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Husky Softball Notebook: #1 Ranking Achieved

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The 4th-ranked Huskies continue to mow down opponents, now up to 12-0. Their dominance has earned them the top spot in the new NFCA poll.

Edward Strong

Then-#4 Husky softball pounded through another weekend, posting 7 more wins, including 5 shutouts and 6 run-rules:

  • UW 8, Northern Colorado 0
  • UW 8, Wichita State 0
  • UW 10, Seton Hall 0
  • UW 7, Wichita State 0
  • UW 13, Sam Houston State 1
  • UW 9, Lamar 1
  • UW 8, Lamar 0

Fun, Crazy Stats

  • The competition is about to get significantly stiffer, so this number is going to drop at least a little bit. But through Sunday’s games, the Huskies lead the entire country in many offensive categories, especially slugging percentage (.819), where they have a lead of one hundred and fourteen points over 2nd-place Georgia.
  • Other notable categories: runs/game (11.08, more than 1.5 of 2nd-place SIUE - who’s only played 2 games), on-base percentage (35 points over #2 Oregon), and batting average (32 points over #2 Savannah State).
  • The Huskies had a stretch of 46 straight scoreless innings, spanning 8 games. The 8-game shutout streak is the longest in program history, surpassing a 6-game streak in 1995, when the Huskies had a freshman 3B by the name of Heather Tarr.
  • Taran Alvelo is among 32 pitchers across the country who have not given up an earned run. She has the 2nd-most innings pitched of that group with 26.0 (Auburn’s Makayla Martin has 32).
  • Alvelo leads the country in strikeouts per 7 innings, with 14.0. To put that in perspective, she’s striking out two-thirds of her outs. That while also allowing an average of less than 2 hits per 7 innings (8th-best).
  • Kirstyn Thomas homered 3 more times this weekend, bringing her season total to 8. That ties her career-high, set last year. She’s played 12 games. If you missed my feature on Thomas last week, I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a few minutes to read it.
  • Thomas and Taylor Van Zee are 1-2 in the country in slugging percentage. (The official NCAA stats leaderboard has two Arkansas players ahead of them, but somehow it thinks Arkansas has only played 1 game. They’ve actually played 5, and the Hogs have not been as good offensively since then as they were in the first game)
  • Van Zee, Sis Bates, and Thomas are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the country, respectively, in runs scored/game. Only Alyssa Heren (SIU-Edwardsville) is scoring at a better rate, and SIUE has only played 2 games due to weather problems.
  • Sis Bates has not struck out this season. The Huskies as a team have a 7:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio (35 to 50). Their opponents have a K/BB ratio of over 6 and a half (106 - 16).
  • Every other member of the top 10 has either A) lost a game and/or B) had a 1-run win. The Huskies have won every game by at least 7 runs.

New Rankings

The Huskies have grabbed the #1 spot in the NFCA poll! All three teams ahead of the Huskies last week (Oklahoma, Florida, and Oregon) all lost a game. Oklahoma suffered a really surprising upset against Boston U. Florida won 2 out of 3, but could not quite get a sweep, at #16 Louisiana. Oregon went 3-1 in Puerto Vallarta, falling to #15 Ole Miss in an extra-inning thriller. Pac-12 teams in the new Top 25:

#1 Washington (12-0)

#3 UCLA (9-0)

#5 Oregon (9-1)

#13 Arizona (8-1)

#17 Arizona State (9-1)

#19 California (10-0)

T-24 Utah (6-5)

(RV) Oregon State (7-4)

The new USA Softball media poll has come out, too. There’s not a lot of consensus between the polls. UW has risen from 5th to 3rd in the media poll.

I’m honestly somewhat surprised to see UW #1 in the coaches poll. Florida did lose last weekend, but it was the final game of a 3-game series at #16 Louisiana, 4-3 in 11 innings. That was after the Gators shut out the Ragin Cajuns 13-0 over the first two games, the first time ULL had been shut out in back-to-back games in a long time. My vote, if I had one, would have had the Huskies 2nd, just behind Florida. But this week’s schedule will show us a lot, as the Huskies will play an undefeated top-10 team (#6 Texas A&M) and 3 more teams receiving T25 votes, two of which are ranked in the USA Softball poll (Nebraska and Notre Dame).

Upcoming Schedule (All times PT)

The top-ranked Huskies have a single game against the Longhorns in Austin before heading to Palm Springs, California, for 5 games at the Mary Nutter Classic this weekend.

Wed, 3 PM: at Texas (4-4) - note: I will not be live-tweeting this game due to a work conflict. Ways to follow instead:

The schedule in Palm Springs:

  • Fri, 5:30 PM: vs (RV) Notre Dame (6-3)
  • Sat, 10 AM: vs (6) Texas A&M (9-0)
  • Sat, 3 PM: vs (RV) Nebraska (8-2)
  • Sun, 9 AM: vs Wisconsin (4-4)
  • Sun, 11:30 AM: vs (RV) Long Beach State (9-1)

All of the games at the Mary Nutter Classic will be streamed on FloSoftball.com; however, it’s a premium service that’s pretty steep for just using for a weekend ($30 for a month’s access, no lower levels available). I will be on the streams, so I’ll try to give updates with more in-depth info than just what live stats do when possible. As usual, I’ll be live-tweeting these: find me at twitter.com/DawgoneCrazy