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Helmer’s College Softball Top 25 for Week 11

The biggest week of the Big 12 season by far is here. So, with that in mind, here’s this week’s edition of the Top 25.

1. Oklahoma – The Sooners are set for a rematch with the team that beat them, and they haven’t lost since that 4-3 decision to Baylor back in February in Waco. They’ve rattled off 31 in a row, including last weekend’s pair of victories over Louisville and Miami (OH).

2. UCLA – The Bruins are also now on fire. They swept reeling Arizona over the weekend for wins 10, 11 and 12 in a row, and look ahead to a meeting with Long Beach State—that could be a potential postseason preview—and three vs. Arizona State.

3. Tennessee – Tennessee surges back into the top three after an impressive week, which featured a sweep of Kentucky and an 11-0 win over Virginia Tech. The Vols are now 35-5 overall and 13-2 in SEC play, with Florida next up.


4. Oklahoma State – The Cowgirls suffered one of the shocking losses of the season, falling at home 3-2 in extra innings of the series finale against lowly Iowa State. They then endured a season sweep at the hands of Wichita State Tuesday evening, forcing them to rebound in a massive series at Texas.

5. Florida State – We’re trying to not get away from what really matters, and that’s mostly just winning series. The Seminoles once again did that, taking two of three from Virginia, sandwiched around wins over Jacksonville and Stetson. Virginia Tech is now on the agenda.

6. Clemson – Clemson did exactly the same, grabbing two of three from N.C. State. It also disposed of Winthrop 2-0 Tuesday evening and will open a series with Pittsburgh Friday.

7. Georgia – The Bulldogs ran into a Florida team that decided it wanted to make a statement. Unfortunately, they were on the receiving end of a run-rule in game one, then a loss in game two that forced them to salvage the series with a victory in the finale. They were 2-2 overall on the weekend and must turn the page for USC Upstate and surging South Carolina.


8. Washington – Washington was hammered by a bad Oregon State team while trying to notch a sweep. But series wins are still far greater than series losses, and the Huskies have shown several times this season how good they can be. Another statement could be made against Utah.

9. Texas – Texas is really starting to make a push at being not only a regional host, but a super regional host. That’s even with losing the series opener 9-3 to Kansas. It run-ruled Kansas in game two, then walked it off for a series win and now stands at 36-9-1 heading into a pivotal series against Oklahoma State.

10. Stanford – The Cardinal’s recent stretch of Pac-12 play has been quite rollercoaster-ish. They were swept at UCLA, then swept Arizona, and now they were swept by Utah in Salt Lake City. Stanford did respond with a 1-0 shutout victory over BYU Monday, and it’s rivalry time against California.

11. Duke – Many have the Blue Devils inside the Top 10, but I have them just outside it at the moment. They can cement a spot there, though, by continuing to add to their eight-game winning streak. The Blue Devils will get that chance against UNC Greensboro and Georgia Tech.


12. Arkansas – Arkansas wasn’t exactly challenged over the weekend, but it held serve against UAB for three and then Texas A&M Commerce. A critical series ensues against Kentucky on the road.

13. Oregon – The Ducks move up some more following another perfect showing. They’ve won six in a row after blanking Arizona State in Tempe. A pair of contests against Portland State have been canceled, so they’ll next host Arizona.

14. Baylor – The Bears are back in the Top 15 just in time for the Sooners to come to town. The good news is they’re more than on their game, having won nine of their past 10, including two over Texas Tech in the last few days. The bad news is Oklahoma has revenge on its mind.

15. Alabama – I’ve been really hesitant to have the Crimson Tide anywhere near my Top 15 in recent days, but the results hold up. Despite splitting a pair of games against Liberty and Marshall they otherwise would have preferred to sweep, they outscored Mississippi State 11-3 in a three-game wiping. Next up is Auburn.

16. LSU – The Tigers are down four spots, and they’re probably lucky it’s only that many. The latest setback was a 4-3 midweek decision to McNeese. Including a series loss to Auburn and that previous loss to Oklahoma, LSU has now dropped four of five. Mississippi State presumably doesn’t appreciate that fact ahead of a series between the two.

17. Wichita State – The Shockers are now very much alive and well for a hosting position in the NCAA Tournament. A sweep over Oklahoma State speaks massive volumes, and they also have a run-rule victory against Arkansas on their resumé. They can add some more W’s against East Carolina, before Oklahoma heads to Wilkins Stadium for another huge non-conference test.

18. Utah – Utah probably pulled off the most impressive series of the entire week. It won a pair of one-run games against Stanford following a 4-1 triumph in game one of a sweep. The Utes thus rightly soar into the Top 20 again and look to continue their momentum against Washington.

19. Northwestern – Northwestern has again rattled off eight in a row, most recently with a three-game sweep at Wisconsin. Next up is a trip to Michigan, where it’ll look to extend that streak to double digits.

20. Florida – Florida scored a huge series win over rival Georgia, and that’s worthy of a three-place leap. It also took down North Florida and will try to do the same to South Florida, prior to heading to Tennessee for a showdown this weekend.

21. Texas A&M – Whichever way the wind blows, the Aggies just about go. This time it’s back down a number of spots, seven to be exact, following a sweep by South Carolina. Texas A&M will try to get right against Texas State and then Ole Miss on the road.

22. Auburn – The Tigers jump back into the Top 25 after knocking off LSU two out of three. They’ll take on Jacksonville State Wednesday before heading to Tuscaloosa for the annual softball version of the Iron Bowl.

23. Kentucky – The Wildcats put up little resistance against Tennessee after a game one loss in extra innings. They were run-ruled in the next two by a combined 25-3 count. Kentucky did respond with a win over Northern Kentucky Tuesday. Next up is that date with Arkansas.

24. Louisiana – The Ragin’ Cajuns swept away another Sun Belt foe over the weekend, this time Texas State. They then shut out Southeastern Louisiana in the midweek. They’ll head to Troy this upcoming weekend.

25. Central Arkansas – The Bears have an outstanding RPI, at No. 20, and are a team nobody wants to reckon with in the postseason. They’ve already shown that plenty, last week sweeping the season series with Arkansas. Central Arkansas followed that up with three victories at Bellarmine and will welcome Liberty to town this weekend.

Just missed: Arizona, Boston University, California, South Carolina, Virginia Tech

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