Following its tournament championship at the New Mexico Kick-Off Invitational, the second straight event it has captured to open the season, the Lady Vol softball team climbed from 18th to 12th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll released on Tuesday.
After holding down the 25th spot in the preseason rankings, Tennessee has taken 11 of 12 games to race out to the best start since the program's inception in 1996.
Ralph and Karen Weekly's squad next competes in the Palm Springs Classic this weekend, where it will tangle with Baylor (7-3), Notre Dame (4-1), No. 1 UCLA (9-0) and Utah (5-4). Tennessee will also play an exhibition game versus the U.S. Olympic Team.

ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 15
1. UCLA 9-0
2. California 11-0
3. Arizona 11-0
4. Oklahoma 7-0-1
5. Wash. 10-1
6. Georgia 7-0
7. Alabama 8-1
8. Stanford 8-1
9. UL-Laf. 6-1
10. Florida St. 8-0
11. Michigan 3-2
12. Tennessee 11-1
13. Nebraska 2-3
14. Fresno St. 4-1
15. Texas 6-4