Oklahoma and UCLA remain 1-2 in the college softball rankings, but several other teams are making a late push as the NCAA tournament nears.
Florida State is clicking at the right time. After sweeping Virginia Tech on the road, the Seminoles beat in-state rival Florida in Tallahassee, then swept Notre Dame on the road.
Montana Fouts threw two shutouts as Alabama took two of three games against SEC rival LSU.
Thanks to Sydney McKinney, who leads the country with a .533 batting average, Wichita State has won 19 of its last 20 games as the Shockers seek their third straight NCAA regional appearance.
Key game last week: Arkansas 6, Tennessee 4. The Razorbacks snapped the Lady Vols’ nine-game winning streak with a four-run sixth inning. Cylie Halvorson hit a three-run home run to break a 2-2 tie, then Kristina Foreman went back-to-back to power the Razorbacks to a crucial SEC win.
Marquee game to watch: Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State (Saturday, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN). While the Sooners are rolling (37-game winning streak) and the Cowgirls are reeling (2-6 since April 16), it’s Bedlam. Need we say more? The last time these teams met, Oklahoma State won 4-3 and captured the Big 12 title in the process.
Player to watch: NiJaree Canady, Stanford. The true freshman, who leads the country with a 0.34 ERA, started her Cardinal career with 48 1/3 scoreless innings. Stanford is 20-2 when she pitches and has a 7-1 record since she returned after a month-long absence.
Play of the week: Oklahoma’s Rylie Boone made a sensational diving catch on the warning track that needs to be seen to be believed.
There are 𝐧𝐨 words 🤯 @rylieboonee @SportsCenter | #SCTop10 pic.twitter.com/Uvf8MjmqQG
— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) April 28, 2023
Here are the schools ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll (games as of May 1):
1. Oklahoma, 45-1 (25 first-place votes)
2. UCLA, 47-4
3. Florida State, 43-8
4. Tennessee, 39-6
5. Texas, 39-9-1
6. Oklahoma State, 41-9
7. Stanford, 38-10
8. Clemson, 45-8
9. Washington, 35-10
10. Georgia, 38-10
11. Duke, 43-9
12. Arkansas, 36-14
13. Oregon, 35-11
14. Alabama, 36-16
15. Auburn, 37-15
16. LSU, 38-13
17. Florida, 34-16
18. Northwestern, 33-10
19. Wichita State, 43-8
20. Utah, 31-13
21. Baylor, 36-15
22. Virginia Tech, 35-17
23. Texas A&M, 32-18
24. Louisiana, 39-13
25. Central Arkansas, 36-9