Oklahoma

Seed: No. 1

Record: 54-3

Coach: Patty Gasso (25th season at OU, 1,255-330-2)

NCAA WCWS history: 13th appearance (national championships: 2000, 2013, 2016, 2017)

Top players: 3B Sydney Romero .435 batting average, 19 HR, 54 RBIs; 2B Caleigh Clifton .419 BA, 17 HR, 49 RBIs, 6 triples; 1B Grace Green .388 BA, 16 HR, 53 RBIs.

Top pitchers: LHP Giselle Juarez 26-1, 1.10 ERA, 229 Ks; RHP Mariah Lopez 18-1, 1.00 ERA, 155 Ks

Fast fact: The Sooners’ 41-game winning streak from Feb. 23 through May 19 marked the longest over one season in NCAA Division I history.

Alabama

Seed: No. 8

Record: 57-8

Coach: Patrick Murphy (19th season at Alabama, 998-263)

NCAA WCWS history: 12th appearance (national championship: 2012)

Top players: C Bailey Hemphill .376 BA, 24 HR, 77 RBIs; OF Kaylee Tow .320 BA, 58 RBIs; OF Elissa Brown .326 BA, 46 SBs

Top pitchers: RHP Montana Fouts 19-5, 1.28 ERA, 170 Ks, 5 saves; RHP Sarah Cornell 21-1, 2.39 ERA

Fast fact: Cornell was named SEC Pitcher of the Year, and Fouts was SEC Freshman of the Year.

Florida

Seed: No. 4

Record: 49-16

Coach: Tim Walton (14th season at Florida, 771-165)

NCAA WCWS history: 10th appearance (national championships: 2014, 2015)

Top hitters: OF Amanda Lorenz .419 BA, 11 HR, 41 RBIs; DP Kendyl Lindaman .330 BA, 14 HR, 53 RBIs; C Jordan Roberts 8 HR, 35 RBIs

Top pitchers: RHP Kelly Barnhill 33-12, 1.47 ERA, 342 Ks; RHP Natalie Lugo 8-3, 2.04 ERA

Fast fact: The Gators’ opening game against Oklahoma State matches coaches Walton and OSU coach Kenny Gajewski, Walton’s former assistant with the Gators and teammates on Oklahoma’s 1994 national championship baseball team.

Oklahoma State

Seed: No. 13

Record: 44-15

Coach: Kenny Gajewski (4th season at OSU, 153-88)

NCAA WCWS history: 8th appearance, first since 2011

Top players: P Samantha Show .333 BA, 18 HR, 54 RBIs; 1B Michaela Richbourg 14 HR, 40 RBIs; 2B Madi Sue Montgomery .353 BA, 16 doubles

Top pitchers: RHP Samantha Show 21-8, 2.37 ERA; RHP Samantha Clakley 10-4, 2.82 ERA, 111 Ks; Logan Simonek 8-3, 3.23 ERA

Fast fact: Show played for Texas A&M at the 2017 WCWS.

UCLA

Seed: No. 2

Record: 51-6

Coach: Kelly Inouye-Perez (13th season at UCLA, 595-172-1)

NCAA WCWS history: 29th appearance (national championships: 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2010)

Top players: OF Bubba Nickles .395 BA, 16 HR, 69 RBIs; OF Kelli Godin .446 BA, 23 SBs; OF Aaliyah Jordan .367, 19 doubles, 110 total bases

Top pitchers: RHP Rachel Garcia 24-1, 1.01 ERA, 253 Ks, 4 saves; RHP Megan Faraimo 16-4, 1.42 ERA, 143 Ks

Fast fact: Garcia was named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Minnesota

Seed: No. 7

Record: 46-12

Coach: Jamie Trachsel (second season at Minnesota, 87-29)

NCAA WCWS history: 1st appearance

Top players: 1B Hope Brandner .365 BA, 19 HR, 59 RBIs; DP Natalie DenHartog .374 BA, 17 HR, 63 RBIs; 2B Makenna Partain .392 BA, 110 total bases

Top pitchers: RHP Amber Fiser 31-7, 1.17 ERA, 339 Ks; RHP Sydney Smith 13-5, 2.48 ERA

Fast fact: The Gophers qualified for the World Series in 1976 and ’78, when it was under the umbrella of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, not the NCAA.

Washington

Seed: No. 3

Record: 50-7

Coach: Heather Tarr (15th season at Washington, 634-232-1)

NCAA WCWS history: 14th appearance (national championship: 2009)

Top players: C Morganne Flores .361 BA, 22 HR, 60 RBIs; SS Sis Bates .386 BA; OF Sami Reynolds .320 BA

Top pitchers: RHP Gabbie Plain 23-2, 1.14 ERA, 229 Ks, 4 saves; RHP Taran Alvelo 25-4, 1.55 ERA, 268 Ks

Fast fact: Plain has thrown 31⅔ consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason.

Arizona

Seed: No. 6

Record: 47-12

Coach: Mike Candrea (34th season at Arizona, 1,610-416-2)

NCAA WCWS history: 23rd appearance (national championships: 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007)

Top players: SS Jessie Harper .345 BA, 28 HR, 69 RBIs; C Dejah Mulipola .310 BA, 22 HR, 53 RBIs; OF Alyssa Palomino .394 BA, 65 RBIs, 18 doubles

Top pitchers: LHP Taylor McQuillin 23-7, 1.52 ERA, 214 Ks; RHP Alyssa Denham 11-5, 1.87 ERA

Fast fact: This is the Wildcats’ first WCWS appearance since 2010. ... Candrea was head coach of the 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medal team.

Schedule

ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, Oklahoma City

Thursday

Game 1: No. 3 Washington vs. No. 6 Arizona, 11 a.m., ESPN

Game 2: No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Minnesota, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 3: No. 5 Florida vs. No. 13 Oklahoma State, 6 p.m., ESPN2

Game 4: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 8 Alabama, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2

Friday

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m., ESPN

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Saturday

Game 7: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 11 a.m., ESPN

Game 8: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 6 p.m., ESPN

Game 10: Game 8 winner vs. Game 5 loser, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Sunday

Game 11: Game 5 winner vs. Game 9 winner, noon, ESPN

Game 12: Game 6 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 2:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 13 (if necessary): Game 11 teams, 6 p.m., ESPN2

Game 14 (if necessary): Game 12 teams, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2

Championship Finals

Best-of-3

Game 1: 6:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN

Game 2: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN

Game 3: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, ESPN

 

 

Sports Columnist

Proud father of Gretchen and Holden. Devoted husband to Christy, who has been my best friend since biology class at Booker T. Washington. I covered the Oklahoma Sooners for 15 years. That was both challenging and rewarding. Now I get to write columns.