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Helmer’s College Softball Top 25 for Week 6

OSU Athletics/Cowgirl Softball

College softball is in full swing, with conference play already going for some and right around the corner for others, and every week from here on out I’ll be releasing updated rankings. Here’s this week’s edition.

1. Oklahoma – The Sooners added another marquee win to their national-best collection so far, taking down Florida State 5-4 on Tuesday. They’ve won 13 in a row since suffering their lone setback to Baylor.

2. Oklahoma State – The Cowgirls move up to second following their weekend series win over the Seminoles. They lost game one, then responded with a run-rule victory in game two and rubber match victory to capture the series. That’s enough for them to swap spots with UCLA, as they’ve now won 18 of their last 19.


3. UCLA – The Bruins also collected a series win, disposing of California to open Pac-12 Conference play. But the middle game is what knocks them down a spot. They were run-ruled and shut out in game two, sandwiched between their wins. It was a 3-1 week for the Bruins.

4. Tennessee – Two through four or five, and maybe even six, has really muddied up a bit in recent days. The Vols are looking really strong and have an argument to be even a couple places higher. They’ve won 15 in a row, most recently a sweep of Ole Miss in their SEC opening series over the weekend.

5. Clemson – The Tigers also fit into this mold. They’ve lost but one game to Tennessee, hence the placement just behind. They swept the Clemson Classic with foes such as UNCG, Bryant and Jacksonville, with a pair of run-rules among their 4-0 showing.

6. Stanford – Stanford really answered the call with an 11-0 rout at Wichita State last Thursday. It followed up with wins over South Dakota State and Kansas in Lawrence, before inclement weather cancelled the rest of the weekend. The Cardinal have won 20 in a row, including eight straight shutouts.


7. Florida State – As mentioned, the Seminoles couldn’t secure a series victory in Stillwater after a 7-5 game one triumph, and they then traveled to Norman and dropped a third decision on the four-game road trip in the Sooner State. But the latest was highly, highly competitive, to say the least—I’d call it World Series-esque—so they fall a very small amount in my poll as a result. Florida State is very formidable.

8. LSU – The Tigers split a Monday doubleheader at South Carolina to secure a series win in their SEC opening series. They have only one other loss, and that’s to Louisiana.

9. Washington – Washington continues to be a really tough team to place, but a series win against another Top 25 team in Oregon is worthy of keeping it in the Top 10. The Huskies have that one loss to McNeese State, but it’s not as bad as it might seem, with the Cowboys sitting at 15-9 and in the Top 70 of the RPI rankings.

10. Duke – The Blue Devils ascend into the Top 10 after a series win over Louisville. They fell a Sunday loss short of a sweep after carrying a two-run lead into the sixth inning in that final matchup. Duke also picked up a win over a solid Charlotte team in the midweek.


11. Texas – Texas stays pat following a weekend that got off to a fabulous start before turning sour with a pair of extra inning losses. The Longhorns downed Wisconsin, Alabama and Wisconsin again before the two setbacks to Alabama and Texas State. They’re 21-4-1.

12. Virginia Tech – The Hokies took two of three at North Carolina to start off ACC play on the right note. Since a loss to Texas in Austin that split a pair of games between those foes, Virginia Tech has emerged victorious in nine of its last 10.

13. Kentucky – We’ve said before that the Wildcats’ showing in Norman against Oklahoma was an anomaly, and last week was a step in the right direction towards proving that true. They swept Missouri in a three-game set and are victors of five straight, warranting a sizable leap.

14. Florida – On the heels of a Wednesday victory over UCF, the Gators hosted three teams for the Bubly Invitational. Their lone blemish in five outings came in a 1-0 final to Louisiana, which they avenged with an 11-2 run-rule. They additionally scored wins over Mercer twice and Rutgers.

15. Texas A&M – The Aggies are the biggest upward mover of the week after an impressive best-of-three series win at Arkansas. They responded with two victories coming off a Friday night run-rule loss, and even returned the run-rule favor in the Sunday rubber match. Texas A&M is 16-7 overall. 

16. Arkansas – Here are those Razorbacks, who hoped to make things easy after Friday’s result, but instead suffered a frustrating fate. They’re likewise one of the week’s biggest fallers after losing four of five, when factoring in a 10-2, six-inning run-rule at Wichita State Tuesday, plus the loss to UCA in recent days.

17. Georgia – With so many SEC teams on here, we’ll repeat ourselves at times. But the Bulldogs scored a huge league-opening series victory and sent Auburn out of the poll in the process. They took two of three after losing the opener.

18. Arizona – Arizona had its hopes of a sweep dashed in a 4-3 ‘L’ to in-state rival Arizona State on Sunday in Tempe. Still, the Wildcats put together a very productive start to their Pac-12 play.

19. Baylor – It was a rough West Coast stint for the Bears, who dropped two of three at the Long Beach/Cal State Fullerton Tournament. They fell 2-0 and 2-1 to Boston University and Long Beach State, but did beat Fullerton in their opener. Baylor also still boasts the best win in the country.

20. Alabama – I believe the Crimson Tide are higher in a few other polls than they should be. The bottom line is this team is Montana Fouts and not a lot else. For emphasis of that, Fouts threw 162 pitches and all 11 innings in a 4-3 loss to Texas Saturday night. Alabama went 3-3 this last week.

21. Oregon – Oregon doesn’t move much, despite dropping two of three in Seattle. This was an incredibly competitive series, and the Ducks actually staked a 4-0 lead in the rubber match before the Huskies rattled off nine unanswered runs. Oregon also run-ruled Seattle Monday by a 9-0 count.

22. Maryland – If Baylor owns the best win nationally, Maryland owns the second-best win. It beat Oklahoma State back in that Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in the first week of the season. Now it’s run off 10 straight since losing three consecutive.

23. Utah – The first of three new entrants in the poll, Utah is cruising right now. It, too, is in midst of a 10-game winning streak. The latest part of that is a three-game sweep of Oregon State to open up Pac-12 play.

24. Texas State – With victories over Alabama and Texas in the Bevo Classic, Texas State is the second new team to the poll. The Bobcats also split with Wichita State earlier on. They’re 18-7 overall.

25. Wichita State – The Shockers still secured the final spot in the rankings with what they did Tuesday evening. As mentioned, they had their way with the Hogs. That’s following up on run-rules of Missouri State and Nebraska over the weekend—the Shox took down Nebraska twice—but losses to Missouri State and Stanford.

Just missed: Arizona State, Auburn, California, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina

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