2023 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

College Softball Rankings Roundup As 2023 Season Begins

College Softball Rankings Roundup As 2023 Season Begins

College softball games are underway as the 2023 NCAA softball season begins. Here are the college softball rankings to start the season.

Feb 9, 2023 by Joe Harrington
College Softball Rankings Roundup As 2023 Season Begins

The 2023 NCAA softball schedule is in full swing as Division I teams from across the country begin their seasons on Feb. 9 with the goal of reaching Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series. 

And it’s fitting that the WCWS is played in the Sooner state. 

The state of Oklahoma is home to two of the top three teams in most polls, including the unanimous No. 1 team in the country, Oklahoma, which is just a short drive away from Oklahoma City. 

The Sooners lost just three games in 2023 (going 59-3 overall) and mauled the NCAA record book with a historic offensive showing, with the likes of Jocelyn Alo and Tiare Jennings leading the lineup and one of the best freshmen in the country, Jordy Bahl, on the mound. 

Alo is gone, but Jennings and Bahl are still there as the Sooners seek a third-straight national title in 2023.

But Oklahoma State is No. 3 in the country and the Cowgirls want to play spoiler in all Bedlam-related things. After a 48-14 season, Oklahoma State is trying to snap a decades-long OU Softball Big 12 Championship reign.

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However, based on polls, the biggest threat to OU is the near-unanimous No. 2 team in the country and the program that pushed the 2022 Sooners to the brink of elimination in the WCWS. 

UCLA, with stars Megan Faramio, Sharlize Palacios and Maya Brady returning, are favorites to win the Pac-12.

Here’s a look at the 2023 preseason rankings. 

College Softball Rankings: USA Today & NFCA Coaches Poll

The 2023 USA Today Nation Fastpitch Coaches Association released their preseason rankings before the season. 

Here are the rankings: 

  1. Oklahoma
  2. UCLA
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. Florida
  5. Florida State
  6. Texas
  7. Arkansas 
  8. Northwestern 
  9. Alabama
  10. Clemson
  11. Virginia Tech 
  12. Arizona
  13. Tennessee
  14. Washington
  15. Georgia 
  16. Duke
  17. Stanford
  18. UCF
  19. Oregon State
  20. Kentucky 
  21. Auburn 
  22. Arizona State
  23. Mississippi State 
  24. Oregon 
  25. LSU

College Softball Rankings: D1 Softball Preseason Poll

Here are the D1 Softball preseason rankings: 

  1. Oklahoma 
  2. UCLA
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. Florida State 
  5. Florida
  6. Alabama
  7. Northwestern 
  8. Arkansas 
  9. Clemson 
  10. Georgia 
  11. Stanford 
  12. Tennessee 
  13.  Virginia Tech 
  14. Texas 
  15. UCF 
  16. Kentucky 
  17. LSU
  18. Arizona 
  19. Auburn 
  20. Louisiana 
  21. Washington 
  22. Duke
  23. Oregon 
  24. North Texas
  25. Ole Miss

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College Softball Rankings: Softball America

Here are the Softball America rankings: 

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Oklahoma State 
  3. Florida State 
  4. UCLA
  5. Florida
  6. Northwestern 
  7. Arkansas 
  8. Alabama
  9. Texas
  10. Clemson 
  11. Virginia Tech 
  12. Georgia 
  13. Tennessee
  14. Arizona 
  15. Duke
  16. UCF
  17. Washington 
  18. Auburn 
  19. Kentucky 
  20. Stanford 
  21. Michigan 
  22. Louisiana 
  23. Mississippi State
  24. Oregon State 
  25. Arizona State

College Softball Rankings: ESPN.com/ USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

Here’s the ESPN.com rankings: 

  1. Oklahoma 
  2. UCLA
  3. Oklahoma State 
  4. Florida State 
  5. Florida 
  6. Arkansas 
  7. Alabama
  8. Northwestern 
  9. Texas
  10. Clemson 
  11. Virginia Tech 
  12. Tennessee
  13. Georgia 
  14. Stanford 
  15. Arizona 
  16. Washington 
  17. Kentucky 
  18. UCF
  19. Duke
  20. LSU
  21. Auburn 
  22. Oregon 
  23. Missouri 
  24. Louisiana 
  25. Oregon State

Which Conference Has The Best College Softball?

The Big 12 will start the season with two teams in the top three of the rankings, regardless of which poll you're viewing. But the conference also includes Texas, which is ranked in the top 10 in most polls. The Pac-12 has five to six teams in the top 25, but like baseball, it's the SEC that consistently has the most ranked teams.

The SEC features as many as nine teams in one poll.

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College Softball Schedule 2023: Preseason Tournaments With Ranked Teams

The college softball schedule is filled with tournaments featuring many of the preseason top 25 teams. The Mark Campbell Invitational features Oklahoma and Duke playing on the first day of the regular season, and in fact, Duke begins the year with two top 25 matchups, (Washington and Oklahoma). Stanford is also at the Mark Campbell. 

The Puerto Vallarta College Challenge the same weekend will have Oklahoma State and Oregon in the first weekend and Tennessee in the second weekend. 

THE Spring Games’ opening weekend also has Michigan. 

But it’s the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic to end February that has the most top 10 matchups based on preseason rankings. 

2023 Mary Nutter Schedule Is Loaded With Ranked Softball Teams

The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic is the premier softball event of the non-conference season. Here’s a list of top 25 matchups over the four days: 

  • Washington vs. Kentucky: Day 1
  • UCLA vs. Florida, Day  1
  • Northwestern vs. Oregon: Day 2
  • UCLA vs. Kentucky: Day 2
  • Missouri vs. Oregon State: Day 2
  • Florida vs. Oregon: Day 3
  • UCLA vs. Northwestern: Day 3
  • Kentucky vs. Northwestern: Day 3
  • Oregon vs. Missouri: Day 3
  • UCLA vs. Oklahoma: Day 4

FloSoftball Has You Covered This Month. Subscribe To Watch College Softball

FloSoftball will stream hundreds of softball games in February and will stream games at the Mark Campbell Invitational, Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, THE Spring Games and the Mary Nutter College Classic. 

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