OKLAHOMA CITY — Thirteen weeks of play have yet to produce a new No. 1 team in the country as the Oklahoma Sooners (44-4, 12-2 Big 12) remain the top team in this week’s ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll. The Oregon Ducks (45-7, 18-3 Pac-12) made their move on the top spot, cruising past Tennessee (43-9, 16-6 SEC) to land a No. 2 rank after sweeping Oregon State to capture their program’s first regular season Pac-12 Conference title. For their efforts, the Ducks garnered one first-place vote, while Oklahoma secured the remaining 19 votes.
The Sooners faced unranked Kansas for a Big 12 Conference match-up and, despite Mother Nature’s attempts to rain-out the series, posted a 1-1 record. In game one, the defending USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) set a season high with 17 strikeouts and improved to 25-1 on the year en route to a 4-2 Sooner victory. In game two, however, the Sooners were shutout for just the second time this season and fell to the Jayhawks 2-0. This marked Oklahoma’s first loss to an unranked team since April 6, 2012.
No. 2 Oregon made their highest appearance in the Collegiate Top 25 this week following a flawless 5-0 performance, including two wins over Seattle (4-0, 6-4) and a series sweep of Oregon State (2-1, 11-0 and 8-0). Florida remains the No. 3 team in the country despite suffering a loss to unranked South Carolina in their series finale. The Gators took game one 5-0 and game two 3-2 before falling 2-1 to the Gamecocks.
Tennessee fell two spots to No. 4 this week after dropping two to then-No. 11 Missouri (33-10, 15-8 SEC). The Lady Vols fell 2-0 in the series opener, bounced back with a 10-1 (five inning) run-rule of the Tigers in game two, and dropped game three by a 12-8 (six inning) decision. For their efforts, Missouri rose four spots to No. 7. Arizona State (43-9, 14-7 Pac-12) comes in at No. 5 this week despite a 1-2 record against unranked Arizona. The Sun Devils were handed back-to-back losses (10-9, 6-4) by the Wildcats before rallying for a 7-6 win in game three.
Rounding out the Top 10: No. 6 Texas (43-8, 13-4 Big 12) held onto their spot in the poll this week despite a 1-2 record against unranked Oklahoma State; No. 7 Missouri collected two wins over then-No. 2 Tennessee; No. 8 Michigan (44-9, 20-2 Big 10) rose two spots this week after sweeping Northwestern and captured the regular season Big 10 title; No. 9 LSU (40-13, 15-8 SEC) fell one spot in the poll after posting a 0-2 record against then-No. 24 Georgia (37-18, 14-9 SEC); No. 10 Alabama (41-12, 13-11 SEC) dropped two spots after falling twice to then-No. 19 Kentucky (38-17, 13-11 SEC).
Rejoining the Top 25 this week is No. 25 Tulsa (41-13-1, 19-5 Conference USA) while South Florida (40-14, 18-3 Big East) dropped out.
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.