After a successful pre-season of tournament play, the University of Washington softball team began conference play against the Arizona State Sun Devils with a three-game sweep.
After two non-conference wins they went on the road to face a tough Arizona Wildcats team. By the end of the weekend the Huskies had a three-game losing streak.
In a conference that is always tight between teams softball is a sport that seems to produce close games no matter where teams are ranked.
This season looks no different as the then ranked No. 8 Washington faced off against No. 13 UCLA last weekend.
After losing the first game and despite a strong rally in the second that saw them come up short in a loss the Huskies were on five-game losing streak.
But their rally on Saturday night seemed to spur them on Sunday in their final game of the weekend against the Bruins.
Washington had a season high 17 hits and rang up 12 runs to defeat UCLA 12-7.
Seniors Casey Stangel and Ali Aguilar hit two home runs each that brought in eight runs to lead the team.
The win could be that extra nudge they need back towards a winning streak.
The new NCAA softball rankings came out on Monday and it looks like that extra effort the Huskies gave on Sunday helped them to stay in the top ten but just barely.
In the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll Washington is ranked tenth with UCLA moving up to the ninth spot. Pac-12 members Arizona is ranked fourth and the undefeated Oregon Ducks are ranked second behind the Florida State Seminoles.
But look at the NCAA Women’s Softball RPI rankings, which takes in strength of schedule, and you can see how tough the Pac-12 is.
The Wildcats take the number one spot with the Ducks second. Washington comes in at the four spot and the Bruins at number eight.
Whoever takes the conference championship will need consistency to stay in the win column and Washington can continue towards that end with a strong showing this weekend.
The Huskies will continue Pac-12 play with a three-game series this weekend against the Oregon State Beavers. The first game begins at 5 pm on Friday, April 7th at Husky Stadium in Seattle.