The field of 64 teams for the NCAA softball tournament was revealed Sunday night, and the road to the Women's College World Series begins with this weekend's Regionals. Here are the eight teams we think will make it to Oklahoma City.
The No. 1 team in the college softball boasts a hitter and pitcher both up for the national Player of the Year award. Valerie Arioto, who missed the 2011 season because of a broken leg, leads the Pac-12 with 22 home runs, while pitcher Jolene Henderson sports a 29-1 record and 1.13 ERA. Cal's last national title came 10 years ago. Are the Golden Bears due for another?
The defending national champs have grown into one of college softball's biggest powers, advancing to OKC in five of the past six seasons with two titles. And the Sun Devils can flat-out swing the bat. Shortstop Katelyn Boyd is one of the game's most feared offensive players, posting a .456 average and while clubbing 19 home runs and 58 RBIs. Right behind her in the lineup is Alix Johnson, who is hitting .436. Pitcher Dallas Escobedo, one of the stars of last year's WCWS, is still just a sophomore.
Conference: Big 12
Keilani Ricketts has had a stellar season in the circle (1.10 ERA and 344 strikeouts) and at the plate (.400 average). Lauren Chamberlain has had a stellar freshman season, blasting a Big 12 record 25 home runs. The Sooners' last title came in 2000.