2022 Nebraska Minnesota Softball
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Ten Softball Power Rankings: Northwestern Holding Strong at No.1, Indiana Extends Winning Streak

April 07, 2023

Indiana cannot lose. The Hoosiers have run their streak to 22 games and don’t want to stop any time soon. 

However, Northwestern maintains the top spot in this week’s power rankings. The Wildcats are set for a couple winnable series coming up against Penn State and Wisconsin.

Rutgers made the biggest jump despite losing a series to Purdue. The Scarlet Knights took a doubleheader from Maryland which played them into the top half of the conference.

1. No. 20 Northwestern

Previous: 1 | Record: 21-9, 6-1

Northwestern won its series against Iowa with two wins and then set a program record with six home runs in a 12-0 run rule at Illinois.

The Wildcats took the first game of the week 8-3 in 10 innings and 5-0 in the second before dropping the finale 6-5.

Up Next: Penn State

2. No. 19 Indiana

Previous: 2 | Record: 29-9, 8-0

Indiana pushed its record-breaking win streak to 22 games after a sweep of Ohio State and a midweek shutout of Western Kentucky.

Freshman Taryn Kern hit her 16th home run of the season and tied a program record for most homers in a single-season. Brianna Copeland improved to 13-0 in the circle this year with a 2.65 ERA.

Up Next: Minnesota

3. Michigan

Previous: 9 | Record: 17-14, 3-3

Michigan rolled into Lincoln and took two games from Nebraska. 

Sophomore Lauren Derkowski went 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA and 13 strikeouts. Keke Tholl went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and Lexie Blair drove in three runs. Blair also upped her career doubles record to 67 with four doubles over the weekend. 

Up Next: Illinois

4. Nebraska

Previous: 3 | Record: 25-12, 5-3

The Huskers dropped their series at home against Michigan. 

In the lone win against the Wolverines, the Huskers dominated in run-rule fashion. Brooke Andrews and Ava Bredwell both homered and Courtney Wallace held Michigan to one hit en route to her fourth shutout of the season.

Up Next: Maryland

5. Iowa

Previous: 6 | Record: 22-15, 4-4

Iowa walked off on Northwestern in the series finale when Tristin Doster ripped a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh. The Hawkeyes kept the Wildcats close in both of the first two games before one bad inning gave Northwestern the advantage.

Grace Banes led the Iowa offense with two doubles and two RBIs while five different Hawkeyes delivered with extra-base hits.

Up Next: Michigan State

6. Maryland

Previous: 5 | Record: 26-10, 3-5

Maryland finished off a historic sweep of Michigan State with three shutouts, the first time in program history that the Terps pitched three shutouts in a Big Ten series.

Trinity Schlotterbeck and Courtney Wyche were named Big Ten Players of the Week. Schlotterbeck drove in 15 RBIs in four games (midweek against Maryland Eastern Shore) and pitched a complete game on Friday.

Wyche went 3-0 with two complete games and recorded 21 strikeouts in 17 innings. She only allowed five hits and surrendered four walks.

Up Next: Nebraska

7. Rutgers

Previous: 11 | Record: 29-12, 6-2

Rutgers was looking impressive until Purdue took two games in New Jersey. But the Scarlet Knights rebounded with a midweek two-game sweep of Maryland.

Rutgers came from behind in both games against Maryland. The first had Rutgers down 3-0 in the seventh and stormed back for a 4-3 win. In the second game, the Scarlet Knights took the lead with two runs in the fourth.

Up Next: Ohio State

8. Minnesota

Previous: 7 | Record: 21-14, 2-4

Minnesota won its series against Penn State with two wins. 

Autumn Pease was dominant on Sunday with 11 strikeouts in a series-clinching 3-1 victory. She recorded 10 fly ball outs and zero ground ball outs. Kayla Chavez led the way offensively, she went 2-for-3 with a triple, a home run and two RBIs.

Up Next: Indiana

9. Wisconsin

Previous: 8 | Record: 17-10, 4-2

The Badgers won their series against Illinois 2-1. 

Wisconsin scored 10 runs by the third inning to take a 10-3 lead and hung on for a 10-9 victory for the rubber match. Brooke Kuffel went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and five RBIs. Tessa Magnanimo improved to 3-1.

Up Next: Purdue

10. Ohio State

Previous: 4 | Record: 21-12, 2-4

Ohio State has dropped four consecutive games since beating Dayton on March 29. The Buckeyes were swept by Indiana and then dropped a 1-0 nine-inning loss to Ohio.

Junior pitcher Allison Smith pitched all nine innings and threw 186 pitches, allowing seven hits and just one run. The Buckeyes banged out eight hits but left nine runners on base.

Up Next: Rutgers

11. Purdue

Previous: 14 | Record: 17-19, 2-6

Purdue dropped two games to Indiana and then won its series against Rutgers. The Boilermakers won 3-2 and 6-3 in extras.

Alex Echazarreta notched the game-winning two-run home run to clinch the series. Madi Elish improved to 6-1 after recording one strikeout, no walks, four hits and one run allowed over four innings.

The win marked Purdue’s first extra-inning victory of the season.

Up Next: Wisconsin 

12. Penn State

Previous: 10 | Record: 20-8, 2-4

The Penn State Nittany Lions took one game from Minnesota. 

Emily Maddock went 4-for-6 with four singles and one RBI. Cassie Lindmark went 2-for-5 with a run a two RBIs. 

Bailey Parshall secured her 10th complete game fifth shutout of the season in the finale. She tossed 87 pitches and struck out five. She didn’t walk anyone and scattered three hits.

Up Next: Northwestern

13. Illinois

Previous: 12 | Record: 22-15, 1-6

Illinois dropped its series to Wisconsin and then lost 12-0 in five innings to Northwestern.

The Fighting Illini picked up the first win of conference play with a 6-4 victory over the Badgers. Sydney Sickels got the win out of the bullpen. She gave up one run on one hit in three innings of work. Kaille Powell went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. 

Up Next: Michigan

14. Michigan State

Previous: 13 | Record: 11-17, 1-5

Michigan State was shutout in three games against Maryland. The Spartans were outscored 22-0 in the series.

The Spartans beat Oakland 4-3 on Tuesday. Madison Taylor got the win allowing one earned run in six innings. Taylor matched her season-high of four strikeouts and surrendered five hits and a walk.

Seven different Spartans had hits and eight reached base. Jessica Mabrey hit a lead-off homer.

Up Next: Iowa

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