Thursday, March 26, 2009

Arguably the best weekend of play thus far this season will be taking place over the next few days. First, take a look at the top teams in the most recent national polls (ESPN.com/USA Softball ranking listed first, USA Today/NFCA listed second).

1/1. Florida (32-2)
2/2. Washington (27-3)
3/3. Stanford (29-1)
4/5. UCLA (24-3)
5/4. Alabama (26-4)

Florida will be hosting Alabama in a three-game SEC series (a Saturday doubleheader, followed by a single game Sunday). Florida's pre-series news release is available here (one does not yet appear available from Alabama).

Way over on the other coast, Stanford hosts UCLA Friday night, and then Washington for single games Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Palo Alto Online offers this article on the Cardinal's weekend challenge.

True, Stanford has lost only once this season. However, the Cardinal has not played any of the nation's top teams thus far (see the team's schedule/results page).

The UCLA and Washington games will thus give us an idea of whether Stanford truly belongs among the nation's elite teams. At the conclusion of this weekend's play, Stanford conceivably could be ranked No. 1 in the nation. But so could any of the other four teams listed above!