Oklahoma's Lauren Chamberlain capped her college career in 2015 as the college softball all-time home run leader, slugging 95 home runs over a sensational four-year career. Though Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga made a run at the title two years later, Chamberlain is still queen of the long ball on the softball diamond.
Only ten players have surpassed the 80 home run mark in the history of college softball. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best sluggers in NCAA Division I history.
College softball's all-time leaders in home runs
Chamberlain is not only college softball’s all-time home run queen, but she could also have had way more. Her 95 are tops on the list, but she’s also played less than anyone below her. Chamberlain was limited to just 39 games in her junior season due to back and PCL injuries. Considering she hit nearly one home run every two games, there were at least another eight or so home runs for the taking. They came anywhere and everywhere, in the regular season, the NCAA tournament, or in a memorable two-home run game in the Women's College World Series finals. Chamberlain's .960 career slugging percentage is the highest in college softball history, which probably surprises no one.
Mauga made a historic run at Chamberlain’s title but still fell three short. That said, she certainly left her mark in the NCAA, conference and school record books. She is the only college softball player with four 20 home runs seasons in her career, hitting 20, 26, 21, and 25 from her freshman to senior season. Mauga finished her illustrious career the all-time Pac-12 leader in home runs with 92.
She also has the most home runs in Arizona's program history, which may seem obvious, but is also worth mentioning. Mauga is one of four Arizona sluggers in the top home run hitters of all-time. Stacie Chambers, Leah Braatz, and Espinoza join her as four of the six players to hit 85 or more home runs in their careers.
Stacey Nuveman joins Chamberlain and Mauga as the only other player to hit 90 home runs over their college softball career. Nuveman had a long tenure with the Bruins, redshirting in 1998 with injury, before being granted a second redshirt to help the 2000 US Olympic team earn the gold medal in 2000 (and then playing the following summer for the USA softball team as well). Nuveman led the nation in home runs with 31 in 1999 helping UCLA to yet another national championship, the eighth of 12 WCWS titles for the Bruins. To have the school record in home runs for DI softball's winningest program is quite a lofty accomplishment.
Now while Michigan's Sierra Romero may occupy the last spot on our home run leaders list with 82, she has the honor of topping college softball's all-time leaders in career grand slams. Thirteen percent of her home runs came as grand slams, her 11 the best in college softball lore, as are her 302 runs scored. And while she may be in the bottom of our top 10 here, she is in the all-time top five for slugging percentage, finishing with a .882 career mark.
Florida State's Jessie Warren is the most recent entry to the top 10. She cranked 21 home runs in her 2018 senior campaign giving her 83 all-time. She was also named the 2018 Women's College World Series Most Outstanding Player in leading Florida State to its first national championship in program history.
Can anyone crack the college softball all-time leaders in home runs in 2020?
Probably to no one’s surprise, we turn our attention to the desert this coming NCAA softball season, where Arizona’s Jessie Harper is making a case to chase the all-time crown. She enters 2020 with 66 home runs, fifth-most all-time after three seasons and needs 29 home runs to catch Chamberlain. The junior shortstop became the 10th Wildcat in school history to lead the NCAA in home runs in a season in 2019 with a career-high in long balls. That career high? 29.
The complete list of college softball home run leaders
|Stacey Nuveman||UCLA||1997, 1999, 2001-02||264||90|
|Leah Braatz||Arizona||1994-95, 97-98||271||85|
|Jessie Warren||Florida State||2015-2018||253||83|