Missouri Tigers→Seed: No. 9. Record: 51-11 →Coach: Ehren Earleywine (236-119) →WCWS appearances: 5. Best finish: Fifth →Player to watch: Pitcher Kristin Nottelmann (25-7), who has won each of the Tiger's five tournament games this season while posting a .087 ERA. →Reason to believe: The team will be better prepared in their second-straight WCWS appearance, and Nottelmann has pitched four straight complete games coming into the tournament. →Cause for concern: Their first-round opponent, Hawaii, is on a roll after upsetting top-seeded Alabama in the Super Regional.
Hawaii Rainbow Wahine→Seed: No. 16. Record: 49-14 →Coach: Bob Coolen (758-495-1) →WCWS appearances: First. Best finish: N/A →Player to watch: Center fielder Kelly Majam leads the nation in home runs, with 30 of her 82 hits leaving the park. →Reason to believe: The Rainbow Wahine are rolling after Jenna Rodriguez's walk-off home run defeated top-seed Alabama to advance to the WCWS. →Cause for concern: Nerves and a lack of experience could work against the team in its first WCWS appearance.
UCLA Bruins→Seed: No. 5. Record: 45-11 →Coach: Kelly Inouye-Perez (178-49) →WCWS appearances: 24. Best finish: First (11 championships) →Player to watch: Pac-10 Player of the Year Megan Lagenfield leads the team with a .500 batting average and 16 home runs. →Reason to believe: The nation's most decorated softball program is looking to return to the summit of the sport with a 12th championship. →Cause for concern: The Bruins face a possible finals matchup with Washington and ace Danielle Lawrie, a team that took the season series against UCLA.
Florida Gators→Seed: 4. Record: 48-8 →Coach: Tim Walton (397-129) →WCWS appearances: 2. Best finish: Second →Player to watch: LF Francesca Enea owns the SEC all-time home run record. She has 61 career homers. →Reason to believe: It is Florida's third straight WCWS appearance, and last year, the Gators made the championship before losing to Washington. →Cause for concern: Florida faces a tough road to the finals, with 11-time champion UCLA up first, followed by a possible finals rematch against Washington.
Arizona Wildcats→Seed: No. 10. Record: 48-11 →Coach: Mike Candrea (1,225-256-2) →WCWS appearances: 22. Best finish: First (eight championships) →Player to watch: Kenzie Fowler (34-6, 1.27 ERA, 322 strikeouts). The freshman is the Wildcats' ace this season and, despite being hit in the forearm by a batted ball during Arizona's Super Regional, she is expected to start in the WCWS. → Reason to believe: The Wildcats are rich in tradition and talented. Fowler, one of 10 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year, is outstanding. Five Arizona players hit .350 or better. →Cause for concern: Fowler is the team ace, but she has had to overcome a bruised forearm — and tightness in the forearm caused by a pinched nerve in her neck. Her health might be a key to Arizona's success.
Tennessee Lady Volunteers→Seed: No. 15. Record: 47-13 →Co-Head Coaches: Ralph Weekly (917-316-2) Karen Weekly (639-232-2) →WCWS appearances: 3. Best finish: Second. →Player to watch: Centerfielder Kelly Grieve. The junior brings out her best for big games, hitting safely in 14 of 19 games against ranked teams, including an 11-game hitting streak. Grieve hit .349 against teams that made the NCAA Tournament. →Reason to believe: The Vols enter the WCWS after an impressive two-game sweep at No. 2 seed Michigan. Freshman pitcher Ivy Renfroe (18-2, 1.82 ERA, 120 strikeouts) has come on down the stretch, throwing 21 consecutive scoreless innings to begin her first run through the NCAA Tournament. She pitched 6 1/3 no-hit innings against Michigan in the Ann Arbor Super Regional. →Cause for concern: Renfroe leads Tennessee in most pitching categories. If she struggles in her first WCWS experience, the Vols' bats might have to carry the load.
Georgia Bulldogs→Seed: No. 6. Record: 48-11 →Coach: Lu Harris-Champer (709-243-1) →WCWS appearances: 1. Best finish: Third →Player to watch: Center fielder Taylor Scholpy. The junior was first team All-SEC and hit .400 in the Athens Regional as Georgia defeated California to advance to the WCWS. →Reason to believe: The power-hitting Bulldogs accounted for 95 home runs this season with five players with 10 or more. Megan Wiggins and Alisa Goler are tied for the team lead with 15. →Cause for concern: In a tournament full of teams with elite pitchers, the Bulldogs aren't even among the NCAA's top 50 teams in ERA at 2.68.
Washington Huskies→Seed: No. 3. Record: 50-7 →Coach: Heather Tarr (243-110-1) →WCWS appearances: 9. Best finish: First. Defending national champion. →Player to watch: Pitcher Danielle Lawrie. The 2010 USA Softball Player of the Year, Lawrie was 40-3 with a 1.00 ERA and 478 strikeouts this season. She added 15 homers and 57 RBI while hitting .311. →Reason to believe: Lawrie, Lawrie and Lawrie. The 2009 WCWS Most Outstanding Player while leading the Huskies to the title looks poised to do it again. →Cause for concern: The Huskies (.297 team batting average) might struggle manufacturing runs against the elite pitching in the WCWS.