OKLAHOMA CITY — For the twelfth week in a row the Oklahoma Sooners (43-3, 11-1 Big 12) sit atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll this week. Following an incredible offensive performance this past weekend, the Sooners earned all 20 first-place votes for the fourth time this season. Despite a loss in their only game this week, Tennessee (42-7, 15-4 SEC) held on to the No. 2 spot for the third consecutive week.
The Sooners began their slate of games last week with a road trip to North Texas where they defeated the Mean Green 12-1 before returning home over the weekend for a conference matchup with Iowa State. In game one, Oklahoma set the tone for the weekend as they put up a school record 24 runs on the Cyclones in a 24-1 (five inning) win. The Sooner runs kept coming throughout the series as Oklahoma defeated Iowa State 12-1 (five innings) in game two and 12-5 (five innings) in game three, securing their third Big 12 series sweep of the year.
The Lady Vols found themselves on the losing end of their series opener with then-No. 25 Arkansas (37-17, 9-10 SEC) on Friday. The 2-1 loss halted a Tennessee 19-game winning streak dating back to March 17. Excessive rain on Saturday and Sunday canceled the remainder of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) series.
Florida (47-7, 16-5 SEC) held on to their No. 3 ranking with a series win over then-No. 23 Georgia (35-18, 12-9 SEC) this weekend. Despite dropping game one 3-2, the Gators managed two wins (5-2 and 5-0) to close out the series.
Oregon (40-7, 15-3 Pac-12) and Arizona State (43-7, 14-5 Pac-12) also both maintained their No. 4 and No. 5 rankings this week following their matchups against Top 20 squads last week. The Ducks went 2-1 against then-TNo. 16 UCLA (32-17, 8-13 Pac-12) including a 9-6 win on Friday, a 7-5 loss on Saturday and a 7-5 win on Sunday. Arizona State showed why they belong in the Top 5 by sweeping then-No. 10 California (35-12, 9-9 Pac-12) 10-2 (five innings) on Friday, 11-0 (five innings) Saturday and 5-3 on Sunday. The Golden Bears, who in turn dropped three spots following the sweep, came into the series without star pitcher and USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 Finalist Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.), who suffered an injury to her knee during last week’s matchup against Oregon State.
Rounding out the Top 10: No. 6 Texas (42-6, 12-2 Big 12) moves up one spot following a 3-0 series sweep at Texas Tech; No. 7 LSU (40-11, 15-6 SEC) makes a huge jump up from No. 12 last week with a series sweep over then-No. 6 Alabama (40-10, 12-9 SEC); the Crimson Tide come in at No. 8 with the three losses to LSU; No. 9 Louisville (44-8, 17-2 Big East) fell two spots as a result of a 2-2 week that included losses to No. 19 Kentucky (2-1) and Georgetown (4-2); No. 10 Michigan (41-9, 17-2 Big 10) fell one spot but held on to their top ten ranking despite dropping a weekend series to then-TNo. 16 Nebraska (37-11, 14-5 Big 10).
Despite some shifting, the remaining top 25 teams stayed the same in this week’s poll.
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball Regions as well as members of National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.