College softball: Washington tightens grip on No. 1 spot amid Top 10 shuffling
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The top-10 saw some shuffling, but Washington did not budge as it tightened its grip on the No. 1 spot in this week’s USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll. After a 4-0 week, the Huskies (39-2) brought their winning streak to 10 games and were one vote shy of being the unanimous No. 1 squad. UW collected 31 of a possible 32 first-place votes and 799 points.
With a 3-1 mid-week win over Seattle University, Washington finished undefeated (29-0) in non-conference play for the first time in program history. Additionally, the Huskies swept Utah in Pac-12 play behind a pitching staff that allowed just one run and three hits over 19 innings, including a no-hitter by Gabbie Plain.
Oklahoma stayed in the No. 2 hole after two Big 12 victories over Iowa State (8-1, 9-5). The Sooners (33-2), who earned the other first-place vote and 766 points, have won 24 straight after those two wins and hold NCAA Division I’s longest active winning streak.
Oregon shifted up two positions to No. 3 after a dominant week. The Ducks (32-6) went 5-0 defeating Portland State (8-2, 3-0) twice and overpowering Arizona (5-2, 8-0, 10-0) in a Pac-12 series sweep. After the opening win, UO’s Miranda Elish and Megan Kleist twirled back-to-back six-inning shutouts, limiting the Wildcats (27-9) to three hits and one hit, respectively. Elish also tossed the program’s first seven-inning perfect game earlier in the week against the Vikings.
UCLA fell one spot to No. 4 and Georgia moved up one to No. 5. The Bruins (34-3) went 3-1 against CSUN (8-3) and Stanford (5-2, 3-0, 1-4). The Bulldogs (35-5) recorded a 4-1 mark, topping then-No. 8 Tennessee (8-0) and Georgia Tech (1-0), and taking two-of-three from Missouri (8-6, 1-5, 7-2).
Florida fell to No. 6 as it suffered two defeats on the week. The Gators (33-6) win at No. 15 Alabama (6-1) was sandwiched around defeats to UCF (0-1) and the Crimson Tide (2-3).
Arizona State remained steady at No. 7 taking two of three from RV Oregon State. Auburn improved three spots to No. 8 following a 3-1 week that included two shutout wins over then-No. 8 Tennessee. No. 9 Texas A&M took two-of-three at then-No. 22 Mississippi State, while the Lady Vols (33-8) dipped to No. 10 after a 2-3 week.
The 2018 USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Records reflect games played through April 8.