Arizona – Arizona is historically one of the best teams year-in and year-out and that continues this year. Along with hosting two tournaments of their own, they participated in three prestigious tournaments (Kajikawa Classic, Cathedral City Classic and Judi German Classic). That was to get them ready for the grueling Pac-10 schedule. They faced 20 tournament teams throughout the season and came away with a 21-15 record. They had a hiccup in the middle of the conference season when stud pitcher Kenzie Fowler went out with an injury but she’s back in the circle for the Wildcats.
Arizona has knocked 72 balls out of the park, led by Stacie Chambers. Stacie Chambers has 18 bombs this year and 85 for her career, which ties her for the school record. Her 66 RBI also lead the team. Brigette Del Ponte has knocked 16 out of the park. She also has a team-high 21 doubles and is second on the team with 57 RBI. Brittany Lastrapes has 16 doubles, 11 home runs, 38 RBI and a .415 average. Lini Koria adds 13 homers and 33 RBI to the powerful lineup, which has outscored opponents 345-183.
The Wildcats use a two–woman pitching rotation, featuring Fowler, a sophomore, and Shelby Babcock, a freshman. Fowler has the better record and ERA (23-7, 1.75), but Babcock has been an integral part of the team as well. Fowler has struck out 211 opponents, while Babcock has 116 punchouts.
Harvard – The Crimson come into the tournament after winning their fifth Ivy League titles, first since 2007. Harvard has also won 14 of their last 15 games. Their 36-14 record includes only three games against NCAA teams, ones in which they went 1-2.
The Crimson throws a lineup at you that may not look that impressive, but are a well-balanced squad that does the little things. Kasey Lang leads Harvard in pretty much offensive category with a .444 average, .483 on-base percentage, .804 slugging percentage, 11 home runs 20 doubles and 65 RBI. In fact, her RBI total is 30 more than the next highest. Oh yeah, Lang is only a freshman. Ellen Macadam leads the team in hits (76) and runs (52), while Ashley Heritage leads the squad with 21 stolen bases.
Rachel Brown leads the pitchers with a 21-6 record, 1.9 ERA and 291 strikeouts. In fact, she has an almost 5:1 K:BB ratio. The other pitcher joining her as a mainstay is freshman Laura Ricciardone, who has put together a nice first season, racking up a 13-5 record.
Texas Tech – After making the NCAA Tournament only twice before current coach Shanon Hays took over in 2010, the Red Raiders have now qualified for the second consecutive season. The team finished the season 40-14, only the second time the school has reached the 40-win plateau.
Texas Tech boasts six players who are hitting .343 or greater. Tow players, Sandy James and Cydney Allen, are in double digit home runs. Allen has knocked 15 out of the ballpark, while knocking 59 runs in. James has 13 bombs on the year and 52 RBI, third highest on the team. Emily Bledsoe is hitting a team-high .384 and is second on the team in both steals (13) and doubles (14). Logan Hall has a team-high 62 hits, 11 doubles and 55 RBI.
The Red Raiders employ Brittany Telley and Kelsey Dennis as their top two pitchers. Telley has a 14-6 record and 2.70 ERA. She has 73 K’s on the season. Dennis has a 12-5 record and 2.85 ERA. She leads the squad with 74 punchouts. So its easy to say the two are truly 1 and 1A.
New Mexico State - The New Mexico State softball team made history Saturday afternoon by clinching the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid after defeating Fresno State 5-0 in the 2011 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Softball Tournament Championship. A tough nonconference schedule, which included games against Oklahoma, Arizona, Arizona State and Nebraska, seems to have paid off for the Aggies, who come in having won 16 of their last 19 games.
New Mexico State has nine players hitting over .300, including star Hoku Nohara, who leads the team with a .43o clip. She also has an impressive 23 home runs and 7o RBI. Tiare Jennings is right behind her with 15 home runs and 56 RBI. Valerie Swedberg rounds out the double digit home run hitters with 11. She also leads the team with 13 doubles and has 48 RBI. Kylie Randall is a terror on the basepaths, having been caught only twice in 38 attempts.
Alex Newman has a 22-6 record to lead the team and also has a team-low 3.39 ERA. She also leads the team with 83 strikeouts