College softball: Way-early predictions for 8 teams we might see in Oklahoma


Michella Chester here for NCAA.com and let’s have some fun today. Now seems like a perfect time to take a look
at eight teams with a good chance of making it to the Women’s College World
Series. I picked these teams based on preseason rankings, returning players
and fall reports. Here we go First up Alabama who came in as number
one in the D1Softball preseason rankings. This team is stacked. After
making it to the Women’s College World Series for the 12th time last season,
they return 13 players from the 2019 roster and have a lot of depth in the circle.
We’ve got Montana Fouts, SEC Freshman of the year, Krystal Goodman, Sarah Cornell
and more in the rotation. They’ve got a few hitters too. Washington is next and
the Huskies could have all the pieces this season. They are stocked with arms
and have Gabbie Plain returning. But to round it out they have an experienced
offense too, with eight of nine starters returning from their 2019 Women’s
College World Series team. We will see slugger Morgane Flores back at the plate
and Sis Bates at the top of the lineup with 77 hits last season. They will have three hitting pictures as
well to mix up the lineup. Arizona is my next team that has a good shot this
season. The Wildcats were knocked out of the Women’s College World Series last
season by the eventual national champions, but they came in at number
three in the D1Softball preseason rankings. We know about Jessie Harper but Reyna Carranco who posted a .417 batting average will be back this season
Alyssa Palomino and Malia Martinez as well. So the majority of their best
hitters.. Sounds good to me. How about the national runner ups. The Oklahoma Sooners
most definitely have a chance of making it back to the College World Series. The
Sooners are undefeated in their last 54 conference series. That means they
haven’t lost since 2011. Take into consideration how well they did last
season and now I will add that they returned five all-big 12 selections and
first team all-american honorees G Juarez, junior utility player Jocelyn
Alo and sophomore utility player Grace Green. And if you thought Juaraz back in
the circle this year was scary enough keep an eye out for Shannon Saile this
season. She was a second team All American pitcher and posted a 1.42 ERA, ranking second nationally in hits allowed per seven innings. Next up UCLA the reigning champs, and yes they will be playing without Rachel
Garcia and Bubba Nickles but they have some experience with losing top players
and will have a lot of talent to fill in roles and find their identity at this
season. Megan Faraimo will step up in the circle and she’ll have a lot of help
too. She will hit as well and add some much-needed firepower. This will be a
young team but a fast and versatile one It’ll be so interesting to see if this
team can advance to the Women’s College World Series for a sixth straight season.
Three more you guys and Minnesota is next. A team that is experienced and
longing for a national title. They advanced the Women’s College World
Series for the first time last season but have a good shot again this season
with All-American Amber Fiser as the number one pitcher. McKenna Partain will
be back, the program single season runs record holder with 66 runs scored in
2019. Hope Brander will also be back at first base and Natalie DenHartog who
hit 17 homers last season Next Texas. The Longhorns under new head
coach from last season Mike White came in at number six this preseason and
they’ve returned a loaded roster. They’re led by All-Americans Janae Jefferson and
Miranda Ellish, they’re ace. But have another top pitcher in Shealyn O’Leary.
Add on five freshmen and UCLA transfer Colleen Sullivan and this team looks
like it’s in good shape. So who is the last one? I was between Florida State and
LSU. I’m going with Florida State. The Seminoles who were just knocked off
last season in a Super Regionals in a one-run decisive third game against
Oklahoma State returned their two leading run producers in first team
All-American Sydney Sherrill and Dani Morgan. They welcome nine new players
and their pitching staff will be led by Katherine Sandercock who played with the
U.S. softball junior national team last summer and posted a 1.99 er a last
season. My first out were LSU, Oklahoma State and Florida. Those three could also
put together great seasons as well. What do you guys think? Let us know who your
top eight are for the Women’s College World Series is and follow along with
all things softball on NCAA comm and NCAA softball social.

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