The latest NFCA coaches poll was released on Tuesday after another wild weekend in college softball. Let’s take a look at the poll itself before we get to three takeaways from the latest rankings:
1. Oklahoma isn’t showing any signs of stopping
The Sooners capped off an historic season by becoming the first Big 12 team to go undefeated during conference play in back-to-back seasons.
— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 7, 2019
Oklahoma has now won 38 straight games — tied for the second-longest streak in DI records. They finished the regular season at 48-2, which is the best mark in program history. Their last loss came on Feb. 22 against UCLA. So yeah, it’s pretty understandable why the Sooners were the unanimous No. 1 selection.
NFCA STANDINGS: The full Division I softball rankings
“They just impress me beyond belief,” coach Patty Gasso said. “They haven’t felt a loss in a while, and they don’t want to. I think that motivates them as well. I can’t tell you how proud of I am of this team and their accomplishments, how much joy it is to watch them play. It really has been a wonderful journey. Watching them accomplish things, it’s like a proud mom… It never gets old.”
2. Washington leapfrogs UCLA
Washington hasn’t been as dominant throughout the season as UCLA, but there’s no question as to who has the momentum now. This weekend, while UCLA went 2-1 against an unranked Stanford on the road, the Huskies swept No. 4 Arizona. That puts Washington at 12-4 against ranked teams this year, with three of those losses coming to UCLA.
No, YOU try getting a hit against @Tarannnn_14 😳
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) May 6, 2019
Washington still has a home series against Stanford starting Thursday before the regular season is over, while UCLA hosts Arizona to close out their season, so don’t be surprised if these two trade places once more.
3. Drake’s Newman pushes Bulldogs into Top 25
The Bulldogs might not boast as impressive a resume as the other two teams in this breakdown, and while they have been on fire lately — winning 26 of their last 27 games — the overall performance isn’t what stands out for this team.
BY THE NUMBERS: These are the three best pitchers in college softball
Instead, Drake can claim one of the most impressive individual feats this season, thanks to the performance of pitcher Nicole Newman. Newman just won the MVC Pitcher of the Week for the eighth-straight week. That award was definitely well-deserved, seeing as the redshirt senior pitched her fourth perfect game of the season. You read that correctly. Four perfect games. In one season.
— Drake Softball (@DrakeSoftball) May 6, 2019
Newman is 26-6 on the year, with a 0.91 ERA (third in the nation) and 362 strikeouts (first in the nation). Not a bad way to get your team in the Top 25 for the first time this year.