James Madison Dukes: 39-2
Coach: Loren LaPorte (146-32)
Team Batting Average: .317
Team ERA: 1.53
Ace in the Circle: Odicci Alexander
The Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year is 13th in the country this season with an ERA of 1.14. The passionate pitcher is the emotional leader of the Dukes, but she backs it up in the circle. She ranks seventh in the country in strikeouts per seven innings with 11.1.
Player to Watch: Kate Gordon
Already the career RBI leader in Dukes history, Gordon enters the WCWS hitting .368 on the season with 60 hits and 18 home nurse. In total, she’s driven home 65 RBIs this season, anchoring the James Madison offense.
Oklahoma State Cowgirls (47-10)
Coach: Kenny Gajewski (219-106)
Team Batting Average: .318
Team ERA: 1.82
Ace in the Circle: Carrie Eberle
The Big 12 Pitcher of the Year is one of two pitchers in the country who have beat the vaunted Sooner lineup this season. Entering the WCWS with an ERA of 1.41, Eberle is familiar with the OU threat, and has done enough to give her offense a chance to win on two different occasions against the Sooners.
Player to Watch: Alysen Febrey
Febrey leads the Cowgirls this season in batting average (.409), hits (72), doubles (17), and RBIs (59). She also has the second most home runs on the roster with 18, and has the second best slugging percentage for OSU (.813).
Georgia Bulldogs (34-21)
Coach: Lu Harris-Champer (925-345)
Team Batting Average: .265
Team ERA: 3.14
Ace in the Circle: Mary Wilson Avant
The other pitcher this season to record a victory over the Sooners, Avant comes into the week’s action with a 2.69 ERA. Punching out 194 batters this season, Avant has allowed 76 walks, holding opponents to a batting average of .225. The Sooners did beat her in the second game fo their double-header, but she has already put the OU lineup on notice.
Player to Watch: Jaiden Fields
Fields has already hurt Oklahoma once this year. Blasting a go-ahead bomb against the Sooners in Game 1 of their double-header, she infamously missed home plate, recording the rare out on a ball she smashed over the fence. She made amends, however, walking off the game in extra innings for the Bulldogs. Fields is second on the team in batting average (.308), and she’s hit seven home runs this year, driving in 22 runs for the season.
Alabama Crimson Tide (50-7)
Coach: Patrick Murphy (1,147-318)
Team Batting Average: .314
Team ERA: 1.69
Ace in the Circle: Montana Fouts
Alabama’s ace has been flat out dominate this season, recording 10 or more strikeouts on 20 occasions this season, a Crimson Tide record. With a record of 25-3 on the year, Fouts has an ERA of 1.49, striking out an eye-popping 314 batters this year while only allowing 46 walks. Opposing hitters are only hitting .185 off of the junior as she’s only given up 11 long balls all year.
Player to Watch: Bailey Hemphill
Already Alabama’s career home run leader, Hemphill is looking for more in Oklahoma City. Second on the team in batting average (.413), Hemphill has launched 12 bombs this season, driving in 52 RBIs with a slugging percentage of .739. Hemphill has also drawn 53 walks this season, more than double her next closest teammate.
Arizona Wildcats (41-13)
Coach: Mike Candrea (1,674-434-2)
Team Batting Average: .326
Team ERA: 2.13
Ace in the Circle: Alyssa Denham
Making 10 more appearances than Hanah Bowen, Denham has been the trusted arm for the Wildcats. She leads her team win an ERA of 1.88, punching out 106 batters this season while issuing 49 walks. Opponents are hitting .209 off her arm, and she’s only given up 11 homers on the year, a season low for the Wildcats.
Player to Watch: Dejah Mulipola
Mulipola is the leading slugger for Candrea’s Wildcats. Launching 21 bombs this season, Mulipola has driven in 63 RBIs, while recording a batting average of .401, good for second on the team. She also leads the Wildcats in on base percentage (.533) amongst players who have seen action in 10 games or more, slugging percentage (.901) and walks (33).
Florida State Seminoles (44-10-1)
Coach: Lonni Alameda (756-335-3)
Team Batting Average: .262
Team ERA: 1.61
Ace in the Circle: Kathryn Sandercock
While Sandercock and Caylan Arnold split time pretty evenly in the circle, Sandercock leads the Seminoles in ERA posting a mark of 1.09 this season. Sandercock also leads the staff with 147 1/3 innings pitched this season, striking out 105 batters, only allowed 23 earned runs all year long. Batters are only hitting .179 off the Seminole ace, and have only hit six home runs off her all season long.
Player to Watch: Sydney Sherrill
Not a power hitter, Sherrill’s speed makes her a threat on the base paths. With 16 of her 46 hits this season being extra-base hits, Sherrill leads Florida State with a .313 batting average. Only hitting two home runs all year long, she’s still driven in 28 runs this season, the third highest on the team. Sherrill is FSU’s most patient hitter as well, leading the team by drawing 43 walks this season.
UCLA Bruins (46-5)
Coach: Kelly Inouye-Perez (671-178-1)
Team Batting Average: .320
Team ERA: 1.24
Ace in the Circle: Rachel Garcia
Unable to repeat as the USA Softball Player of the Year, Garcia joined Washington pitcher Gabbie Plain and Sooner slugger and winner of the award Jocelyn Alo as one of the three finalists for the honor. Garcia’s 0.95 ERA is the fourth best mark int he country as the Bruin star has masterful control in the circle. Garcia has struck out 162 batters while only issuing 21 walks, and opposing hitters have only managed three home runs off her arm all year long.
Player to Watch: Briana Perez
Though the Bruins have a plethora of great hitters, Perez is consistently near the top across many categories. Leading UCLA in batting average (.364), hits (59) and slugging percentage (.728), Perez is tied for the second most home runs (13) and is section in RBIs (41) for a potent UCLA offense.