WCWS: 5 hitters to watch at the NCAA softball championships
The Women’s College World Series is upon us and, for eight incredible teams, college softball supremacy is on the line.
Excellence in all phases of the game is crucial for each of these teams as they chase their dreams. However, there’s no denying that one thing in particular can swing a game or two, and ultimately the championship: a flat-out dominant hitter.
|2016 WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES|
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|GAME 2: Auburn 10, UCLA 3 Box Score Video|
|GAME 1: Georgia 5, FSU 4 Box Score Video|
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Here are five hitters who can have a big impact in Oklahoma City during the next week:
Sierra Romero | Michigan | Infielder | Senior
Sierra Romero is a hitting machine. The Wolverines infielder has proven to be one of softball’s best hitters ever during her four-year college career. She holds career NCAA records in runs and grand slams and holds school records for batting average, runs, home runs and RBI. She was especially great at the plate during her senior year, as she hit .465 with 19 home runs.
Tina Iosefa | Georgia | Infielder | Senior
Tina Iosefa is softball’s ultimate power bat. The Bulldogs star hit a remarkable 23 home runs this season, which tied her with Coastal Carolina’s Morgan Noad for the most dingers in Division I. She also chipped in a Georgia and SEC record 86 RBI. Iosefa was named a NFCA Third-Team All-American for her stellar play this season.
Kasey Cooper | Auburn | Infielder | Junior
Cooper earned USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year honors and for good reason. The junior infielder can rake. Cooper hit .425, blasted 19 home runs and drove in 76 RBI. Auburn is the highest-seeded team in the Women's College World Series’ Bracket 1 and don’t be surprised to see the Tigers in the championship round if Cooper continues hitting like she has all year.
Sydni Emanuel | Georgia | Outfielder | Junior
Emanuel isn’t a threat to leave the park like her teammate Iosefa, but she’s still a pitcher’s nightmare. Few are more consistent at the dish than Emanuel, whose .452 batting average ranks 12th in the country. Emanuel is also a factor on the base paths, as she ranks second on the Bulldogs with 14 stolen bases.
MORE: Full WCWS bracket
Haylie McCleney | Alabama | Outfielder | Senior
McCleney is one of the toughest outs in softball. The senior outfielder posted an absurd .600 on-base percentage this season. McCleney sets the tone for the Crimson Tide in every way; she hit .441 with 15 doubles, five triples and five home runs this year. Slowing down McCleney will be crucial for opponents in getting past Alabama during the Women’s College World Series. Unfortunately for those teams, that’s easier said than done.