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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | Last updated: 9:02pm

Pac-12 softball power rankings: slippery slope



1. UCLA Bruins (30-2, 5-1 Pac-12 Conference)
The Bruins are the No. 1 team in the nation and have lost only twice all year. As long as the UCLA pitching staff continues to dominate opponents, the Bruins won’t move from this spot for quite a while.

2. ASU (30-5, 4-2)
ASU has played a solid schedule en route to its No. 8 ranking in the nation. The Sun Devils use a high-powered offense to get most of their wins and are off until Friday, when they’ll take on Arizona.

3. Oregon (26-4, 3-0)
The Ducks have used a tough nonconference schedule to ready themselves for a rigorous Pac-12 conference season. Oregon is currently the No. 3-ranked team in the nation and could easily move up if UCLA loses a couple.

4. Arizona (28-6, 3-3)
The Wildcats started out the year 20-1 but have gone merely 8-5 since that point. A struggling offense contributed to three of those five losses coming against conference foe UCLA. Arizona could use all three wins during this weekend’s series against ASU.

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By Carlos Herrera / The Daily Wildcat
Arizona junior utility Hallie Wilson hits a home run during Arizona's 14-1 victory against Oregon on Monday at Hillenbrand Stadium. UA has gone 8-5 over the last 13 games.

5. Washington (21-7, 2-3)
Washington’s record doesn’t really do justice to its solid statistics. As a team, the Huskies are second in the conference in ERA, fourth in batting average and third in stolen bases. They are the currently ranked No. 7 in the nation.

6. Stanford (23-11, 1-5)
The season hasn’t gone exactly as planned for Stanford. The Cardinal is still above 20 wins, but would probably have more if it weren’t in the Pac-12. Conference play hasn’t gone well so far, either, as the team is 1-5, and that road won’t get any easier.

7. California (18-11, 2-1)
Cal hasn’t been good this year, but it also hasn’t been bad. It’s just been kind of average, and that probably won’t change soon. The Golden Bears are near the bottom of the league in most major offensive and pitching categories.

8. Utah (12-12, 1-4)
Utah simply is not a softball school in a power softball conference. The Utes will be lucky to get above 20 wins on the season.

9. Oregon State (11-17, 2-4)
The Oregon State Beavers are in the same boat as Utah as a struggling team in a very good conference. Bringing up the bottom of the conference, OSU is last in the conference in almost all major offensive categories.

—Follow Roberto Payne @HouseOfPayne555


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