Oklahoma chases a fourth title as NCAA softball season kicks off
The GIST: Dust off your visor and oil your glove — the NCAA softball season officially starts tomorrow, with 301 DI teams vying for the chance to compete at spring’s premier event, the Women’s College World Series (WCWS).
Teams to know: Surprising absolutely no one, Oklahoma is the preseason No. 1 as they chase their fourth straight (!!!) national title. But the Sooners look a little different this year after losing the reigning WCWS Most Outstanding Player, pitcher Jordy Bahl, to the transfer portal and bringing in an all-star class of freshmen and transfers to fill her cleats.
- If Oklahoma is Regina George, No. 4 Florida State is Gretchen Wieners. The Sooners beat FSU in two of the last three WCWS, but with six of Florida State’s seven top hitters returning, roster stability could give the Seminoles the edge this season.
- Other powerhouses to look out for include No. 2 Tennessee and No. 3 Stanford, but the dark horse? No. 17 Nebraska. The Cornhuskers shocked the world when the aforementioned Bahl joined them in the offseason, single-handedly putting the program on the map in the process.
What to watch: There are tons of tournaments to start the season, but the spiciest matchups go down at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge: Oklahoma takes on No. 9 Duke at 2 p.m. ET, and Nebraska faces No. 10 Washington at 7:30 p.m. ET. Catch both games on FloSoftball, then settle in for a season full of dingers.