Big Ten Softball Power Rankings: Northwestern Retakes Top Spot, Conference Play Begins (2023)

The Northwestern team we have been waiting to see has finally arrived. Danielle Williams was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 with a 0.55 earned run average and 17 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.

She pitched a five-hit complete-game over No. 19 Auburn and collected her 10th career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor.

The big wins for Northwestern pushed the Wildcats to the top spot this week. Ohio State made the biggest jump this week, moving up two spots. Illinois dropped two spots.

The rest of the Power Rankings are pretty straightforward.

1. No. 23 Northwestern
Previous: 3 | Record: 14-8

Northwestern finished the Omni Hall of Fame Classic in Oklahoma City 4-1. The 2-1 loss to No. Oklahoma even helped bump them up.

Lauren Boyd held the Sooners to two hits and one earned run in five innings. She struck out three and walked one.

Hannah Cady had two of NU’s three hits including a home run.

Up Next: Minnesota

We call her an RBI Machine for a reason 📈@jordynrudd63's game winning three-RBI double on Sunday moved her into the Top 5 in program history for career RBI, passing Tammy Williams!#GoCats | #BeRemarkable

— Northwestern Softball (@NUSBcats) March 20, 2023

2. No. 25 Maryland
Previous: 1 | Record: 22-5

The Terps have won 13 of their last 14 and continue to climb in the polls.

Maryland finished the weekend 3-1, dropping their only contest to Texas Tech. Senior Trinity Schlotterbeck had a career day against Bucknell. She struck out 10 of the first 11 batters she faced, setting a new career-high.

Freshman Keira Bucher recorded her ninth save which is tops in Division I.

Up Next: Indiana

(Video) Northwestern at Wisconsin | Big Ten Softball | April 15, 2023 | B1G+ Encore

3. RV Nebraska
Previous: 2 | Record: 20-9

Nebraska went 4-1 over the week with a loss to Kansas and wins over Iowa State, Kansas City and Omaha.

The win against Iowa State could be the momentum needed heading to conference play. Courtney Wallace improved to 12-5, limiting the Cyclones to five hits and one run.

Brooke Andrews hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth driving in Sydney Gray and Katelyn Caneda.

Up Next: Purdue

About that three-run home run . . . Did Brooke Andrews think it was gone the second she hit it?


🎥: @Maren_Angus

— Hail Varsity (@HailVarsity) March 23, 2023

4. Minnesota
Previous: 4 | Record: 19-10

The Gophers went 3-1 with wins against Wichita State, South Dakota State, Arizona State and a loss to No. 2 Oklahoma State.

Natalie DenHartog hit three home runs and before the loss, the Gophers were on a season-high eight-game win steak.

Autumn Pease improve to 12-3 with 124 strikeouts and leads the conference with 99 innings pitched.

Up Next: Northwestern

5. Wisconsin
Previous: 5 | Record: 13-8

The Badgers had the week off.

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Up Next: Michigan State

6. Ohio State
Previous: 9 | Record: 18-7

The Buckeyes have won 12 straight, their longest winning streak in 17 years.

Melina Wilkison (.424, 22 RBIs, six doubles) was named Co-Player of the Week after reregistering 18 hits, 11 RBIs and five stolen bases. She tied a conference record with five hits on March 14 against Charleston Southern.

Allison Smith leads the conference with 114 strikeouts and leads the team with 81.2 innings pitched, 2.06 ERA and nine wins.

Up Next: Michigan

7. Penn State
Previous: 6 | Record: 18-4

The Nittany Lions have matched the best start through 22 games in program history that was set by the 2006 team.

Penn State has outscored opponents 127-39 and is outhitting them 163-74. Kaitlyn Morrison leads the teams with a .403 batting average and Lexie Black leads with a .703 slugging. There are six players who have an on-base percentage of at least .400.

Bailey Parshall is ranked 26th nationally with a. 1.24 ERA. The pitching staff has the 13th-best ERA in Division I with a 1.82.

Parshall’s start against Canisius was her 140th appearance, setting a new program record. She also became the second player to record at least 700 strikeouts in program history. Her 702 strikeouts sits second behind Missy Beseres’ 745.

Up Next: Iowa

8. Iowa
Previous: 8 | Record: 18-11

The Hawkeyes finished their 10-game spring break trip with a 7-3 record.

Senior Breanna Vazquez threw 32 innings, seven appearances, and finished with an ERA of 0.88 and a 5-1 record. She struck out 37 batters.

Sophomore Tristin Doster and junior Grace Banes each nine RBIs. Senior Nia Carter ranks first in the conference with a .485 average and 49 hits. She ranks second for on-base percentage (.540) and toughest to strikeout. She is one of six players in the conference who has struck out less than four times.

(Video) Wisconsin at Nebraska | Big Ten Softball | Apr. 21, 2023 | B1G+ Plus Encore

Up Next: Penn State

❕ 𝗕𝟭𝗚 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘀 ❕

Going into conference play, we are the only team ranked in the top 5 for team ERA (1.92) and BA (.300) in the Big Ten. #Hawkeyes

— Iowa Softball (@iowasoftball) March 23, 2023

9. Illinois
Previous: 7 | Record: 18-9

Illinois only played one game since last week’s rankings. It was a 5-1 win over Bradley.

Lauren Wiles improved to 5-3 and Addy Jarvis earned her third save of the year.

Avrey Steiner, Delaney Rummell, Megan Ward and Kailee Powell each had two hits. Stevie Meade drove in two runs.

Up Next: Rutgers

10. Michigan
Previous: 10 | Record: 13-11

On Thursday, the University of Michigan announced the renaming of its stadium to Alumni Field at Carol Hutchins Stadium to honor the career of longtime head coach Carol Hutchins.

Hutchins is the winningest coach in NCAA softball history with 1,707 victories and a career winning percentage of .755 (1,707-555-5).

Up Next: Ohio State

The home of Michigan Softball: Alumni Field at Carol Hutchins Stadium.#GoBlue

— Michigan Softball (@umichsoftball) March 23, 2023

11. Indiana
Previous: 12 | Record: 19-9

(Video) Indiana at Rutgers | Big Ten Softball | Apr. 23, 2023 | B1G+ Encore

Indiana ran its winning streak to 12 games after a perfect weekend in Memphis.

Freshman Taryn Kern was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year for the second straight week. She batted .667, slugged 1.917 and had an .818 OBP last week. She hit four home runs. six extra-base hits, drove in 11 runs and scored 10 runs.

Kern leads the team in home runs with nine and leads the conference in slugging percentage (.910), OBP (.574), OPS (1.484) and HBP (9). She has scored the second-most runs (30) in the Big Ten.

Up Next: Maryland

12. Rutgers
Previous: 11 | Record: 23-10

Rutgers had its best start since 1980 and is coming off a 6-0 weekend at home.

Ryann Orange was 6-for-11 with two runs and four RBIs. Katie Wingert and Kyleigh Sand combined for seven of Rutgers’ 16 doubles. Wingert leads the team with 10 this season and only needs three more to etch his name in the program’s record book.

Raimy Gamsby pitched 15 innings over the weekend with an ERA of 1.87 and struck out 10 batters in three appearances.

Up Next: Illinois

13. Purdue
Previous: 13 | Record: 15-13

Purdue went 3-4 last week with wins against Samford, St. Thomas and Indiana State. The four losses were to North Dakota State, Ole Miss (twice) and Indiana State.

Tyrina Jones leads the team in almost every offensive category with a .375 batting average, runs scored (18), RBIs (23) and slugging percentage (.615).

Madi Elish is 4-0 in the circle and Alex Echazarreta has a team-high five wins (5-8).

Up Next: Nebraska

14. Michigan State
Previous: 14 | Record: 9-12

The Spartans won their lone game of the week, a 3-0 contest against Central Michigan.

(Video) BIG TEN TED LIVE : CONFERENCE CROSSOVER! Bomb3r Brown from @B12Mafia-TheHolyRivals JOINS!

Sophomore Faith Guidry pitched a two-hit complete game shutout with four strikeouts and three walks. She didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning.

Five different players recorded hits.

Up Next: Wisconsin


Who won the Big 10 softball championship 2023? ›

Northwestern Captures 2023 Big Ten Softball Tournament Title - Big Ten Conference.

How many teams make the Big Ten softball tournament? ›

The tournament will once again feature a 12-team, four-day, single-elimination format, with the top four seeds earning byes into the quarterfinals.

Who won the Big 10 softball tournament? ›

The 2023 Big Ten softball tournament was held at Eichelberger Field in Champaign, Illinois from May 10 through May 13, 2023. As the tournament winner, Northwestern earned the Big Ten Conference's automatic bid to the 2023 NCAA Division I softball tournament. All games of the tournament were aired on BTN.

Who won the College World Series of softball? ›

Oklahoma softball sweeps Florida State to win third consecutive Women's College World Series. Oklahoma softball's historic season ended predictably with a third consecutive NCAA championship, and the Sooners' diamond dominance shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

What team won softball World Series? ›

Oklahoma softball wins third consecutive national title

The Sooners have now won three consecutive national titles, a feat that just one other Division I softball program has ever accomplished. UCLA did it from 1988 to 1990. The 2023 title is Oklahoma's fifth in seven seasons and sixth in the past 10.

What is the largest alumni softball tournament? ›

Established back in 1983, the Grove City Alumni Tournament is the World's Largest Alumni Softball Tournament, with nearly 100 teams from Grove City High School.

How many teams make it to the College World Series in softball? ›

The Women's College World Series (WCWS) is the final portion of the NCAA Division I softball tournament for college softball in the United States. Eight teams participate in the WCWS, which begins with a double-elimination tournament.

How many softball teams make it to the World Series? ›

Eight teams compete in a double-elimination format. The final two teams then play a best-of-three series for the national championship.

Is Northwestern in Big 10? ›

As a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, Northwestern University is thrilled to welcome the University of Oregon and the University of Washington to the nation's premier conference.

Who won the Big 12 championship softball game? ›

Share: OKLAHOMA CITY – For the eighth time in program history and the fifth time in the last six conference championships, No. 1 Oklahoma was crowned champion of the Big 12 Softball Championship after defeating No. 7 Texas, 6-1, on Saturday at USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.

How many championships has OU softball won? ›

The Sooners have won seven Women's College World Series championships, fifteen Big 12 regular-season championships and eight Big 12 Conference Tournament championships.

Where is the College Softball World Series 2023? ›

You can purchase tickets for the WCWS here. The Women's College World Series is played at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Did Oklahoma win the Big 12 softball championship? ›

1 Oklahoma was crowned champion of the Big 12 Softball Championship after defeating No. 7 Texas, 6-1, on Saturday at USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.

Who won women's Big 12 softball? ›

Oklahoma Wins Program's Eighth Phillips 66 Big 12 Softball Championship - Big 12 Conference.

Is the Big 10 tournament single-elimination? ›

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced Saturday the bracket for the 2023 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, scheduled for May 23-28 at Charles Schwab Field Omaha in Omaha, Neb. The eight-team, double-elimination tournament will determine the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.


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