Perfect showings from UCLA and Oklahoma leave the top two unchanged while series losses by Alabama and Florida State--the first ACC series loss by FSU since 2012--saw some changes among the rest of the Top Ten in this week's Extra Inning Softball/JWOS Power Rankings for Week 9.
Also, a pair of West Coast powers move up the list led by Arizona, which set a school record with 48 runs in a Pac-12 series and now has four players with double-digit home run totals for the year...
That makes three Pac-12 teams in the top four spots and shows the conference is strong, at least at the top!
1. UCLA Bruins (35-1, last week: 1)
The Bruins stayed perfect with a three-game sweep of Arizona State, outscoring the Sun Devils 35-5.
2. Oklahoma Sooners (35-2, last week: 2)
The Sooners’ offense came through as expected, piling on thirty-one runs and earning a pair of run-rule victories.
3. Arizona Wildcats (32-7, last week: 4)
The Wildcats also posted a perfect week, going 5-0 with a doubleheader sweep over UTEP and a three-game conference sweep over Utah that puts the Cats at 12-0 in PAC-12 play.
4. Washington Huskies (32-6, last week: 7)
A three-game sweep over California saw the Huskies post a pair of shutouts over the Golden Bears and outscore their conference foe 18-2.
5. LSU Tigers (33-8, last week: 6)
The Tigers earn their way into the top five after a series win over Mississippi State, and a nice rebound after a shutout loss in the series opener.
6. Florida State Seminoles (37-4, last week: 3)
The Noles took a midweek victory over Florida, but dropped a conference series to Louisville,including a walk-off loss on Monday night.
7. Alabama Crimson Tide (38-4, last week: 4)
The Crimson Tide lost their first SEC series of the season, earning back-to-back losses to South Carolina after posting a game one win over the Gamecocks.
8. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (33-4, last week: 9)
The Cajuns moved to 15-0 in Sun Belt conference play with a sweep over UT-Arlington. The week’s slate also included a midweek win over McNeese.
9. Oklahoma State Cowgirls (29-11, last week: 11)
Despite a midweek, one-run loss to UT-Arlington, the Cowgirls rebounded with a three-game sweep of Kansas, scoring twenty runs and holding the Jayhawks to just four.
10. Minnesota Golden Gophers (27-10, last week: 10)
The Golden Gophers hold fast to their position just inside the Top 10, after a series win over Illinois that included an extra-inning defeat in the middle game of the three-game set.
11. Tennessee Lady Vols (29-8, last week: 8)
After beginning the calendar week with the final game of a series win over Missouri, the Lady Vols were lackadaisical in their series against Auburn, taking the loss in two of three games.
12. Auburn Tigers (32-8, last week: 19)
The Tigers took a series win in Knoxville, winning the first two games against the Lady Vols in decisive fashion before dropping the series finale.
13. Ole Miss Rebels (27-10, last week: 12)
The Rebels took a run-rule win over Belmont in a midweek game before heading to Kentucky, where they dropped the series opener 11-4, but rebounded with back-to-back victories in the final two games to take the series.
14. Virginia Tech Hokies (33-5, last week: 14)
The Hokies swept Duke, posting a pair of shutouts to open the series and outscoring the Blue Devils 11-1 in the series.
15. Florida Gators (32-9, last week: 15)
The Gators’ see-saw of a season continues; after a midweek, shutout loss to Florida State, the Gators swept a conference series against Arkansas, holding the Razorbacks to just one run in three games.
16. Texas Longhorns (34-9, last week: 13)
The Longhorns fell this week more because of the impressiveness of play of other teams than their own transgressions; the Horns took the series win over Texas Tech in a series that saw three low-scoring games.
17. James Madison Dukes (27-6, last week: 17)
A midweek win over Liberty should age well, while a three-game sweep over Hofstra is always a favorite happening for the folks in Harrisonburg.
18. Colorado State Rams (29-5, last week: 16)
The Rams dropped their first conference game of the year in the series finale against San Jose State, but won the series against one of their biggest rivals for the Mountain West crown. The Rams are now 29-5 on the year.
19. Michigan Wolverines (27-10, last week: 22)
The Wolverines put 24 runs on Toledo in a midweek game before hosting Indiana, emerging from the weekend with a three-game sweep of the Hoosiers and moving to 9-0 in conference play.
20. Wisconsin Badgers (30-5, last week: 24)
The Badgers moved to 7-2 in Big Ten play, sweeping Iowa in a three-game conference set that included an 8-0 shutout in the series opener.
21. Georgia Bulldogs (30-11, last week: 21)
Lu Harris-Champer’s Bulldogs hold steady despite a loss in the series finale against Texas A&M; the Bulldogs won the series against the Aggies, scoring eighteen runs in the trio of games.
22. Texas Tech Red Raiders (30-8, last week: 18)
The Red Raiders dropped the series to Texas, but did emerge victorious in a walk-off win in game two, moving their conference record to 3-6.
23. Stanford Cardinal (27-6, last week: 23)
Despite losing a midweek game as part of a doubleheader against Sacramento State, the Cardinal rebounded to post a win over Oregon State before the latter two-thirds of the series were rained out.
24. Northwestern Wildcats (29-7, last week: NR)
The Wildcats return to our rankings after a perfect 4-0 showing last week, including a midweek win over previously-undefeated Loyola Chicago and a series sweep over Nebraska that included two shutouts.
25. South Carolina Gamecocks (28-11, last week: NR)
Despite losing the series opener to Alabama, the Gamecocks responded in impressive fashion, entertaining a large home crowd with back-to-back victories to close the weekend and earn the series win.
Dropped out: #20 Arizona State, #25 UCF
-- Justin McLeod, Extra Inning Softball College Correspondent