There are no doubt many factors that could play into the Oklahoma Sooners’ perfect season and championship title this weekend, but one stands above all others: the Oklahoma Sooners are playing at home. Oklahoma’s softball team is being touted as a repeat champion, after taking home the title in 2011. This year’s edition of the Big 12 tournament has been closely contested and there is no clear favorite.
The NCAA softball tournament is a 16-team, double-elimination tournament that takes place every June, and this year’s event is scheduled to start on Thursday, June 7. As the tournament is currently scheduled, it will be a culmination of all the talented young women (and in some cases, men) of the country. But who will come out on top?
This year’s NCAA softball tournament is a great way to watch a hard-hit ball (and see the best women’s softball players in the world in action). We’ve picked our top eight teams and players, and if you have any questions about the tournament, ask them below.. Read more about ncaa softball regionals 2021 dates and let us know what you think.It’s been a long wait for the Oklahoma softball team.
It’s been nearly two years since the 2019 Sooners lost to UCLA in the Women’s College World Series, and their chance at redemption was delayed when a coronavirus pandemic derailed the 2020 season. After a historically dominant regular season this year, the top-seeded Suners enter the 2021 College World Series as favorites to win their third title since 2016.
Sunday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and ESPN App) the participants in the NCAA softball tournament will be announced, beginning a busy week in college softball. Regionals begin on Friday and Super Regionals on May 27, before the Women’s College World Series begins on May 3. Early June in Oklahoma City.
Looking ahead to qualifying and the tournament that follows, here are some of the best teams and players in the country to keep an eye on:
The Sooners won the Big 12 Tournament with a 10-2 victory over Oklahoma State in the championship game and enter the NCAA Tournament as the team to beat. After opening the season with an NCAA record 13 home runs in one game in a win over UTEP, the Sousers were virtually unstoppable. During the regular season, the Sooners hit 120 home runs – 29 more than the number two, Arizona State – and started the season with 33 consecutive wins.
❌ Please stay out of the airspace @Jaydac00 ✈️#SCTop10 | @SportsCenter pic.twitter.com/ING4GukTrE
– Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 15, 2021
If the Bruins manage to defend their crown in 2019, it would be no surprise. They came through a tough Pac-12 and won their 11th in a row. It has the country’s best player, P/1B Rachel Garcia, who, along with UCLA teammate Bubba Nickles, will be part of the U.S. team at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
The Crimson Tide defeated Florida 4-0 on Saturday to win the SEC Tournament. That made it the only No. 1 position neither Oklahoma nor UCLA had in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll. Bailey Hemphill and Alex Mack batted over .400, and pitcher Montana Fouts (1.62 ERA) was an ace in the circle.
Da na na na na…. da na na na na#SCtop10 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/dF4TEfFtEV
– Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) May 8, 2021
Even though the Tigers just missed out on the ACC tournament title, what they accomplished as a first-year program in 2021 is incredible. In the ACC, they posted a 29-5 record, won the regular season title and now head into the postseason looking to extend their season. Valerie Cagle led the team in hitting at .420 and 15 home runs.
Rachel Garcia, University of California
As mentioned earlier, Garcia is the best player in the country. She dominates both in the circle (14-0, 0.60 ERA) and at the plate (.362 average, 1.262 OPS, 11 HR). She was named USA Softball Player of the Year twice and will leave UCLA as one of the most successful players in the history of college softball.
0-2 on the field? No problem. Rachel joined the club of players with 10+ home runs, by hitting her 10th home run of the season. Home run and gave the Bruins an early lead.
Watch: https://t.co/6JEHG61YyR#GoBruins pic.twitter.com/fKycuaGdIn
– UCLA Softball (@UCLASoftball) May 14, 2021
Jocelyn Alo, Tiare Jennings and Jaida Coleman, Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s list of impact players is even longer than its offensive performance – six players who appeared on the field at least twice a game hit .400 or higher – but Alo, Jennings and Coleman stand out on a team full of stars. Coleman led the team with a .492 average, while Alo (27) and Jennings (24) hit 51 home runs, a total that rivals some of the best teams in the country in terms of batting average.
Braxton Burnside, Arkansas.
Burnside is the SEC home run champion, is second nationally in home runs – behind Oklahoma’s Alo – and is a key figure in Arkansas’ 40-game regular season winning streak and a chance to reach the tournament.
Brax bombing in slow motion > @braxtonburnside#NCAASoftball x @RazorbackSB pic.twitter.com/vluv2iVTjl
– NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) April 27, 2021
Gabby Plain, Washington.
One of the few pitchers to beat UCLA during the season, Plain went 29-2 with a 1.19 ERA during the regular season. If the fifth-ranked Huskies make it to the World Series, it will likely be due to Plain’s dominance in the circle.The NCAA softball single-elimination tournament has reached its quarterfinals, creating an easy path for the top seeds to reach the national championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Oklahoma Sooners were expected to be one of the top teams in the field, and they are proving to be the best so far. The Sooners are led by their ace pitcher, Taylor Steele, whose 12 wins lead the nation and rank him fourth in the history of the NCAA event. Oklahoma also has an incredible defensive team, led by its ace outfielder, Paige Lowary, who has tripled and homered more than any other player in the tournament.. Read more about college softball world series 2021 and let us know what you think.
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