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2017 College Softball Power Rankings: Ninth Edition

Oregon impressively swept Florida State at home in a massive late season non-conference matchup. (Collin Andrew/The Register-Guard)

2017 College Softball Power Rankings: Ninth Edition

The 2017 college softball regular season is over for most teams across the country following week thirteen. There were some big games and upsets among the top teams in our final regular season power rankings. We take a look at the top 16 teams in our power rankings as well as the next four teams.

We will start by providing last week’s rankings below. Please note the records in the table below are as of May 2.

RankTeamConf.Overall
Record
Conf.
Record
Last
Week's Ranking
1FloridaSEC46-420-31
2ArizonaPac-1247-517-42
3OklahomaBig 1244-814-14
4MinnesotaBig 1048-319-15
5Florida StateACC47-3-124-06
6Texas A&MSEC41-715-53
7WashingtonPac-1237-1011-78
8OregonPac-1241-614-69
9TennesseeSEC42-814-67
10UtahPac-1232-912-410
11AuburnSEC43-815-611
12UCLAPac-1237-1211-712
13LouisianaSun Belt39-620-113
14BaylorBig 1239-1011-414
15James MadisonColonial44-615-215
16MichiganBig 1038-10-117-317
17Ole MissSEC34-178-1318
18AlabamaSEC39-1311-916
19LSUSEC37-1511-1019
20BYUWest Coast36-109-0Not
Ranked

Below are the previous editions of our Power Rankings.

First Edition (March 15)

Second Edition (March 22)

Third Edition (March 29)

Fourth Edition (April 5)

Fifth Edition (April 12)

Sixth Edition (April 19)

Seventh Edition (April 26)

Eighth Edition (May 3)

Below is the ninth edition of our 2017 power rankings. Please note the records listed are through games as of May 9.

#1 – Florida Gators (50-5 Overall, 20-3 SEC)

Florida (#1 last week) went 4-1 with the week beginning with a loss to Florida State. The Gators had their best ace in the circle with Kelly Barnhill, but despite the 21 strikeouts, they lost 3-1 in 11 innings. Florida finished the week going 4-0 over North Texas and Florida A&M by a combined score of 32-1 with only 13 hits allowed. The Gators will play in the SEC Tournament this week as the top seed.

#2 – Oklahoma Sooners (47-8 Overall, 17-1 Big 12)

Oklahoma (#3 last week) went 3-0 with a sweep of Oklahoma State in which they allowed only one run during the series. The series ended with a combined no-hitter from Nicole Mendes and Paige Lowary. The Sooners are playing their best ball of the season right now and they will be the top team in the Big 12 softball tournament.

#3 – Oregon Ducks (44-6 Overall, 14-6 Pac-12)

Oregon (#8 last week) makes a big move up after sweeping Florida State at home. Game one was an 11-0 final as seven different Ducks recorded an RBI and Megan Kleist allowed only two hits. Game two was a Maggie Balint three hitter with the Ducks scoring three sixth inning runs to win 3-1. The finale was tight throughout as FSU took a 1-0 lead in the second and Oregon tied it in the fifth. The bottom of the ninth saw Danica Mercado’s lead off double turn into the game winning run as Gwen Svekis hit a sacrifice fly to walk off for the win.

Oregon looked fantastic in sweeping the Seminoles and have the look of a national title contender. They have one final series at Stanford to close out the regular season.

#4 – Minnesota Golden Gophers (51-3 Overall, 22-1 Big 10)

Minnesota (#4 last week) had a great week going 3-0 over Penn State en route to capturing the Big 10 regular season title. The Gophers won each game by at least 9 runs and by a combined score of 35-3. Sara Groenewegen threw one hitters in the first and third games as the Gopher pitching staff allowed six hits over the three games. The Big 10 conference tournament is on deck for Minnesota.

#5 – Florida State Seminoles (48-6-1 Overall, 24-0 ACC)

Florida State (#5 last week) went 1-3 this week, but they took on a couple of the top teams in the nation. They won the midweek game at home to Florida 3-1 in nine innings. They overcame 21 strikeouts from Kelly Barnhill as the walk off home run was hit by Alex Powers.

The road trip to Eugene was not very successful as they were swept by Oregon. They were completely dominated in the opener losing 11-0, but were much more competitive in the final two losing 3-1 and 2-1 with the latter coming via walk off. It is hard to fault the Seminoles for taking on a tough schedule and their win over Florida keeps them here. They will be playing in the ACC Tournament this week as the top team.

#6 – Arizona Wildcats (48-7 Overall, 18-6 Pac-12)

Arizona (#2 last week) finished the season going 1-2 against UCLA in a three game set. Despite the series loss, the Wildcats won the Pac-12 Regular Season title and the Pac-12 automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Arizona was shut out twice to open the series before roaring back to win the finale 7-2 with four first inning runs.

The Wildcats do not have a series this weekend as they await finding out their national seed for the tournament. Arizona will undoubtedly be a top 8 team, which guarantees them hosting both a Regional and Super Regional should they get past the first round.

#7 – Tennessee Volunteers (44-9 Overall, 16-7 SEC)

Tennessee (#9 last week) played a three game series at Texas A&M and came away with two wins. The Vols did not get much going in a 5-1 loss to open the series, but came alive on offense scoring 8 runs in each of the final two games. Six different Vols recorded an RBI in game two while Meghan Gregg had 5 RBIs in the third game. Tennessee is a dangerous team going into post season play, which begins this week for the Vols with the SEC Tournament.

#8 – UCLA Bruins (39-13 Overall, 13-8 Pac-12)

UCLA (#12 last week) took two of three from Arizona at home. It was an impressive first two games as they shut out the Wildcats and allowed seven hits over the two games. They did not fare so well in the third game losing 7-2, but they had already taken the series.

UCLA continues to be one of the most enigmatic teams this season. They have won the first two games of three game series versus Washington, Oregon, and Arizona, but also have a series loss to Oregon State. There is no doubt UCLA is talented enough to beat any team when their hitting and pitching is on at the same time, it is just a matter of if those two happen at the same time. The Bruins are at Arizona State this weekend for one final series.

#9 – Texas A&M Aggies (42-9 Overall, 16-7 SEC)

Texas A&M (#6 last week) dropped two of three against Tennessee at home. They started well with a 5-1 win before the pitching gave up 16 runs on 22 hits over the final two games. The Aggies have hit a bit of rough patch losing four of their last six going into the SEC Tournament.

#10 – Washington Huskies (40-11 Overall, 13-8 Pac-12)

Washington (#7 last week) had a 3-1 week winning over Seattle on Wednesday and taking two of three from Stanford at home. The Huskies were in a battle in game one against Stanford, taking it 1-0 on a walk off home run from Kirstyn Thomas. Game two was the same for Washington in the fact they had a tough time scoring. They were one hit in a 6-0 loss before bouncing back to win 10-2 in game three.

It is a bit odd that the Huskies struggled with Stanford, a team that had only one Pac-12 win coming into this series. They have another tough opponent in Utah this weekend to end the regular season.

#11 – Auburn Tigers (45-9 Overall, 17-7 SEC)

Auburn (#11 last week) went into rival Alabama’s place and took two of three. It was their first series win in Tuscaloosa in program history. Each game was tightly contested as they needed 9 innings to win the opening game 3-0 and then won 4-1 in the second game behind Alyssa Rivera’s three run double. The Tigers had their chances to sweep Alabama in the final game as they loaded the bases in both of the first two innings, but came away empty. Haley Fagan hit two solo home runs, but it was enough as they lost 3-2.

Auburn is hungry to avenge last year’s loss in the WCWS Championship Series and their next step is the SEC Tournament this week.

#12 – Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (42-6 Overall, 23-1 Sun Belt)

Louisiana-Lafayette (#13 last week) went 3-0 thanks to a sweep of in state foe Louisiana-Monroe. They posted two four hit shutouts and also won a close 6-5, which they led 6-0 after three innings. The Ragin’ Cajuns have the Sun Belt Tournament this week as they loom a very serious threat going into the NCAA Tournament.

#13 – Baylor Bears (41-11 Overall, 13-5 Big 12)

Baylor (#13 last week) took two of three from Texas to close out the regular season. Game one was a 2-1 victory as Kelsee Selman allowed two walks and four hits in a complete game. Game two was a 3-1 loss as the Bears gave up three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Baylor won the third game 4-0 with Ari Hawkins driving in three runs. Baylor will be in the Big 12 Tournament this week.

#14 – Utah Utes (33-11 Overall, 13-6 Pac-12)

Utah (#10 last week) lost two of three to Oregon State on the road. The opener was a 5-0 loss as Taylor Cotton one hit the Utes. Utah was only able to muster two hits in a 3-1 game two loss before rebounding for a 6-0 win in the finale. Kay Kay Fronda and Anissa Urtez both recorded 2 RBIs. The regular season ends with a three game series against Washington.

#15 – James Madison Dukes (47-6 Overall, 18-2 Colonial)

James Madison (#15 last week) ended their regular season with a sweep of Elon. They won the three games by a combined score of 22-3 as Megan Good won all three games to improve to 34-1. Jessica Mrozek recorded 5 RBIs while Taylor Newton had 4 RBIs. The Dukes will be the top seed and host of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.

#16 – Michigan Wolverines (41-10-1 Overall, 20-3 Big 10)

The Wolverines (#16 last week) ended their regular season with a fantastic sweep of Rutgers by a combined score of 45-2 over the three games. The finale was a combined no-hitter between Megan Betsa and Tera Blanco with Betsa striking out 17 over the her two starts. Michigan is rolling into the Big 10 tournament, which will be held at their home field.

Next Four

#17 – Ole Miss Rebels (36-18 Overall, 10-14 SEC)

Ole Miss (#17 last week) wrangled two of three from Missouri on the road, which can be a difficult place to win at. They opened with 6-0 and 12-4 wins as Kaitlin Lee threw the opening game shutout allowing one walk and four hits. Game two was dominated by Ole Miss’ offense between Courtney Syrett (4 RBIs), Dylinn Stancil (3 RBIs), and Kylan Becker (2 RBIs).

The Rebels nearly had the sweep, but gave up the tying run in the seventh and walk off run in the ninth inning of the finale. They will be in the SEC Tournament and kickoff against Mississippi State.

#18 – BYU Cougars (42-10 Overall, 12-0 West Coast)

BYU (#20 last week) continued their tear through the West Coast Conference going 6-0 on the week and 3-0 in conference. The sweep gave them their fourth straight West Coast Conference title and the automatic bid. They opened the week with a 6-0 win over Grand Canyon thanks to a two hitter by McKenna Bull where she struck out 9.

They swept Santa Clara on the road. The first two games were 5-0 and 3-1 wins while the final game was a 19-5 destruction with 11 first inning runs scored. Ashley Thompson and Libby Sugg both had 4 RBIs in the game.

BYU finished the week with a 10-2 win over Utah Valley and a 4-1 victory over Utah State. The Cougars will have one final series at St Mary’s before the NCAA Tournament begins.

#19 – Alabama Crimson Tide (40-15 Overall, 12-11 SEC)

Alabama (#18 last week) lost two of three to rival Auburn at home. They lost the opener 3-0 in nine innings and 4-1 in game two. They came back to win the finale 3-2 to salvage something against their rival. Alabama is 9-11 in their last 20 games going into the SEC Tournament where they open with Arkansas.

#20 – LSU Tigers (38-17 Overall, 12-12 SEC)

LSU (#19 last week) went on the road and lost two of three to South Carolina. All three games were decided by two runs or less. LSU’s offensive production was quite even as only two players (Emily Griggs and Amber Serrett) finished with multiple RBIs in the series. LSU opens with Missouri in the SEC Tournament.

Below is the Week Nine Power Rankings table:

RankTeamConf.Overall
Record
Conf.
Record
Last
Week's Ranking
1FloridaSEC50-520-31
2OklahomaBig 1247-817-13
3OregonPac-1244-614-68
4MinnesotaBig 1051-322-14
5Florida StateACC48-6-124-05
6ArizonaPac-1248-718-62
7TennesseeSEC44-916-79
8UCLAPac-1239-1313-812
9Texas A&MSEC42-916-76
10WashingtonPac-1240-1113-87
11AuburnSEC45-917-711
12LouisianaSun Belt42-623-113
13BaylorBig 1241-1113-514
14UtahPac-1233-1113-610
15James MadisonColonial47-618-215
16MichiganBig 1041-10-120-316
17Ole MissSEC36-1810-1417
18BYUWest Coast42-1012-020
19AlabamaSEC40-1512-1118
20LSUSEC38-1712-1219

Oregon and Minnesota Rise In Softball Polls Following Week 13

Oregon and Minnesota Rise In Softball Polls Following Week 13

The duo of Oregon and Minnesota enjoyed a boost in the NCAA Softball polls after week 13’s action. The pair still trail Florida, who is number one in both polls.

In the Coaches Poll, Florida took 22 of 32 first place votes as Minnesota (five first place votes) and Oregon (five first place votes) are close in tow. Florida State falls two spots to fourth after being swept by the Ducks and beating Florida. Arizona also drops two spots and round out the top five.

Oklahoma stays in place at sixth, Auburn is up two spots to seventh, and Washington falls one spot to eighth. Tennessee is up two places to ninth after taking two of three from Texas A&M and UCLA is also up two spots after defeating Arizona twice.

Texas A&M is down three spots to 11th, James Madison is up one place to 12th, and Utah is down three spots to 13th after losing two games against Oregon State. Louisiana-Lafayette is 14th and Alabama is 15th with those two teams switching places from last week.

Baylor (up one) is 16th, Michigan (up two) is 17th, and Kentucky (down two) is 18th. Ole Miss moves up two spots to 19th and BYU stays in place at 20th.

LSU falls three places to 21st, Arizona State stays at 22nd, and Marshall stays 23rd. The duo of South Carolina (24th) and Georgia (25th) round out the top 25 with both teams new to the poll this week. Arkansas and Tulsa both fell out of the Coaches Poll, which can be seen below.

RankSchool (1st place votes)PointsRecordLast Week's
Rank
1Florida (22)78250-51
2Minnesota (5)75451-34
3Oregon (5)74444-65
4Florida State69448-6-12
5Arizona67148-73
6Oklahoma64547-86
7Auburn57045-99
8Washington56440-117
9Tennessee54744-911
10UCLA52939-1312
11Texas A&M50542-98
12James Madison44047-613
13Utah41433-1110
14Louisiana37342-615
15Alabama33740-1514
16Baylor30641-1117
17Michigan27541-10-119
18Kentucky25335-1616
19Ole Miss23236-1821
20BYU21340-1020
21LSU19838-1718
22Arizona State11330-1722
23Marshall7440-823
24South Carolina5032-22Not
Ranked
25Georgia3033-21Not
Ranked

In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll, Florida is also #1 with 12 of the 20 first place votes. Oregon (up from fifth) is second in this poll with four first place votes while Minnesota (up one) is third with the final four first place votes. Florida State (fourth) and Arizona (fifth) both fall two spots.

Oklahoma is up one spot to sixth after sweeping Oklahoma State. Tennessee (seventh) and Auburn (eighth) move up two spots each as Washington falls one place to ninth. UCLA is up two spots to round out the top 10.

Texas A&M plummets five spots to 11th after losing two of three at home to Tennessee. The pair of Baylor and James Madison are up one spot to 12th and 13th respectively. Utah is down three places to 14th while Louisiana is up on place to 15th.

Alabama is down a spot to 16th, Michigan stays at 17th, Kentucky remains in 18th, Ole Miss is up two spots to 19th, and BYU stays at 20th. LSU is 21st (down two spots), Arizona State moves up a place to 22nd, and South Carolina enters the poll at 23rd.

The bottom of the poll sees a three way tie for 24th. Marshall, Ohio State, and Tulsa all received 27 points. Ohio State is the newcomer, replacing Illinois. The entire USA Softball Poll can be seen below.

RankSchool (1st place votes)PointsRecordLast Week's
Rank
1Florida (12)48750-51
2Oregon (4)46944-65
3Minnesota (4)45751-34
4Florida State43448-6-12
5Arizona42248-73
6Oklahoma39747-87
7Tennessee38044-99
8Auburn34545-910
9Washington34240-118
10UCLA33439-1312
11Texas A&M33342-96
12Baylor25241-1113
13James Madison25147-614
14Utah23733-1111
15Louisiana23042-616
16Alabama19940-1515
17Michigan18641-10-117
18Kentucky13435-1618
19Ole Miss13536-1821
20BYU13040-1020
21LSU10038-1719
22Arizona State6830-1723
23South Carolina3532-22Not
Ranked
T-24Marshall2740-825
T-24Ohio State2733-15Not
Ranked
T-24Tulsa2737-1524

With conference tournaments taking place this week, the NCAA Tournament is just over a week away.

Previous Polls

Below are the polls from earlier in the season.

Preseason Polls

After Week 1 Polls

After Week 2 Polls

After Week 3 Polls

After Week 4 Polls

After Week 5 Polls

After Week 6 Polls

After Week 7 Polls

After Week 8 Polls

After Week 9 Polls

After Week 10 Polls

After Week 11 Polls

After Week 12 Polls

Weekly Reviews

Week One Review

Week Two Review

Week Three Review

Week Four Review

Week Five Review

Week Six Review

Week Seven Review

Week Eight Review

Week Nine Review

Week Ten Review

Week Eleven Review

Week Twelve Review

Week Thirteen Review

2017 NCAA Division 1 Softball Conference Tournaments

2017 NCAA Division 1 Softball Conference Tournaments

The regular season is coming to a close for the 2017 College Softball season, but there is still a chance for teams to make the NCAA Softball Tournament with a win in the Conference Tournament. Below are the tournaments for all conferences in NCAA Division 1 Softball.

Four conferences do not have a post season tournament and instead will award their automatic bid to the regular season champion. Those four conferences are the Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12, and West Coast. The Big 12 opted to bring back their conference tournament after a six year hiatus.

The regular season champion is included below for each conference because there are several cases where the top seed in the conference is hosting the tournament. In all, there are 32 automatic bids handed out while another 32 at-large bids will be determined by the Softball Selection Committee.

ConferenceRegular
Season Champ
Tournament
Champ
DatesHost
American EastBinghamton*AlbanyMay 10 - 13Binghamton
AmericanTulsaTulsaMay 11 - 13East Carolina
ACCFlorida StateFlorida StateMay 11 - 13North Carolina
Atlantic 10FordhamFordhamMay 10 - 13George Mason
Atlantic SunUSC UpstateUSC UpstateMay 10 - 13Lipscomb
Big 12OklahomaOklahomaMay 12 - 13Neutral Site
Big EastSt. John'sDePaulMay 12 - 13DePaul
Big SkyWeber State*MontanaMay 11 - 13Weber State
Big SouthLibertyLongwoodMay 10 - 13Longwood
Big TenMinnesotaMinnesotaMay 11 - 13Michigan
Big WestCal State FullertonNo Post
Season
Tournament
ColonialJames Madison*James MadisonMay 10 - 12James Madison
C-USAMarshallLouisiana
Tech
May 10 - 13Southern Miss
HorizonIllinois-Chicago*Illinois-ChicagoMay 10 - 13UIC
IvyNorth:
Harvard
South: Princeton
PrincetonMay 6 - 7Princeton
Mid-AmericanCentral MichiganKent StateMay 10 - 13Akron
Metro AtlanticIona*FairfieldMay 10 - 13Iona
Mid-EasternNorth:
Hampton
South:
Florida A&M
Florida A&MMay 11 - 13Bethune-Cookman
Missouri ValleyNorthern IowaSouthern
Illinois
May 11 - 13Illinois State
Mountain WestSan Jose StateNo Post
Season
Tournament
NortheastSaint Francis*Saint FrancisMay 11 - 13Saint Francis
Ohio ValleyJacksonville
State
Jacksonville
State
May 10 - 13Neutral Site
Pac-12ArizonaNo Post
Season
Tournament
PatriotLehigh*LehighMay 11 - 13Lehigh
SECFloridaOle MissMay 10 - 13Tennessee
SouthernFurmanEast Tenn
State
May 10 - 13Chattanooga
SouthlandMcNeeseMcNeeseMay 10 - 12Central Arkansas
SWACEast:
Alcorn St
West:
Texas South.
Texas
Southern
May 10 - 13Alabama State
SummitIUPUINorth Dakota
State
May 10 - 13North Dakota State
Sun BeltLouisianaLouisianaMay 10 - 13Troy
WACNew Mexico
State
New Mexico
State
May 11 - 13New Mexico State
West CoastBYUNo Post
Season
Tournament

* Denotes Highest Seed Hosts Conference Tournament

One conference tournament that has already been decided was the Ivy League. Princeton defeated Harvard to win their second straight Ivy League Championship Series.

As the conference tournament champions are crowned, the table above will be filled out. The conference tournaments listed above will help determine the field for the 2017 NCAA Division 1 Softball tournament. We will find out which teams made the tournament on Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 10 PM Eastern Time on ESPN2 with the Selection Show.

The 2017 NCAA Softball Tournament will begin on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 16 campus sites with the Regional round. The Regional round is contested in a double elimination format with each Regional having four teams. The 16 teams who win their Regional will move on to the Super Regional where they will compete in a best-of-three series to be held between May 25 and May 28.

The 8 winners of the Super Regional round will move on to the 2017 Women’s College World Series to be played in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma starting on Thursday, June 1. The Championship Series will begin Monday, June 5 with a best-of-three format to determine the winner of the 2017 Women’s College World Series.

2017 College Softball Season: Week Thirteen Review

2017 College Softball Season: Week Thirteen Review

Week thirteen of the 2017 college softball season is over as is the regular season for most of the teams in the country. With conference tournaments starting this week, we take one final day-by-day look at the regular season action on the diamond.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#1 Florida and #2 Florida State met in Tallahassee with the Seminoles coming out on top in a great 11 inning battle. The Gators scored in the top of the first on Janell Wheaton’s single to left field. FSU tied the game in the bottom of the inning via Jessica Warren’s solo shot. The game remained tied at one until the bottom of the 11th inning when Korina Rosario led off with a triple and Alex Powers hit a two run walk off home run two batters later for 3-1 win. Kelly Barnhill suffered her first loss of the season after pitching 10 1/3 innings where she struck out 21.

Texas-San Antonio swept Texas Tech in a doubleheader with 3-2 and 6-3 victories. UTSA got out to a 2-0 lead before Texas Tech came back with solo shots in the fifth and seventh innings from Devon Thomey and Raina O’Neal to tie the game. In the ninth inning, Celeste Loughman delivered her only hit of the game, which brought home the winning run. The Roadrunners won the second game thanks to a two run shot by Loughman and three RBIs from Bailee Baldwin.

#6 Oklahoma won 3-0 over Oklahoma State to clinch their sixth straight Big 12 title. The Sooners did not score until the fourth inning on Macey Hatfield’s double field and then put up two more runs in the fifth on a single by Fale Aviu. Paige Parker went 5 1/3 innings allowing two walks and four hits with 8 strikeouts while Paige Lowary got her fifth save of the season with 1 2/3 perfect innings.

#7 Washington won 3-1 over Seattle as Morganne Flores hit a three run home run in the third inning. Seattle got one run back in the fourth inning, but Samantha Manti shut the door on them with 3 2/3 perfect innings as she struck out five.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Florida Gulf Coast split a doubleheader against Lipscomb. Game one was a 10-2 Lipscomb win as Destinee Brewer, Caitlin Plocheck, and Hannah Devault all recorded 2 RBIs. Game two was a 3-2 win for FGCU as they needed extra innings to get there. The Eagles led 2-0, but Chloe Yeager tied the game with a two run shot. Florida Gulf Coast won in the ninth inning on a single to left field from Bri Innamorato.

New Mexico State won 5-4 over Florida Atlantic. FAU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first before Nikki Butler hit a two run home run for the Aggies. Florida Atlantic took a 4-2 lead in the top of the fourth thanks to three runs, but NMSU tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Victoria Castro’s two run home run. Kelsey Horton drove home the eventual game winning run in the bottom of the fifth.

Army posted two big wins over Siena on the road. Katie Ontiveros recorded 3 RBIs as Lacey Swafford and Sam Hartman both had 2 RBIs. Caroline Smith threw five innings of four hit ball in the 10-1 win. Game two saw Kristen West throw a one hitter in an 8-0 win. Alee Rashenskas and Amelia Trotter had 2 RBIs apiece while Gladys Esparza-Gallegos went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI.

Furman won a pair of games over Chattanooga to take the series over the Mocs. Game one was a defensive battle with Chattanooga taking a 1-0 lead on Aly Walker’s solo shot. The Paladins came back in the fifth to score two runs on Casey Bingham’s two run single as Lindsey Bert threw a complete game allowing two hits with 11 strikeouts in the 2-1 win. Game two saw Furman take a 4-0 lead with four different batters recording an RBI. Emily Demonte got the win, her 10th of the season, and Bert came on for the save.

Friday, May 5, 2017

South Carolina defeated #18 LSU thanks to a four run fifth inning. LSU took a 3-0 lead in the fourth as Emily Griggs hit a two run single. Alyssa VanDerveer brought one run home for South Carolina before they put up four in the fifth. Victoria Williams hit a two run double to make it 5-3 before LSU scored a run in the seventh, but it was not enough as South Carolina won 5-4.

#21 Ole Miss had a pair of three run innings as they shut out Missouri 6-0. The Rebels were had just two baserunners in the first four innings, but broke through in the fifth and sixth innings with three runs apiece. Five different hitters recorded an RBI with Courtney Syrett recording two. Kaitlin Lee went the distance allowing one walk and four hits while striking out two.

#9 Auburn and #14 Alabama needed 9 innings to decide a winner with the Tigers coming out on top 3-0. In the ninth inning, Auburn scored on an errant throw and then tripled the lead on Kendall Veach’s two run double to left field. Kaylee Carlson went all 9 innings allowing three walks and five hits while striking out three. Auburn drew 12 walks led by Kasey Cooper’s three and a total of eight different batters drawing at least one.

Oregon State delivered a shock 5-0 shutout of #10 Utah. Oregon State started the scoring in the second inning on a single by Kayleen Shafer before a 4 run burst in the fifth inning put them well in front. Alysha Everett doubled home two runs and Lovie Lopez also had an RBI double. Taylor Cotton went the distance allowing only one hit and five walks.

#12 UCLA posted a run rule victory over #3 Arizona. The first two innings were quiet, but they gave way to a lively final three innings. Kylee Perez opened the scoring with an RBI double and Brianna Tautalafua brought home two more runs on a double. A run in the fourth made it 4-0 before Madeline Jelenicki brought home another with a single in the fifth. The game ended with Bubba Nickles hitting a three run home run in the fifth for an 8-0  UCLA victory.

#4 Minnesota clinched a share of the Big 10 Regular Season title with a crushing 11-1 win over Penn State. The Gophers scored 6 runs in the first two innings and cruised the rest of the way. Both Kendyl Lindaman and Maddie Houlihan recorded 3 RBIs as Sara Groenewegen allowed one hit and two walks with 12 strikeouts over 6 innings.

Fresno State had a strong 5-0 win over New Mexico to keep a few streaks alive. Kierra Willis went 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs with one in both the fourth and fifth innings as Lindsey Willmon had a 2 for 3 day with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Kamalani Dung went seven innings, allowed three hits, and struck out 7 batters. The win gave Fresno State their 30th of the season, which marks their 36th straight season with at least 30 wins. It also kept their Mountain West title hopes alive.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A day after clinching a share of the Big 10 title, #4 Minnesota won it outright with a 14-1 victory over Penn State. Six first inning runs propelled the Gophers to the victory as Dani Wagner went 3 for 3 with 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored. The duo of Sara Groenewegen and Allie Arneson had 2 RBIs and Minnesota reached 50 wins for the first time in program history.

The Big 10’s second place team, #19 Michigan, blew the doors off Rutgers with 6-1 and 19-1 wins. The Wolverines put the 25 runs on 34 hits led by Aidan Falk’s 4 for 7 day with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored and Katie Alexander going 2 for 3 with 5 RBIs and 2 runs scored in the second game. Tera Blanco had 4 RBIs on the day while picking up the win in game two.

Oregon State upset #10 Utah for the second consecutive day. Utah led 1-0 after five following BreOnna Castaneda’s solo home run. The Beavers tied the game in the sixth on an error and then took the lead via a two run infield single by Shelby Weeks. Taylor Cotton went all seven innings allowing one run on two hits and five walks as Oregon State won 3-1.

#5 Oregon defeated #2 Florida State twice in a doubleheader in Eugene. Game one was an 11-0 win as the Ducks got to Meghan King early and knocked hour in the third inning. Oregon scored five runs apiece in the third and fourth innings with equal production across the lineup with seven different batters recording an RBI.

Game two was much more competitive as FSU took a lead early in the contest on Carsyn Gordon’s RBI single. Jessica Burroughs held Oregon scoreless until the sixth inning when the Ducks scored quickly. Mia Camuso tied the game with a double and Jenna Lilley made it 2-1 on a single. They added a third run and Maggie Balint set the Seminoles down in order in the top of the seventh.

Stanford defeated #7 Washington handily with Kiana Pancino throwing a one hitter. The Cardinal were led by Whitney Burks 2 for 4 day with 4 RBIs and Kristina Inouye going 4 for 4 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored.

#12 UCLA shut out #3 Arizona for the second straight day. Madeline Jelenicki opened the scoring with a three run shot in the bottom of the first and Kylee Perez added a two run shot in the fifth. Jelenicki drove home a fourth run on a sacrifice fly as Selina Ta’amilo improved to 13-0 after allowing 3 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

#9 Auburn took their first series ever in Tuscaloosa as they defeated #14 Alabama 4-1. The game was scoreless until the fifth when Carlee Wallace walked with the bases loaded. Alyssa Rivera cleared the bases with a 3 run double while the Tide were able to only get one back in the sixth.

#6 Oklahoma finished off the regular season in style with a combined no-hitter from Nicole Mendes and Paige Lowary. The Sooners only scored one run, a solo shot by Mendes in the sixth inning. Lowary ended up with the win after pitching 4 1/3 innings of relief to improve to 13-2.

Northern Iowa played two against Illinois State and took both contests to close the gap in the Missouri Valley to one game between the teams. The Panthers outscored the Redbirds 19-3 over the two games with Kennedy Bailey hitting a grand slam and three run home run in the first game. Macey Wolfe (3 RBIs), Ashley Chesser (2 RBIs), and Sammy Bunch (2 RBIs) led the offense in the second game with multiple RBIs.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Despite missing out on the Big 10 regular season title, #19 Michigan ended the regular season with a dominant 20-0 win over Rutgers for the sweep. The offense was on fire getting 19 hits and 7 different batters recording multiple RBIs. The duo of Megan Betsa and Tera Blanco combined to throw a no-hitter with each allowing one walk.

Fordham destroyed La Salle 12-1 in five innings to clinch their fifth straight Atlantic 10 title. The Rams took a 3-0 lead after two innings and led 3-1 after three before their 8 run outburst in the fourth. Chelsea Skrepenak went 2 for 3 with 5 RBIs including a grand slam in the fourth inning.

Northern Iowa, needing a sweep of Illinois State on the road to win the Missouri Valley title, won 8-2 over the Redbirds to win their first title since 2012. The Panthers led 3-0 after the top of the second and never looked back. Sammey Bunch had 3 RBIs and Bailey Lange had 2 RBIs. UNI is rewarded with the #1 seed in the MVC Tournament, which will be right back in Normal, Illinois, home of the Illinois State Redbirds.

#11 Tennessee won 8-6 over #8 Texas A&M to take the series after falling in game one. The game went back and forth with Tennessee leading 1-0 in the top of the first, the Aggies took a 2-1 lead on Tori Vidales in the bottom of the first, and Meghan Gregg gave it back to the Vols in second on a grand slam.

Vidales hit another home run in the third and the Vols expanded the lead to 8-3 after six. It was Vidales again in the bottom of the seventh that closed the deficit to 8-6 on her third home run of the game, but the Aggies were unable to score again. Vidales went 3 for 4 with 6 RBIs and 3 runs scored and Meghan Gregg went 2 for 4 with 5 RBIs for the Vols.

#14 Alabama defeated #9 Auburn to prevent a sweep in the regular season finale for both squads. Auburn loaded the bases in both the first and second innings, yet came away with zero to show for it. Haley Fagan broke through for the Tigers with a solo home run in the top of the third before the Tide hit back for three in the bottom half. Gabby Callaway brought a run home on a single and Marisa Runyon doubled home two runs in back-to-back at bats. Fagan closed the gap to 3-2 with another solo shot in the fifth.

#3 Arizona won 7-2 over #12 UCLA as they clinched the Pac-12 Regular Season title and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats put up four in the top of the first via Jessie Harper’s grand slam and then added three more in the third. The Bruins were able to scratch up two runs and Danielle O’Toole threw the complete game.

#5 Oregon swept #2 Florida State with a walk off 2-1 win. The Ducks and Seminoles were tied at one going into the bottom of the ninth where Danica Mercado led off with a double. Two batters later, Gwen Svekis brought Mercado home on a sacrifice fly.

Previous Weekly Reviews

Week One Review

Week Two Review

Week Three Review

Week Four Review

Week Five Review

Week Six Review

Week Seven Review

Week Eight Review

Week Nine Review

Week Ten Review

Week Eleven Review

Week Twelve Review

2017 College Softball Power Rankings: Eighth Edition

Kendyl Lindaman has been fantastic for Minnesota, which is also having a stellar season. (Photo courtesy of GopherSports.com)

2017 College Softball Power Rankings: Eighth Edition

With April officially over, we are closing in fast on conference tournaments as well as the NCAA tournament. Week twelve had few surprises and we take a look at the top 16 teams in our power rankings as well as the next four teams.

We will start by providing last week’s rankings below. Please note the records in the table below are as of April 25.

Few Changes In NCAA Softball Polls Following Week 12

Few Changes In NCAA Softball Polls Following Week 12

The twelfth week of games in the 2017 NCAA Softball season produced few upsets. As such, there were not a lot of changes in the polls with Florida continuing to be the top team in both polls.

In the Coaches Poll, the top four teams remained the same with Florida taking 18 of the 32 first place votes. Florida State is second with 11 first place votes, Arizona is third with one first place vote, and Minnesota is fourth with two first place votes. Oregon moves back into the top five after sweeping Oregon State.

Oklahoma and Washington both moved up a spot to sixth and seventh respectively. Texas A&M lost twice to Kentucky and subsequently fall three spots to eighth. Auburn and Utah remain in place at ninth and tenth respectively.

Tennessee (11th) and UCLA (12th) also did not move in the polls as James Madison (13th) and Alabama (14th) swap spots from last week. In 15th is Louisiana-Lafayette, which moved up a spot after clinching the Sun Belt regular season title.

Kentucky is up two spots to 16th, Baylor is down two places to 17th, LSU is up one spot to 18th, Michigan stays at 19th, and BYU moves up a place to 20th.

Ole Miss fell one spot to 21st despite taking two of three from Alabama. Arizona State is up one spot to 22nd, Marshall is up two places to 23rd, and Arkansas stays at 24th. A new entrant, Tulsa, moves into the final spot as Georgia falls out of the top 25. The entire Coaches Poll can be seen below.

RankSchool (1st place votes)PointsRecordLast Week's
Rank
1Florida (18)78346-41
2Florida State (11)77547-3-12
3Arizona (1)72347-53
4Minnesota (2)71148-34
5Oregon66141-66
6Oklahoma62444-87
7Washington58937-108
8Texas A&M58741-75
9Auburn54743-89
10Utah50330-910
11Tennessee49042-811
12UCLA44737-1212
13James Madison39844-614
14Alabama37839-1213
15Louisiana33036-616
16Kentucky31934-1418
17Baylor31339-1015
18LSU26937-1517
19Michigan22737-10-119
20BYU17736-1021
21Ole Miss17333-1720
22Arizona State9928-1623
23Marshall6838-725
24Arkansas4530-1824
25Tulsa3736-13Not
Ranked

In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll, Florida retains the top spot with 13 of the 20 first place votes. Florida State moves up one place with four first place votes, Arizona falls one spot to third, and Minnesota is up a spot to fourth taking the final three first place votes. Rounding out the top five is Oregon, which moved up one spot.

Texas A&M falls two spots to sixth and Oklahoma remains seventh. Washington (8th) and Tennessee (9th) switch spots with Auburn staying in tenth. 11 through 13 remain the same from last week with Utah, UCLA, and Baylor. James Madison (14th) and Alabama (15th) swap places.

Louisiana and Michigan stay at 16th and 17th respectively as Kentucky moved up a notch to 18th. LSU falls one spot to 19th and BYU did not change at 20th. Ole Miss, Illinois, and Arizona State all stay the same from last week in 21st, 22nd, and 23rd respectively.

Two new teams emerge in the USA Softball Poll with Tulsa 24th and Marshall 25th. They replace California and Georgia from last week’s rankings. The entire USA Softball Poll can be seen below.

RankSchool (1st place votes)PointsRecordLast Week's
Rank
1Florida (13)48946-41
2Florida State (4)47647-3-13
3Arizona46247-52
4Minnesota (3)44448-35
5Oregon40641-66
6Texas A&M38441-74
7Oklahoma38144-87
8Washington36137-109
9Tennessee35442-88
10Auburn33043-810
11Utah29530-911
12UCLA27337-1212
13Baylor23739-1013
14James Madison22344-615
15Alabama21439-1214
16Louisiana21239-616
17Michigan17637-10-117
18Kentucky17534-1419
19LSU14737-1518
20BYU11636-1020
21Ole Miss10333-1721
22Illinois7135-1222
23Arizona State5028-1623
24Tulsa3636-13Not
Ranked
25Marshall1438-7Not
Ranked

Previous Polls

Below are the polls from earlier in the season.

Preseason Polls

After Week 1 Polls

After Week 2 Polls

After Week 3 Polls

After Week 4 Polls

After Week 5 Polls

After Week 6 Polls

After Week 7 Polls

After Week 8 Polls

After Week 9 Polls

After Week 10 Polls

After Week 11 Polls

Weekly Reviews

Week One Review

Week Two Review

Week Three Review

Week Four Review

Week Five Review

Week Six Review

Week Seven Review

Week Eight Review

Week Nine Review

Week Ten Review

Week Eleven Review

Week Twelve Review

2017 College Softball Season: Week Twelve Review

2017 College Softball Season: Week Twelve Review

Week twelve of the 2017 college softball season is over and the same goes for April. As the season goes into the month of May, conference tournaments are coming fast as is the NCAA Tournament. We take a day-by-day look at all the wonderful action on the diamond.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#14 James Madison won a doubleheader over ACC opponent North Carolina. The opener was a close fought game as Megan Good started the scoring with a solo shot in the first inning. Kendra Lynch answered for North Carolina in the bottom of the frame. The Tar Heels added one run in the second and third inning to take a 3-1 lead. The Dukes rallied in the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead on a two run single by Morgan Tolle. The Dukes went on to win the game 4-3 with Good moving to 29-1.

Game two was far easier for James Madison in an 8-0 win. Madyson Moran hit a solo home run, Taylor Newton had a two run home run, and Madison Naujokas drove in three runs. Odicci Alexander threw a complete game shutout allowing only one walk and two hits with five strikeouts.

#4 Minnesota won a pair of games over North Dakota State at home. The first game was a 3-1 win with Sara Groenewegen throwing a complete game allowing two walks and five hits while striking out 12. Maddie Houlihan drove in two runs while Allie Arneson drove in the other run. Game two was a 6-0 shutout as Amber Fiser allowed five hits and struck out 9. Kendyl Lindaman went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and 2 RBIs. Lindaman has already hit 16 home runs as a freshman, which is a school record in a season.

The rest of the Big 10 did not fare so well as Penn State dropped a doubleheader to Saint Francis and Michigan State lost to Central Michigan. Saint Francis, a good team from the Northeast Conference, threw back-to-back one hitters against the Nittany Lions. Ethel Santai threw the first allowing four walks and striking out five while Ketarah DeVries threw the second allowing two walks and striking out 10. Central Michigan was able to defeat Michigan State 6-2 on a walk off grand slam by Erika Underwood. Both teams had plenty of hits, but it was the Chippewas who made the most of theirs.

#20 Ole Miss was able to fend off a tough opponent in Jacksonville State. Kaitlin Lee threw seven strong innings giving up two walks and six hits, but only one run. Stephanie Lewis drove home the game’s opening run in the first inning for JSU and Sarah Van Schaik tied the game in bottom of the third for the Rebels. It was Miranda Strother who ended the game with a walk off home run in seventh for the 2-1 win.

#12 UCLA defeated Cal State-Northridge 5-0 though the game was still in the balance going to the seventh. The Bruins put across four runs in the seventh led by Madeline Jelenicki’s two run double. Selina Ta’amilo threw 5 2/3 innings allowing one walk and three hits while striking out 8. Fellow Pac-12 school California overcame an early 3-0 deficit to get past UC-Davis, 6-4. Jazmyn Jackson, Kobie Pettis, Bradie Fillmore, and Krysten McCue each drove in a run for the Bears.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

It was a light day of action with no big name schools playing. However, there were still some noteworthy games. South Dakota and Creighton had a fun game in Nebraska with South Dakota winning 13-10. The game was tied 1-1 after one inning when the Coyotes put up 7 runs in the top of the second. Emily Winckler hit a grand slam in the frame to give them a nice lead, which they would not relinquish. Creighton’s Anna O’Gorman hit a three run home run in the third, but the Coyotes responded with three runs of their own in the fourth to make it an 11-4 game.

Sam Crowley hit a two run home run to cut the deficit to five runs at 11-6, but South Dakota’s Jamie Holscher restored the seven run lead in the seventh with a two run double. Creighton made one final push in the bottom of the seventh on a pair of two run home runs by Sam Dellinger and Jayci McGill, but it was not enough.

Norfolk State and Coppin State split a doubleheader with each game ending 5-4. Coppin State took the opener thanks to a walk off solo shot by Nicole Ullman in the seventh inning after Norfolk State rallied from a 4-1 deficit. Game two saw Norfolk State get an early 3-0 lead and then lose it by the third inning. Meaghan Barfield’s two run home run in the fifth inning was the eventual game winner.

Saint Joseph’s took a doubleheader over La Salle thanks to a pair of great pitching performances. Game one was nearly perfect as Ashley Ventura tossed a no-hitter allowing only one walk. Kaylyn Zierke went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBIs in the 9-0 win. Game two saw the Hawks throw a combined two hitter in a 1-0 win. Ventura picked up the save tossing three innings of one hit ball while Stacey Mayer drove home the game’s lone run in the top of the first with Amanda Kulp scoring the run.

South Florida swept Florida Gulf Coast in a doubleheader between the teams. The Bulls held on for a 1-0 victory in the first game as Astin Donovan drove home only run in the fifth inning. Hannah Parker went 6 innings allowing one walk and four hits to win her 10th game of the year. Game two was close until the fifth inning. FGCU led 2-1 going in the bottom of the inning, but six runs by USF and two more in the sixth made it a 9-2 final. Six different Bulls had an RBI led by Kassandra Moeller’s 2 RBI game and Donovan went 3 for 3 with two runs scored.

Friday, April 28, 2017

#2 Florida State got a fantastic game from Meghan King as they won 3-0 over North Carolina. King threw the complete game shutout allowing only one hit and two walks while striking out 8 Tar Heels. The Seminoles did not score until the fifth inning when Cassidy Davis had an RBI groundout and Zoe Casas had a sacrifice bunt. Florida State added another run in the sixth.

#15 Baylor was able to start fast in both games of a doubleheader versus Oklahoma State to sweep the Cowgirls. In the opener, Baylor scored three runs in the bottom of the first thanks to a single from Shelby Friudenberg as well as a passed ball and wild pitch by Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls got a run back in the third on a double by Vanessa Shippy, but Baylor responded with runs in the fourth and fifth innings for a 5-1 win. Kelsee Selman threw a complete game allowing seven hits and striking out seven.

Game two started with Baylor scoring two runs in the first inning courtesy of Ari Hawkins’ single. She was not done with the offense as she hit a two run home run in the third as part of a five run inning. The Cowgirls were able to get three runs in the seventh, but the deficit was too large to overcome and Baylor won 7-3.

#19 Michigan took a pair of games from Indiana at home. The Wolverines jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opener and never looked back. Megan Betsa threw the complete game allowing one run on five hits with 8 strikeouts as Michigan won 7-1. Game two was far closer as Indiana took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Bella Norton double. Michigan tied the game in the fifth inning on Alex Sobczak’s solo shot and then took the lead the next inning on a solo shot by Aidan Falk. Tera Blanco went six innings allowing the one run on seven hits while Betsa came in for the save and struck out two of the three batters faced to preserve the 2-1 win.

The Pac-12 saw the favorites win on Friday. #8 Washington won 4-0 over California thanks to Taran Alvelo’s four hitter and Taylor Van Zee’s 3 RBIs. #3 Arizona defeated #23 Arizona State 4-3 as Jessie Harper went 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs and Danielle O’Toole earned her 25th win of the season. #6 Oregon crushed Oregon State 8-0 in five innings Mia Camuso hitting a walk off grand slam and Megan Kleist allowing only three hits.

Finally, #12 UCLA got past Stanford 13-8 after an offensive explosion of hits. Kylee Perez went 5 for 6 with 4 runs scored, Madeline Jelenicki went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 5 RBIs, Rachel Garcia went 4 for 5 with 3 RBIs, and four others recorded 2 hits apiece. All nine starters recorded a hit as the Bruins recorded 21 hits in total.

#1 Florida started their series at #11 Tennessee with a convincing 5-0 win. Kelly Barnhill allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out 12 in the complete game. Kayli Kvistad started and ended the scoring for the Gators with solo home runs in the first and fifth innings. It was Amanda Lorenz who provided the other three runs, two on a triple and she scored another on a wild pitch.

#17 LSU came back from a small first inning deficit to defeat Missouri 3-2. Missouri scored two in the top of the first while LSU eventually answered with two in the third inning. Sahvanna Jaquish tied the game on a two run shot while pitcher Allie Walljasper provided the go-ahead and eventual winning run in the fourth. She hit a single up the middle that scored Shemiah Sanchez and she also went on to win her 13th game of the season.

Lamar posted a doubleheader sweep of Incarnate Word, but the first game was the noteworthy one. Lamar led 7-3 after five innings, but blew the game open in the sixth. In that frame, Lamar scored 15 runs on 13 hits as Ashley McDowell was responsible for 5 RBIs including a grand slam. McDowell finished with 6 RBIs, Brittany Rodriguez went 5 for 6 with 3 runs scored and 5 RBIs, and the team totaled the 22 runs on 19 hits. Eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit and seven recorded multiple hits. Game two was more of the same as Lamar recorded 8 runs on 12 hits. Both Brynn Baca and Shelby Henderson recorded 3 RBIs in the 8-4 win.

#21 BYU made quick work of San Diego over two games with both contests ending after five innings. The Cougars won 9-0 and 10-1 as Rylee Jensen drove home five runs in game one and Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge did the same in game two. BYU has won 14 games in a row since three straight losses to UCLA and Oregon in late March.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

#1 Florida had another dominant victory over #11 Tennessee as Delanie Gourley allowed only three hits in the 9-0 win. Amanda Lorenz went 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored while Kayli Kvistad and Aleshia Ocasio both drove in 2 RBIs. The win, coupled with Texas A&M‘s loss, gave Florida their third straight SEC Regular Season title.

Speaking of the fifth ranked Aggies, they lost 7-2 to Kentucky. They lead 2-0 after the third inning courtesy of a two run single by Riley Sartain. The Wildcats scored three in the fifth on a single by Bailey Vick and a two run single by Breanne Ray. The sixth inning put the game well into Kentucky’s hands as they scored four runs in five at bats.

#13 Alabama split a doubleheader versus #20 Ole Miss with both games featuring little scoring. The opener was scoreless until the sixth inning when Marisa Runyon and Bailey Hemphill both drove home runs. Alexis Osorio allowed one hit and five walks, but threw the complete game shutout with 9 strikeouts. The Tide won the game 2-0.

The second game started with the Tide scoring in the top of the first as Runyon brought home Elissa Brown. Alabama held that 1-0 advantage until the seventh inning. The Rebels had two on and one out when Brittany Finney hit a double to left to tie the game. After a walk, Kylan Becker came up and hit the ball to second. The Tide went for the out at home, but Grayce Majam slide in for the game-winning run. Ole Miss won 2-1 as Finney threw a complete game allowing three hits.

Oklahoma State won 9-4 over #15 Baylor to prevent a sweep. The Bears scored in the first, but the Cowgirls put up four runs in the second. Baylor tied the game in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by Ari Hawkins and a two run double by Shelby Friudenberg. Oklahoma State took the lead for good in the fifth on a two run double by Hayleigh Galvan. The win puts Oklahoma State one game ahead of Baylor in second place in the Big 12.

The race for second in the ACC is still on between North Carolina, Boston College, and Louisville.  The Tar Heels suffered an 8-1 loss at #2 Florida State as Jessica Warren went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs and Meghan King allowed one run on two hits. Boston College lost 4-1 to North Carolina State with Peyton Silverman allowing the one run on four hits with five strikeouts. Louisville destroyed Virginia 11-3 with seven different Cardinals recording an RBI. All nine batters recorded at least one hit and each scored at least one run.

#4 Minnesota completed a sweep of Purdue to  move very close to the Big 10’s regular season crown. Game one was a 9-1 blowout with Kendyl Lindaman driving home four runs and Sara Groenewegen striking out 10 over 5 1/3 innings. The Gophers posted another blowout in the second game 12-2 with three players accounting for all 12 RBIs. Sydney Dwyer had 5 RBIs, Sam Macken had 4 RBIs, and Lindaman had 3 RBIs. Lindaman had two home runs while Macken and Dwyer both had one. The Gophers have a 2 game lead over Michigan going into the final weekend.

The Pac-12 results were nearly identical to Friday as #8 Washington won 4-2 over California, #12 UCLA won 6-5 over Stanford, and #6 Oregon won 7-2 over Oregon State. The only difference was #23 Arizona State overcoming #3 Arizona.

The Sun Devils took a 1-0 lead in the second on Ulufa Leilua’s solo shot. They poured in more runs in the fourth on a two run triple by Nichole Chilson and an error by Arizona. The lead went up to 5-0 on Marisa Stankiewicz’s solo home run down the left field line in the sixth inning. Arizona clawed two back in the bottom of the sixth on Katiyana Mauga’s two run home run, but could not score any in the seventh with two runners on base. Giselle Juarez threw a complete game giving up one walk and six hits while striking out seven in the 5-2 victory.

Illinois State decimated Evansville twice on the day outscoring them by over the two games 28-1. Game one was an 18-0 win led by Caitlyn Daly’s 3 for 3 game with all three hits going for home runs and 7 RBIs. Jordan de los Reyes went 3 for 3 with 5 RBIs and Sarah Finck threw a one-hitter to improve to 21-8. Game two was a 10-1 with Reyes hitting 2 home runs and recording 5 RBIs. Allison Spence had 4 RBIs and the Redbirds continue to maintain their lead in the Missouri Valley.

Kent State swept a doubleheader winning 21-1 combined over Buffalo in two games. Holly Speers went 4 for 5 with 6 runs scored, two walks, and 4 RBIs on the day. The Golden Flashes totaled 27 hits over the two games, but it was the second game that saw Ronnie Ladines throw a perfect game. She had four strikeouts in the five inning game.

UNC Greensboro won their two games over Chattanooga 25-7. Game one, a 10-0 final, was highlighted by Alicia Bazonski’s three hitter and multiple RBIs from Gabrielle Cubbage, Sidney Grkman, and Rachael McClaskey. Game two saw McClaskey go 4 for 4 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored and Marisa Sholtes go 2 for 3 with 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored in 15-7 win.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

#11 Tennessee was able to stave off a sweep by #1 Florida with a 5-1 win. The Gators took a 1-0 lead in the second on a solo shot by Jordan Roberts, but they struggled to find more hits beyond that point. The Vols took the lead in the bottom of the fifth on Megan Geer’s grand slam as Caylan Arnold stifled the Gator batters. Arnold got the win after throwing five inning giving up one hit and two walks with 5 strikeouts.

#5 Texas A&M dropped a second straight game and the series to #18 Kentucky. The Wildcats took a 3-0 in the bottom of the first via singles from Bailey Vick, Alex Martens, and Rachael Metzger. The Aggies tied the game in the third on a three run shot by Samantha Show and Kentucky reclaimed the lead at 4-3 after an RBI groundout by Brooklin Hinz in the fifth. Jenny Schaper led off the sixth inning with a solo shot for Kentucky and Breanne Ray brought home two more runs on a single as the Wildcats went on to win 7-4.

#7 Oklahoma finished off a sweep of Texas Tech in style as they won 14-3 in five innings. Shay Knighten hit two home runs as she went 2 for 4 with 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Nicole Pendley also hit a home run and she went 2 for 3 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored.

The Pac-12 saw the sweeps of #8 Washington over California after a 3-2 win, #12 UCLA over Stanford after an 8-1 game, and #6 Oregon over Oregon State after the Ducks won 7-0.

Marshall improved to 18-3 in Conference USA with a 2-0 win over Middle Tennessee. Jordan Dixon threw the complete game allowing one walk and two hits while striking out six. The RBIs came from Morgan Zerkle and Shaelynn Braxton as the Herd swept the series.

#16 Louisiana-Lafayette scored five runs in the first inning as they swept Coastal Carolina and also claimed the Sun Belt regular season title in the process. Corin Voinche had a three run triple in the first inning and finished with 4 RBIs while Lexie Comeaux had 2 RBIs in the 8-0 win. Alex Stewart had a pitching gem allowing only one hit and striking out 10.

The Mountain West remains open for the taking as five teams are still alive to win the regular season title. For this conference, that is the Holy Grail as there is no conference tournament. Utah State, San José State, Fresno State, San Diego State, and Nevada all have a chance to win the title. Fresno State is the two-time defending champions and they swept UNLV to keep their slim hopes alive.

UNLV took a 3-0 lead in the third inning on RBIs from Janine Petmecky, Alyssa Navaro, and Justine Federe. The Bulldogs pulled one back on solo shot by Savannah Mchellon before needing a last inning rally to win. Miranda Rohleder tied the game on a two run double and Morgan Howe brought home the go ahead run to make it 4-3. Kamalani Dung had a wonderful weekend going 3-0 in 23 innings of work.

Previous Weekly Reviews

Week One Review

Week Two Review

Week Three Review

Week Four Review

Week Five Review

Week Six Review

Week Seven Review

Week Eight Review

Week Nine Review

Week Ten Review

Week Eleven Review

2017 College Softball Power Rankings: Seventh Edition

Kelly Barnhill and the Florida Gators had a dominant weekend showing against Ole Miss. Barnhill had 25 strikeouts in two wins over the Rebels. (Photo courtesy of SECSports.com)

2017 College Softball Power Rankings: Seventh Edition

The eleventh week of the NCAA softball season is in the books and there was not nearly as much turmoil as last week when it felt as if every top 25 team suffered a loss. Below we list the top 16 teams along with the next four teams.

We will start by providing last week’s rankings below. Please note the records in the table below are as of April 18.

RankTeamConf.Overall
Record
Conf.
Record
Last
Week's Ranking
1FloridaSEC40-315-21
2Texas A&MSEC37-411-34
3ArizonaPac-1243-313-22
4OklahomaBig 1239-79-08
5MinnesotaBig 1038-311-19
6Florida StateACC41-3-118-03
7OregonPac-1237-410-46
8UtahPac-1228-810-310
9AuburnSEC36-710-57
10TennesseeSEC39-511-314
11WashingtonPac-1231-108-715
12UCLAPac-1230-125-75
13BaylorBig 1235-78-111
14LouisianaSun Belt32-614-113
15AlabamaSEC36-910-712
16James MadisonColonial37-610-218
17Ole MissSEC31-136-919
18LSUSEC33-128-716
19MichiganBig 1032-9-112-217
20Jacksonville
State
Ohio Valley32-911-120

Below are the previous editions of our Power Rankings.

First Edition (March 15)

Second Edition (March 22)

Third Edition (March 29)

Fourth Edition (April 5)

Fifth Edition (April 12)

Sixth Edition (April 19)

Below is the seventh edition of our 2017 power rankings. Please note the records listed are through games as of April 25.

#1 – Florida Gators (44-3 Overall, 18-2 SEC)

Florida (#1 last week) had a dominating week going 4-0 and allowing just one run and 11 hits in those four games. They defeated Central Florida on Wednesday and Ole Miss over the weekend. The pitchers were on top of their game led by Kelly Barnhill. She won on Friday and Sunday allowing four hits and striking out 25! Barnhill is now 20-0 and is a strikeout machine with 230 as of this posting. She has 11 games with double digit strikeouts totals.

The Gators are a scary team especially if this past week is replicated over the next six weeks. They face a tough test over the weekend on the road in Tennessee.

#2 – Arizona Wildcats (45-4 Overall, 15-3 Pac-12)

Arizona (#3 last week) reclaims second place here after taking two of three against Oregon. They opened the series with a close 2-0 win led by Danielle O’Toole’s complete game five hitter. The second game was far different as Arizona won 10-7 and Katiyana Mauga went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs. The Wildcats dropped the third game, a 4-3 decision, after giving up two solo shots in the sixth inning. It was an impressive showing in a battle of two of the top Pac-12 squads. Arizona will stay at home and welcome Arizona State this weekend.

#3 – Texas A&M Aggies (40-5 Overall, 14-3 SEC)

The Aggies (#2 last week) started the week with an 11-9 loss at home to Louisiana-Lafayette. They fell behind 11-2 after three innings, but made a furious rally that came up just short. They finished the weekend with a sweep of Georgia. The final two games showcased their strong pitching as they won 1-0 and 2-0.  Texas A&M faces Kentucky on the road over the weekend.

#4 – Oklahoma Sooners (41-8 Overall, 11-1 Big 12)

Oklahoma (#4 last week) went 2-1 as they played Baylor in a three game set. The first two games were decided by one run with the teams splitting those. The first game was scoreless until the eighth inning when both teams scored. Fale Aviu doubled home the tying and winning runs in the ninth for the 3-2 win. The second game was Baylor’s 4-3 win as they got to Paige Lowary and knocked her out of the game after 2 1/3 innings. The Sooners rallied from a 4-0 deficit, but came up short.

The final game was a 6-0 win that was a 5-0 contest after two innings. The Sooners cruised to the victory and a tie atop the Big 12 standings. Oklahoma will be traveling to Texas Tech for a three game series this weekend.

#5 – Minnesota Golden Gophers (43-3 Overall, 16-1 Big 10)

Minnesota (#5 last week) went 5-0, all in Big 10 play. The Gophers allowed just two runs in those games while scoring 35. Sara Groenewegen went 3-0 over the week pitching 25 innings allowing no runs, 14 hits, and striking out 35 batters. As she goes, so do the Gophers and right now she is doing very well in the circle. Minnesota plays North Dakota State in a doubleheader on Wednesday and then welcomes Purdue to Jane Sage Cowles Stadium over the weekend.

#6 – Florida State Seminoles (44-3-1 Overall, 21-0 ACC)

Florida State (#6 last week) had a successful weekend sweeping Louisville while also clinching the ACC Regular Season title. The first game was an 11-0 crushing of the Cardinals, which clinched the ACC title. The final two games were much closer and the Seminoles were able to pull out both wins. They won 4-3 in 10 innings on Sunday and 5-4 on Monday.

Florida State has easily been the best team in the ACC from the start of the season. They have been rewarded with the crown and will have a final series at home in ACC play against North Carolina.

#7 – Tennessee Volunteers (41-6 Overall, 13-4 SEC)

Tennessee (#10 last week) may have seen their win streak end at 20, but not before taking two of three from LSU on the road. They won 6-3 and 6-4 as they overturned deficits in both of those games. The final game was a tough 1-0 loss that saw the Vols lose on a walk off home run in game that neither team deserved to lose. Tennessee managed only one hit while LSU had just two.

Tennessee is a dark horse team going into the tournament and we will get a real good look at their potential the next two weeks starting with a three game set at home versus Florida this weekend.

#8 – Washington Huskies (34-10 Overall, 8-7 Pac-12)

Washington (#11 last week) had an impressive week in Alabama winning one game at UAB and two at Alabama. The Huskies used strong pitching to win all three games as they allowed 13 hits over the three games and produced two shutouts. The Huskies appear to be hitting their best stride winning 8 of their last 10 including wins over UCLA, Oregon (twice), and Alabama (twice). They will be at California over the weekend.

#9– Oregon Ducks (38-6 Overall, 11-6 Pac-12)

Oregon (#7 last week) continued their slide losing two of three to Arizona on the road. All three games were competitive, but the Ducks could not come out on top beyond the final game. They lost 2-0 and 10-7, but won 4-3 in the final game after falling behind.

After opening 35-0, Oregon has stumbled going 3-6. Their last three Pac-12 series have resulted in 1-2 finishes each time. The Ducks are still a very good team, but just stuck in a rut. They play Oregon State at home this weekend.

#10 – Utah Utes (30-9 Overall, 12-4 Pac-12)

Utah (#8 last week) had a very competitive weekend series at Arizona State winning two of three. All three games were decided by one run and in the seventh inning. The offense for Utah was excellent in the first two games despite the opening game loss. They tallied 15 runs on 19 hits and then won the final game 2-1 with only three hits. Bridget Castro hit the game deciding home run in the top of the seventh.

Utah has shown the ability to win high scoring, low scoring, and close games. Utah has an odd week scheduled with Weber State on Wednesday day and then they do not play again until Tuesday, May 2 against Grand Canyon in a doubleheader.

#11 – Auburn Tigers (39-8 Overall, 12-6 SEC)

Auburn (#9 last week) had a tough time off the field, but still managed to go 3-1. They started with a 7-3 win over Kennesaw State on Wednesday, but the off the field drama was about to start. Three players, Haley Fagan, Makayla Martin, and Brittany Maresette, were arrested on possession of marijuana and suspended indefinitely.

The Tigers responded with back-to-back 2-0 shutout wins over South Carolina on the road before dropping the final game 3-0. Kaylee Carlson threw the first complete game shutout allowing four hits while Ashlee Swindle and Carlson combined to allow two hits in the second shutout win. The losses of Fagan and Martin will hurt Auburn, but there is still plenty of talent.

Auburn faces Alabama State on Wednesday and then plays three at home against Mississippi State over the weekend.

#12 – UCLA Bruins (33-12 Overall, 8-7 Pac-12)

UCLA (#12 last week) came back from a surprising series loss to Oregon State to sweep California. The Bruins rallied to win the first game after trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the seventh. A two run hit by Bubba Nickles tied the game and Gabrielle Maurice completed the comeback with a double to left field. Game two was a 3-1 win and the final game ended 8-1 for UCLA as Delaney Spaulding (3 for 4 and 4 RBIs) and Nickles (2 for 3 and 3 RBIs) led the offense. UCLA faces Cal State-Northridge on Wednesday and Stanford over the weekend.

#13– Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (36-6 Overall, 17-1 Sun Belt)

Louisiana-Lafayette (#14 last week) had an excellent week going 4-0 with a road win at Texas A&M and a sweep of Georgia State over the weekend. Louisiana held on for an 11-9 win over the Aggies after leading 11-2 following the third inning. Haley Hayden hit a grand slam and a three run double while DJ Sanders had a home run.

Against Georgia State, Louisiana blitzed them with 40 runs while giving up 11. DJ Sanders had a great weekend going 4 for 4 with 10 runs scored, 7 RBIs, and drawing 7 walks. She hit three home runs as did Aleah Craighton and Haley Haden hit two home runs.

The nation’s best offense showed their ability against one of the best teams in Texas A&M. They face Coastal Carolina at home for a three game set over the weekend.

#14 – Baylor Bears (37-9 Overall, 9-3 Big 12)

Baylor (#13 last week) went 2-2 last week after losing two of three at Oklahoma and defeating Lamar on Tuesday. The first two games versus the Sooners were one run games. The final game was a 6-0 loss and they were overwhelmed early giving up 5 runs in the first two innings. The Bears were able to win 4-1 over Lamar with Maddison Kettler going 3 for 3 with an RBI. The Bears will be at home over the weekend against Oklahoma State in another matchup of top Big 12 squads.

#15 – James Madison Dukes (39-6 Overall, 12-2 Colonial)

James Madison (#16 last week) played just two games due to weather cancellations. They defeated UNC-Wilmington in their two games on Sunday 4-1 and 4-0. Game on was a Megan Good four hit performance as she also drove in a run and Taylor Newton drove home the other three.

Game two saw the Dukes throw a combined two hitter between Odicci Alexander and Megan Good. Both gave up on hit as Good doubled home one run and hit a two run home run. JMU will travel to face North Carolina on Wednesday and then face Drexel at home over the weekend.

#16 – Alabama Crimson Tide (38-11 Overall, 10-7 SEC)

Alabama (#15 last week) went 2-2 with both losses coming at home to Washington. The Tide could not rally back from two runs in the seventh inning in game one. Game two saw Washington hit three home runs and shutout the Tide 3-0. The wins came against Southern Miss and Samford. Alabama will be at Ole Miss this weekend.

Next Four

#17 – Michigan Wolverines (34-10-1 Overall, 14-3 Big 10)

Michigan (#19 last week) had a three game set at Wisconsin and took two of three. Game one was their only loss and it was a tough loss. Megan Betsa allowed two hits over 10 innings and struck out 18, but it was not quite good enough. The final two games saw the offense come alive as they outscored the Badgers 18-2 with both games ending after five innings. Michigan faces Indiana at home over the weekend and Western Michigan on Tuesday.

#18 – Ole Miss Rebels (31-16 Overall, 6-12 SEC)

Ole Miss (#17 last week) went on the road to top ranked Florida and it did not turn out well for the Rebels. To be fair, only two teams, Maryland and Auburn, have won in Gainesville. Ole Miss had a tough time getting anything going and it showed as they were held to 7 hits while being shut out in all three games. The competition gets only slightly easier for Ole Miss as they face Jacksonville State on Wednesday and Alabama over the weekend.

#19 – LSU Tigers (35-14 Overall, 9-9 SEC)

LSU (#18 last week) ran into one of the hottest teams in the nation in Tennessee and took one of three games. The Tigers had their chances against the Vols as they led in all three games, but squandered leads in the first two games. Still, the Tigers were competitive in all three games and remain a serious threat against any opponent they face. LSU will be at home for three games against Missouri this weekend.

#20 – Jacksonville State Gamecocks (34-9 Overall, 13-1 OVC)

Jacksonville State (#20 last week) played in two games against SIU-Edwardsville and won both of them. Their other two games were scheduled to be against Eastern Illinois, but were rained out. Against SIU-Edwardsville, Jacksonville State won 5-3 and 2-1 as the Gamecocks won both games late. JSU still leads the Ohio Valley Conference and they have one last chance to get a major non-conference victory at Ole Miss on Wednesday. They will also play at Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky in doubleheaders over the weekend.

Knocking on the Door

There were no additions or subtractions from the top 20 this week. The teams below have some work to do to be one of the top twenty, but could make a jump over the new week or two (in alphabetical order):

Arkansas, Arizona State, BYU, California, Florida International, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Marshall, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State, SIU-Edwardsville, and Texas State.

Below is the Week Seven Power Rankings table:

RankTeamConf.Overall
Record
Conf.
Record
Last
Week's Ranking
1FloridaSEC44-318-21
2ArizonaPac-1245-415-33
3Texas A&MSEC40-514-32
4OklahomaBig 1241-811-14
5MinnesotaBig 1043-316-15
6Florida StateACC44-3-121-06
7TennesseeSEC41-613-410
8WashingtonPac-1234-108-711
9OregonPac-1238-611-67
10UtahPac-1230-912-48
11AuburnSEC39-812-69
12UCLAPac-1233-128-712
13LouisianaSun Belt36-617-114
14BaylorBig 1237-99-313
15James MadisonColonial39-612-216
16AlabamaSEC38-1110-715
17MichiganBig 1034-10-114-319
18Ole MissSEC31-166-1217
19LSUSEC35-149-918
20Jacksonville
State
Ohio Valley34-913-120

Florida Consolidates Lead Atop Softball Polls After Week 11

Florida Consolidates Lead Atop Softball Polls After Week 11

The Florida Gators had a strong week on the diamond, which helped them gain a bigger stranglehold on the top spot in both polls. Florida took 30 of 32 first place votes in the Coaches Poll (up from 26 last week) and received 17 of 20 first place votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll (up from 15 last week).

In the Coaches Poll, Florida is followed by Florida State and Arizona (one first place vote) with neither team moving from their spot last week. Minnesota (one first place vote) swaps places with Texas A&M with the Gophers in fourth and the Aggies sliding a spot to fifth.

Oregon stays at sixth despite losing two of three at Arizona. Oklahoma is up a spot after taking two of three from Baylor and Washington also moves up a spot to eighth. Auburn falls two spots to ninth place while Utah (no change) rounds out the top 10.

Tennessee stays at 11th after taking two of three at LSU, UCLA is up a spot to 12th, and Alabama falls one place to 13th after losing to back-to-back games at home to Washington. James Madison and Baylor remain at fourteenth and fifteenth respectively.

Louisiana-Lafayette sits at 16th, LSU is 17th, Kentucky is 18th, Michigan is 19th, and Ole Miss is 20th. The next four teams remain in the same spot as last week: BYU in 21st, Georgia in 22nd, Arizona State in 23rd, and Arkansas in 24th. In 25th is Marshall, a newcomer to the poll, as they replace Illinois. The entire Coaches Poll can be seen below.

RankSchool (1st place votes)PointsRecordLast Week's
Rank
1Florida (30)79844-31
2Florida State75443-3-12
3Arizona (1)74145-43
4Minnesota (1)69443-35
5Texas A&M68540-54
6Oregon62338-66
7Oklahoma58441-88
8Washington57234-109
9Auburn54239-87
10Utah51030-910
11Tennessee49841-611
12UCLA43733-1213
13Alabama40937-1112
14James Madison38239-614
15Baylor35636-915
16Louisiana32736-617
17LSU28634-1416
18Kentucky23830-1320
19Michigan22334-10-119
20Ole Miss19131-1618
21BYU17532-1021
22Georgia9930-1822
23Arizona State8327-1423
24Arkansas4628-1724
25Marshall3835-7Not
Ranked

In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll, Florida is trailed by Arizona (one first place vote), Florida State, Texas A&M (one first place vote), and Minnesota (one first place vote). None of the teams in the top five changed positions from last week.

Oregon remains sixth while Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington all moved up a spot to seventh, eighth, and ninth respectively. Auburn, which was hurt by off the field issues on Thursday, fell to tenth from seventh.

Utah is still 11th, UCLA is up two spots to 12th, Baylor remains in 13th, Alabama is down two places to 14th, and James Madison stays at 15th. Louisiana-Lafayette moves up two spots to 16th, Michigan stays in 17th, and LSU falls two spots to 18th. Kentucky rises two spots to 19th and BYU is down a spot to 20th.

Ole Miss falls one spot to 21st, Illinois went from unranked to 22nd, and Arizona State is up a place to 23rd. California falls two spots to 24th and Georgia does the same to 25th. There were changes in the USA Softball Poll in terms of teams coming and going. The entire poll can be seen below.

RankSchool (1st place votes)RecordLast Week's
Rank
1Florida (17)44-31
2Arizona (1)45-42
3Florida State44-3-13
4Texas A&M (1)40-54
5Minnesota (1)43-35
6Oregon38-66
7Oklahoma41-88
8Tennessee41-69
9Washington34-1010
10Auburn39-87
11Utah30-911
12UCLA3-1214
13Baylor6-913
14Alabama37-1112
15James Madison39-615
16Louisiana-Lafayette36-618
17Michigan34-10-117
18LSU34-1416
19Kentucky30-1321
20BYU32-1019
21Ole Miss31-1620
22Illinois34-11Not
Ranked
23Arizona State27-1424
24California26-1622
25Georgia30-1823

Previous Polls

Below are the polls from earlier in the season.

Preseason Polls

After Week 1 Polls

After Week 2 Polls

After Week 3 Polls

After Week 4 Polls

After Week 5 Polls

After Week 6 Polls

After Week 7 Polls

After Week 8 Polls

After Week 9 Polls

After Week 10 Polls

Weekly Reviews

Week One Review

Week Two Review

Week Three Review

Week Four Review

Week Five Review

Week Six Review

Week Seven Review

Week Eight Review

Week Nine Review

Week Ten Review

Week Eleven Review

2017 College Softball Season: Week Eleven Review

2017 College Softball Season: Week Eleven Review

Another week in the 2017 college softball season, another set of great games and excellent performances. There was more off the field news involving the Auburn Tigers as well as some good on the field performances across the country. We take a day-by-day look at all the action below.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fordham played a doubleheader against St. Bonaventure and thoroughly dismantled them. Over two games, the Rams put up 35 runs on 37 hits. In the first game alone, Fordham won 23-8 as Sydney Canessa went a perfect 6 for 6 with four runs and 8 RBIs including a grand slam.  The six hits were a program record as were the 23 runs. Game two was a 12-2 win for Fordham with both Madison Shaw and Jordana Storm recording 3 RBIs.

The Big South had a nice day against ACC opponents as both Winthrop and Radford won. Winthrop defeated North Carolina 8-7 despite a late rally by the Tar Heels. Winthrop led 4-0, but a three run home run from Brittany Pickett made it 4-3. The Eagles built the lead back up to four runs at 8-4, but a three run shot by Kendra Lynch in the bottom of the seventh cut it to 8-7. Winthrop was able to retire the next two batters and hang on for the victory. Six different Eagles recorded an RBI led by Leah Young’s 2 for 3 day with 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs.

As for Radford, they had a much easier time against Virginia Tech. Abby Morrow threw a complete game shutout allowing only 3 hits and 3 walks in a run shortened five inning game. Marissa Gagliano had 3 RBIs and Maggie Rowe had 2 RBIs including the game ender in the bottom of the fifth. The Highlanders won 8-0.

Also posting two blowout victories was Jacksonville over Savannah State. Like Fordham, the Dolphins put up 31 runs on 30 hits in 14-3 and 17-1 wins. Makenzie Buss went 3 for 3 with 3 runs scored and 6 RBIs including a grand slam in game one. Game two was led by Heather Roberts going 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored and 5 RBIs. The trio of Madison Regan, Bethany Kursch, and Jordan Daniels each recorded 2 RBIs.

For the second time in 14 days, Tulsa defeated Oklahoma State. Tulsa put up three runs in the bottom of the first via RBIs from Maddie Withee, Tori Stafford, and Rylie Spell. That was all the scoring from Tulsa, but it was all Emily Watson would need. She threw a complete game shutout giving up only three hits and striking out 11 in the 3-0 win. Tulsa is 5-2 against Big 12 opponents in 2017 with the losses coming against Baylor and Oklahoma.

#5 Minnesota won a road doubleheader on the road against rival Wisconsin. Game one was a deceiving 6-0 victory as the contest actually went to 12 innings. Sara Groenewegen pitched all 12 innings recording 15 strikeouts while her catcher, Kendyl Lindaman, went 1 of 2 with 2 RBIs and 5 walks. The second game started the way the first ended with Minnesota scoring. The Gophers put up 5 in the first and ended the game with 7 in the fifth. 9 different Gophers recorded an RBI while Amber Fiser improved to 9-0 after throwing a complete game.

The game of the day on paper turned out to be a good one between #17 Louisiana-Lafayette and #4 Texas A&M. The Ragin’ Cajuns were well on their way to an easy victory with 11 runs in the first three innings. DJ Sanders hit a 2 run home run in the first inning to get the scoring started. Haley Hayden had 7 RBIs thanks to a grand slam in second inning and a three run triple in the third. The Aggies trailed 11-2 after four innings.

Texas A&M started to slowly cut into the lead knocking in three runs on three hits in the fifth with another run coming via an illegal pitch. They scored another in the sixth on a wild pitch and then made the finish very uncomfortable for Louisiana. A single by Kaitlyn Alderink brought home two runs, but the Aggies were down to their final out. They could not get another hit as their rally fell short and the Ragin’ Cajuns won 11-9. Texas A&M’s Payton McBride had a fantastic outing as she came on in relief in the third inning. She went 4 1/3 innings and gave up just one hit with no walks against the vaunted Louisiana lineup.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The biggest piece of news was out of Auburn, Alabama once again. The Tigers had three players, Haley Fagan, Makayla Martin, and Brittany Maresette, arrested due to possession of marijuana. All three players were suspended indefinitely.

It was a quiet day on the diamond across the nation as the top name in action was #9 Washington. The Huskies defeated UAB 6-0 thanks to a two-hitter performance from Samantha Manti. Casey Stangel drove in four runs including a three run shot in the fifth inning.

Villanova took a doubleheader from Fairleigh Dickinson with 10-0 and 5-2 victories. Brette Lawrence allowed four hits over four innings in game one and the duo of Dana Morris and Nikki Alden both recorded 2 RBIs. Game two saw Lawrence come on in relief to pick up her second win of the day. She allowed 4 hits over 3 2/3 innings.

Friday, April 21, 2017

#9 Washington secured a major road victory at #12 Alabama, 3-2. The Huskies scored first in the fourth inning via Morganne Flores’ single up the middle. The Tide responded with a run in the bottom half from Gabby Callaway’s double. Washington took a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh on a two run home run from Kirstyn Thomas. Alabama rallied again in the bottom of the inning Claire Jenkins drove home Rachel Bobo to cut the deficit to 3-2. That would be all the Tide would get as Taran Alvelo closed the door. Alvelo went the distance giving up two walks and six hits with seven strikeouts. She out-dueled Alexis Osorio, who also allowed six hits and a walk and struck out six.

Wisconsin needed 11 innings to defeat #21 Michigan 1-0. The Badgers were only able to record two hits the entire game, but the final one was the fatal blow from Stephanie Lombardo. She hit a solo shot to walk off and defeat Megan Betsa’s two hit and 18 strikeout performance. Kaitlyn Menz (19-5) threw 11 innings giving up five walks and six hits while striking out 6.

North Carolina State and Pittsburgh played a wild 8 inning affair with the Wolfpack winning 13-10. Pittsburgh stormed out to a 6-0 lead after the first inning and NC State pulled three back in the third inning. After exchanging one run apiece in the middle innings, Pittsburgh appeared to have put the game away in the sixth inning on three straight solo home runs from Alexis Solak, Erin Hershman, and Olivia Gray. That made it 10-4, but set the stage for a miraculous 7th inning rally.

The Wolfpack clawed back two runs and only one out to make it 10-6. They managed to load the bases for Tyler Ross and she made Pittsburgh pay with a grand slam to tie the game. They could not get another run in the seventh, but added three in the eighth on Jade Caraway’s three run home run. Ross went 5 for 5 with 2 home runs, 4 runs scored, 6 RBIs, and a walk.

#3 Arizona was able to get back on track against Pac-12 foes after a 2-0 win over #6 Oregon. An error in the first inning allowed Arizona to score their first run with Mandie Perez getting the honors. Katiyana Mauga hit a solo shot in the fifth to double the lead as Danielle O’Toole threw the complete game shutout allowing only one walk and five hits. Two of Oregon’s five hits came from Gwen Svekis as the Ducks have now lost five of their last seven games.

#7 Auburn responded to their tough news on Thursday with a 2-0 win at South Carolina. Kaylee Carlson threw a complete game shutout giving up only four hits and striking out three. Victoria Draper scored in the first inning on an error as Kasey Cooper doubled home the second run in the third inning. Both Draper and Cooper recorded two hits as the rest of the team only had one hit via Alyssa Rivera.

The #11 Tennessee Volunteers saw their win streak extended to 19 games with a 6-3 road win at #16 LSU. The scoring started early as the Vols took a 1-0 lead in the top frame, but LSU answered in the bottom half with two runs. Tennessee came back to tie the game in the second from Scarlet McSwain, but LSU reclaimed the lead in the third on a double by Constance Quinn. The Vols scored two runs in the fourth and added two more in the seventh.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The clash of top teams in the Big 12 between #15 Baylor and #8 Oklahoma produced a good game. Scoring was extremely scarce as neither team scored a run in the first eight innings. Baylor plated the first run in the ninth on a single to right by Shelby Friudenberg. The Sooners were able to tie the game in the bottom half on a double from Nicole Mendes. The Bears took the lead again in the 10th inning on a single up the middle by Maddison Kettler. Once again, the Sooners were able to answer with a two run double courtesy of Fale Aviu that gave them the walk off 3-2 victory.

#9 Washington was able to complete a sweep of #12 Alabama with a 3-0 win. Taran Alvelo threw 5 2/3 shutout innings allowing four walks and five hits while striking out five. Three solo shots from the trio of Ali Aguilar, Julia DePonte, and Sis Bates were all the offense the Huskies needed to get past the Tide.

#3 Arizona won their second straight over #6 Oregon. The Ducks started the scoring right away with a three run home run by Gwen Svekis. The Wildcats answered back in the bottom of the first with one run, but it was their five run second inning that put them in the lead, which they would not relinquish. Ashleigh Hughes and Katiyana Mauga each had a two RBI hit in the second inning.

The Ducks were still hanging around due to Svekis. She hit her second home run in the third inning, a two run shot, to cut the Arizona lead down to 6-5. Mauga hit a solo shot in the fourth and Dejah Mulipola hit a double to make it 8-5. Danica Mercado cut deficit down to one run again after a two run blast. Arizona put up two runs in the sixth to get to the final of 10-7.

#7 Auburn clinched a series win over South Carolina with a second straight 2-0 win. Ashlee Swindle threw 5 1/3 innings allowing only two hits. Kaylee Carlson threw 1 2/3 perfect inning to get her second save of the year. The offense was provided by Courtney Shea’s first inning bases loaded walk that brought home Victoria Draper and Kendall Veach’s solo home run in the fourth.

#11 Tennessee clinched a series victory with a 6-4 win over #16 LSU. Tennessee was able to get going right away with two runs in the first inning on RBIs from Meghan Gregg and Brooke Vines. The Tigers also started quickly scoring four runs in the first inning to turn the two run deficit around to a two run lead. The Vols tied the game in third with a two run home run by Gregg and then took the lead in fifth on an error. They added an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI town by Aubrey Leach for the 6-4 final. The Vols win streak is now up to 20 in a row.

#17 Louisiana-Lafayette swept a doubleheader over the second placed Sun Belt team Georgia State. Game one was all but over after one inning with the Ragin’ Cajuns scoring 13 runs. DJ Sanders a two run home run and a two run single in the first inning. Sanders added another home run, a solo shot, in the second inning. Aleah Craighton went 2 for 2 with 4 runs scored and 4 RBIs as the duo of Lexie Comeaux and Corin Voinche each recorded 3 RBIs. Louisiana-Lafayette won 19-4 in five innings.

Game two saw the Ragin’ Cajuns get out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a single by Haley Hayden and a sacrifice fly from Comeaux. DJ Sanders hit a two run home run while Comeaux added three more RBIs to her tally with a double in the fifth inning in the 7-1 win.

The Summit League had quite a few high scoring games. South Dakota won 17-9 in game one and 6-5 in game two over IUPUI. Kayla Fields went 5 for 5 with 6 RBIs in the first game while Jamie Holscher hit a grand slam in the second contest. Nebraska-Omaha won their doubleheader over South Dakota State 11-1 and 10-4. North Dakota State won 11-3 over Western Illinois as Bre Beatty went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBIs.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

North Carolina was able to take a doubleheader against Syracuse including an exciting 11-10 win in 9 innings. The Tar Heels got out to a 4-0 lead before Syracuse came back in the fifth inning to tie the game. The seventh inning saw North Carolina take a 7-4 lead on solo shot from Kendra Lynch and a two run home run by Katelyn Shifflett. Syracuse was able to tie the game in the bottom half on singles by Bryce Holmgren and Hannah Dossett.

After a scoreless eighth, North Carolina was able to score 4 runs in the ninth. Brittany West drove home two runs on a single in what would be the eventual game winning hit. Syracuse showed no quit as they scored two runs with no outs. A double play brought home another run, but they could not tie the game.

#2 Florida State posted a doubleheader sweep over Louisville to clinch the ACC Regular Season Title. The game one 11-1 victory was the clincher as Jessica Warren went for 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs. Jessica Burroughs threw a complete game one hitter giving up two walks and striking out 7. Game two required extra innings though Florida State needed a seventh inning rally to tie the game at two. Both teams exchanged runs in the ninth inning with Sydney Broderick driving home the winning run for the 4-3 victory.

#1 Florida completed a sweep of #18 Ole Miss and did not allow a run in the three games. The Gators allowed just 7 hits over the three game as Kelly Barnhill went 2-0 allowing four hits against 25 strikeouts. Kayli Kvistad went 5 for 7 with 5 RBIs over the three games as was able to record an RBI in each contest.

#16 LSU was able to stop #11 Tennessee from sweeping them and end their 20 game win streak. This game was all about pitching as both pitchers had very strong outings. Allie Walljasper threw a complete game shutout allowing only one hit and two walks with 4 strikeouts. Caylan Arnold was unfortunate to get the loss as she allowed only one walk and two hits. The latter hit was a home run by Constance Quinn in the bottom of the seventh to give the Tigers a walk off 1-0 victory.

#4 Texas A&M rebounded from a midweek loss against Louisiana-Lafayette to sweep #22 Georgia. The Aggies won 2-0 on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning by Kristen Cuyos and an RBI single from Ashley Walters. Lexi Smith threw a complete game shutout allowing three walks and six hits to improve to 11-0.

#19 Michigan was able to win their final two games at Wisconsin to take the series from the Badgers. Megan Betsa, who lost game one despite allowing only two hits, came back on Sunday to allow only two walks and three hits while striking out 10. Tera Blanco’s three run home run in the first started the scoring while Katie Alexander had 2 RBIs on a double and triple. Michigan won 8-0 in five innings.

Nebraska posted a surprising 14-0 blowout over #25 Illinois to avoid a sweep. The top of the Nebraska order was locked in all game as the top four of Alyvia Simmons, Tristen Edwards, MJ Knighten, and Kaylan Jablonski combined to go 8 for 12 with 6 runs scored, 10 RBIs, and 4 walks. Cassie McClure threw a complete game giving up one walk and three hits with three strikeouts.

#8 Oklahoma and #15 Baylor split a doubleheader, but that was enough for Oklahoma to win the series two games to one. Baylor jumped out to a 4-0 after three innings in the first contest as the Bears knocked Paige Lowary from the game after just 2 1/3 innings. The Sooners were able to close the deficit to 4-3 by the end of the fifth thanks to a two run blast from Caleigh Clifton. It was not enough as Kelsee Selman came on for the 2 inning save to preserve the Baylor victory.

Game two was all Oklahoma from the beginning as they were able to lead the bases for Nicole Pendley, who hit a grand slam. Runs in the second and sixth innings were just icing on the cake for Paige Parker. She threw a complete game shutout allowing two walks and five hits while striking out nine. Oklahoma won 6-0 and are tied atop the Big 12 standings with in-state rival Oklahoma State at 11-1.

#10 Utah won 2-1 at #23 Arizona State to take the series. The third game was exactly like the previous two: decided by one run and in the seventh inning. With the game tied at one after six innings, Bridget Castro hit a solo home run and the Utes were able to work around a lead-off double and two out walk for the win.

#6 Oregon came from behind and defeated #3 Arizona 4-3 to prevent a sweep. Arizona scored in the first before the two teams traded solo home runs in the second. Oregon tied the game a two on an error in third inning, but Arizona went ahead 3-2 on Reyna Carranco’s single in the fourth inning. Oregon was able to get two solo home runs in the sixth inning from Nikki Udria and Lauren Lindvall to take the 4-3 lead.

Tulsa was able to complete a sweep of Connecticut to move 3 games ahead of Houston in the American Athletic Conference. Emily Watson threw a complete game shutout allowing only one hit and striking out seven. Rylie Spell finished with 4 RBIs including a two run home run and Julia Hollingsworth also hit a two run home run in the 8-0 run-rule shortened contest. Tulsa has won 7 in a row including a sweep over the aforementioned Houston Cougars as well as a 3-0 win against Oklahoma State.

Illinois State finished off a sweep of Missouri State to improve to 17-3 in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Redbirds went up 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth on a bases loaded walk by Shannon Felde and RBI doubles by Jordan de los Reyes and Allison Spence. They went on to win 5-2 with Sarah Finck throwing a complete game and is now 18-8.

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