Pac-12 softball power rankings: ASU, Oregon impress
Pac-12 softball’s non conference schedule made the league hard to rank as the nine squads played unbalanced schedules, but the first weekend brought some clarity.
No. 2 Arizona State (31-3, 2-1 Pac-12), for example, played 26 home games before Pac-12 play, going 25-1 and only one road game, a 9-0 win at Cal State Fullerton. The Sun Devils validated their lofty ranking with a series win at No. 14 UCLA (24-6, 1-2), losing the first game to the Bruins, before taking two straight.
On the other end of the spectrum is Utah (13-13-1, 0-3), which had the worst non league record of the Pac-12 but has yet to play a home game. The Utes were swept by No. 4 California (26-3, 3-0), really only getting close in the last game, a 4-1 win by the Golden Bears.
No. 21 Arizona (21-10, 1-2) earned its first win over a ranked team against No. 15 Washington (24-8, 2-1), but lost the series and suffered its first defeats at home. The Wildcats, which are 14-2 at the friendly confines of Hillenbrand Stadium and 7-8 in neutral games, play their first road games this weekend at Utah.
Interestingly, UA moved up a spot in the media rankings despite the two losses to UW.
Arizona is 20-2 against teams that are not ranked and 1-0 against schools from the Beehive State, having beat Utah State 13-1 in five innings in Tucson. Utah opens up their new, but not very cleverly named home, “Utah Softball Stadium,” this week against Utah Valley and Arizona.
The other team that’s perfect in Pac-12 play is No. 10 Oregon (26-4, 3-0), which swept No. 17 Stanford (22-8, 0-3) in Eugene.
1. No. 2 ASU (31-3, 2-1) This week: vs. Oregon State
Week one: L 3-2, W 10-3, W 5-4, at UCLA
2. No. 10 Oregon (26-4, 3-0) This week: at Washington
Week one: W 4-3, W 3-2, W 10-3 vs. Stanford
3. No. 4 California (26-3, 3-0) This week: at Sacramento State (one game)
Week one: W 6-0, W 9-4, W 4-1, vs. Utah
4. No. 15 Washington (24-8, 2-1) This week: vs. Oregon
Week one: W 7-1, L 7-4, W 8-3 at Arizona
5. No. 14 UCLA (24-6, 1-2) This week: at Stanford
Week one: W 3-2, L 10-3, L 5-4 at vs. ASU
6. No. 21 Arizona (21-10, 1-2) This week: at Utah
Week one: L 7-1, W 7-4, L 8-3 vs. Washington
7. Oregon State (23-6) This week: at ASU
Week one: W 1-0 (8 innings), at UC Davis, W 13-3, L 10-7 at Cal State Bakersfield
8. No. 17 Stanford (22-8, 0-3) This week: at UCLA
Week one: L 4-3, L 3-2, L 10-3 at Oregon
9. Utah (13-13-1, 0-3) This week: vs. Utah Valley (one game), vs. Arizona
Week one: L 6-0, L 9-4, L 4-1, at Cal