After 10 years and 171 consecutive appearances, the Arizona Wildcats fell out of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 for the first time in program history Tuesday.
Few around the Wildcats (28-19, 5-10) seemed surprised.
"I felt it coming," shortstop Brigette Del Ponte said. "You can't expect to be 5-10 and be in the Top 25."
Left fielder Mandie Perez said she "knew" it would happen.
"There's nothing we can do about it now," the freshman said. "Our performance shows it. Records can't lie. Wins and losses can't lie. The book doesn't lie."
The UA has lost five of its last six and has won consecutive conference games only once, when the Wildcats took two straight at Utah one month ago.
Last week, the Wildcats lost two of three at home to UCLA after being tied with North Carolina for No. 25 in the poll.
Entering Friday's three-game series at Oregon State, the UA's RPI is 28.
"I think we're capable of being in the top 25," UA coach Mike Candrea said. "The way we're playing right now, we're very borderline."
Candrea has a vote in the poll but wouldn't say whether he had his team in the Top 25.
The Wildcats received three points in the voting system, the equivalent of three of the poll's 20 voters - coaches and media members - picking them No. 25.
Six teams outside the Top 25 received more votes than the UA.
"We need some quality wins," Candrea said, "I think that's the big thing right now."
The Wildcats were ranked No. 23 this week in the sport's other, older poll, the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25, which is voted on by coaches across the country.
Being left out of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25, which was started in 2003, is new territory.
"I think we have the potential to be in the best 25," Del Ponte said, "but I don't think we're putting it all together right now."
• Who: Arizona at Oregon State
• When: 3 p.m. Friday
ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Oklahoma (16)
2. Tennessee (4)
5. Arizona State
18. Texas A&M
21. South Alabama
22. Florida State
24. South Florida
6. Arizona State
16. Texas A&M
22. South Alabama
23. Florida State
24. South Florida
25. North Carolina