranked No. 1 in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25.

Ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll, the Sooners grabbed 12 of the 20 first-place votes to leapfrog former No. 1 Alabama, 492-487.

This is the second time that Oklahoma has been atop the USA Softball polls, as it also earned the distinction in week 15 of the 2007 season. The team has also been ranked No. 1 by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, garnering the top spot in the final poll after winning the 2000 national championship.

Led by NFCA Hall of Fame head coach Patty Gasso, Oklahoma maintained its No. 2 position in the NFCA Poll this week, though it did cut into Alabama's lead. After earning five first-place votes and trailing by 20 points to the Crimson Tide in the preseason poll, the Sooners find themselves with 10 first-place votes and a nine-point deficit this week.

The Sooners opened the season in dominant fashion at the annual Kajikawa Classic. In going 5-0, OU outscored its opponents 50-7 and won three games via the run rule. Senior pitcher Keilani Ricketts threw two no-hitters to open the season, shutting down No. 21 Stanford, 6-0, and No. 5 Oregon, 12-0, in five innings.

The season continues for Oklahoma this weekend at the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, Calif.

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