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College softball rankings: 2023 NCAA Top 25 poll
UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Arizona and Oregon are in a loaded Pac-12, but the top college softball team in the conference is Utah.
The Utes, who swept Oregon State the weekend prior, took two of three games against Arizona, moving to 5-1 in the conference and 21-5 overall. In March, the Utes are 10-1 and have averaged 8.8 runs per game.
Oklahoma's Tiare Jennings, one of the preseason favorites for player of the year, is beginning to find her stride. Jennings hit three home runs and drove in nine runs in six games over the past week, as the top-ranked Sooners extended their winning streak to 19 games.
Here are the schools ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll (games as of March 20):
Key game last week: Utah 13, Arizona 11. The Utes trailed 7-1 after two innings and 11-5 after four, but scored eight unanswered runs in the series finale against the Wildcats. Sophie Jacquez's RBI single in the sixth inning tied the game, and the Utes took the lead on Ellessa Bonstrom's two-out, two-run homer in the seventh. Halle Morris retired all eight batters she faced in relief.
Marquee game to watch: Alabama vs. Tennessee (Friday, 6 p.m. ET, SEC Network). Tennessee is coming off a three-game sweep of LSU in which the Lady Vols' pitching staff allowed just two runs and six hits over the entire weekend. It'll be a crucial series for Alabama, especially as the Crimson Tide are looking up at teams like Kentucky, Mississippi State and Georgia in the SEC standings.
Player to watch: Maya Brady, UCLA. Brady is powering the Bruins' offense as they seek their eight consecutive WCWS trip, as she ranks in the top 10 nationally in home runs (10) and RBIs (35). Brady, the niece of future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, is slashing .467/.545/.933 -- which would all be career highs -- and her 1.476 OPS is 10th in Division I.
Play of the week: One swing, four runs, five words: inside-the-park grand slam. Central Arkansas' Jenna Wildeman didn't even need to slide to cross the plate.