2016 Preseason All-SEC Softball Team

Name, School, Position, Cl., Ht., Hometown

Emily Carosone, Auburn, IF, Sr., 5-4, Orlando, Fla.

Kasey Cooper, Auburn, IF, Jr., 5-4, Dothan, Ala.

Kelsey Stewart, Florida, IF, Sr., 5-6, Wichita, Kan.

Alex Hugo, Georgia, IF, Sr., 5-8, Olathe, Kan.

Bianka Bell, LSU, IF, Sr., 5-5, Tampa, Fla.

Haylie McCleney, Alabama, OF, Sr., 5-4, Morris, Ala.

Tiffany Howard, Auburn, OF, Sr., 5-5, Pembroke, Ga.

Kirsti Merritt, Florida, OF, Sr., 5-4, Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.

Alaynie Page, South Carolina, OF, Sr., 5-6, Boiling Springs, S.C.

Alexis Osorio, Alabama, P, So., 5-8, Riverside, Calif.

Kelsey Nunley, Kentucky, P, Sr., 5-10, Soddy Daisy, Tenn.

Carley Hoover, LSU, P, So., 6-2, Clemson, S.C.

Aubree Munro, Florida, C, Sr., 5-10, Brea, Calif.

Rainey Gaffin, Tennessee, DP/UT, Sr., 5-10, Thornton, Calif.

Oklahoma Softball Placed Atop Big 12 Preseason Poll

FULL RELEASE: http://bit.ly/1Pihx2M

NORMAN – For the fourth season in a row and the seventh time in the last eight years, the Oklahoma softball team has topped the Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll that was released Wednesday. The Sooners received five of the seven first-place votes. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.

The Sooners led Big 12 teams with 35 points, while Baylor received the other two first-place votes and ranked second with 32 points. Texas was slotted third by the coaches with 26 points, followed by Kansas (20), Oklahoma State (14), Texas Tech (13) and Iowa State (7).

The four-time defending Big 12 champions return four of the seven Sooners that earned All-Big 12 honors last season, including Paige Parker, who was Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. In addition, six of OU’s eight all-region selections will be back for the 2016 season.

OU went 14-2 in the Big 12 in 2015 to capture the eighth regular season conference crown in program history and become the first team in league annals to win it four seasons in a row. In fact, no other program has won more than two consecutive league titles.

Overall, Oklahoma posted a 49-9 record last season and reached the NCAA Super Regionals for the sixth season in a row, tying for the second longest active streak in the country.

Oklahoma’s 2016 season starts on Friday, Feb. 12 against Minnesota and Washington at the Sportco Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas. The Sooners are also scheduled to face Lamar, Syracuse and Long Beach State in the tournament.


LSU Picked Second in SEC Preseason Poll; Florida tops poll


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. In a vote of the league’s head coaches, the Southeastern Conference released its annual preseason poll on Thursday as LSU was picked to finish second after earning three first place votes and 128 overall points.


The Tigers, who made it to the semifinals of the Women’s College World Series in 2015, returns 16 letterwinners and seven starters from a team that went 52-14 overall, beginning the season winning their first 25 games to start. LSU was 15-9 during the conference portion of the schedule, finishing in a tie for fourth place.


After winning each of last two national championships, Florida was picked to win the SEC after earning 10 first-place votes. The Gators finished with 142 total points, as UF, LSU, Auburn in third, Alabama in fourth and Tennessee in fifth were the only teams to earn greater than 100 points in the poll.


Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Mississippi State were slotted from sixth to 10th place, respectively, while South Carolina, Ole Miss and Arkansas round out the poll in 11th, 12th and 13th place.


The 2016 SEC Softball Tournament will be held May 11-14 in Starkville and hosted by Mississippi State.


LSU opens the 2016 regular season on Friday, February 12 against Ohio State at 5 p.m. in Tiger Park.


For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusb on Instagram.





1-28-2016 Bruggemann New Head of NFCA

Bruggeman named new NFCA Executive Director

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The NFCA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Carol Bruggeman as the Association’s third full-time Executive Director, effective Feb. 1, after serving the past four months in an interim role following the resignation of longtime Executive Director Lacy Lee Baker.


In her interim role, Bruggeman presided over the Association’s second-most attended National Convention in December and the successful first NFCA Coaches Clinic earlier this month. She joined the NFCA as Associate Executive Director in September 2014, is a longtime NCAA Division I coach at Michigan, Purdue and Louisville, and a well-respected national speaker, clinician, educator and author.


“From the first day on the job as the Interim Executive Director, Carol has performed at a level indicative of a seasoned professional,” NFCA Board of Directors President Rhonda Revelle said. “She guided the NFCA through an outstanding convention, increased sponsorship and membership numbers in a very short and busy time, and conducted an inaugural and hugely successful NFCA Coaches Clinic.”


“In addition, she modeled excellence in her day-to-day leadership and organizational skills with the NFCA staff and members. Carol is a natural leader who is driven, intelligent, and extremely passionate about the growth and welfare of the NFCA and all of its members.


“The NFCA Board of Directors unanimously agreed that we struck gold with Carol, and that she is the absolute right fit and right leader to lead us now and into the future. We are thrilled to announce that Carol has agreed to become the Executive Director of the NFCA.”


Bruggeman is certainly no stranger to the Association, having been an active member for 25 years while unselfishly serving the NFCA in numerous capacities. She had a four-year term as president and stints as both the Past-President and Fourth Vice President on the NFCA’s Board of Directors, and also spent time as the Board’s Division I Representative. She has continued to be a featured instructor at numerous National Fastpitch Coaches College courses and national clinics around the country.


“I am humbled and honored to serve as NFCA Executive Director,” Bruggeman said. “I would like to thank the NFCA Board of Directors for this exciting opportunity. I look forward to working with our dedicated and motivated staff as we move toward a compelling future. Softball is a vibrant and growing sport and softball coaches are passionate, driven people. Our coaches association will strive to mirror the excitement and energy surrounding both the sport and the valued members we serve.”


Bruggeman has also served as the color analyst for ESPN, Big Ten and SEC Network broadcasts. She also co-produced Level 1 and Level 2 instructional DVDs on softball-specific athlete development and has produced instructional DVDs focusing on baserunning and defense. In July 2011, Bruggeman traveled to Australia as head coach of the college team that won a gold medal with USA-Athletes International and she traveled to the Czech Republic in 2009 in the same role.


During her career, Bruggeman has been a part of over 700 victories, and has had a hand in many conference titles and coached numerous NFCA All-Americans.


As an infielder at the University of Iowa, she was an All-Big Ten and All-Mideast Region selection, as well as an Academic All-American and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, who received Iowa’s Athletic Academic Medal of Honor. In 1997, Bruggeman was inducted into the Iowa Softball Association Hall of Fame.


A native of Charter Oak, Iowa, she received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and business from Iowa in 1987 and continued her education at Iowa, earning a master’s in athletic administration and coaching in 1990.

1-26-2016 NPF 2016 COLLEGE DRAFT


2016 NPF College Draft Slated For April 14 At CMA Theater In Nashville, TN

NASHVILLE, TN – Jan. 25, 2016  – National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), the premier women’s pro softball league, today announced that the 2016 NPF College Draft Presented by Bownet will take place on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm CT at the CMA Theater in Nashville, located within the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.


The NPF College Draft has become a marquee event for the league, showcasing the current and future stars of an increasingly popular professional sport that is rapidly gaining fans across the country.  The 90-minute televised draft will feature NPF team representatives selecting 33 college seniors to join the ranks of the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion (Washington, Pa./Pittsburgh), Scrap Yard Dawgs (The Woodlands, Tex./Houston) and USSSA Florida Pride (Kissimmee/Orlando). Only college seniors are eligible for the draft.


“The NPF draft is our first big event each year and it’s a terrific lead-in to our season,” said NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf, who also serves as the lead studio analyst of NCAA softball coverage for ESPN. “We’re thrilled to be in the CMA Theater for the second year in a row and look forward to introducing some of the most exciting athletes in diamond sports to a national audience.”


With TV coverage, broadcast viewership and game attendance on the rise, the NPF is poised to have a breakout year in 2016. The league’s partnership with CBS Sports Network grew to a league-best 59 airings in 2015, with more expected this year. Game attendance was up more than 26 percent, highlighted by a single-game record of 12,175 set by the USSSA Pride at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.


The expanding inventory of NPF assets, including its six franchises, 150 regular season games, CBS Sports Network broadcast schedule, NPF College Draft, NPF Back-to-School Tour and NPF Championship Series, is broadening national awareness for the league while presenting marketing opportunities for brands looking to connect with family audiences, especially moms and young females. The NPF also plans a major announcement soon detailing a partnership to live stream every game and league event.


As the NPF grows, Kempf emphasizes that the stars of the league – the best fastpitch softball players in the world – who are revered by fans and active on social media, each serve as marketing assets for NPF sponsors. “Our players have a remarkable ability to relate to fans and attract a passionate following, which is reflected in their social media numbers,” the commissioner said. “Their willingness to help promote our brand partners is a powerful tool for any sponsor to leverage.”


The 2016 NPF College Draft Presented by Bownet, getting underway in Nashville at 7pm CT/8pm ET on April 14, will introduce fans to the nation’s most coveted pro prospects, many of whom gained national visibility playing in the Women’s College World Series, seen by millions on ESPN. Some of the top newcomers to watch include Sierra Lawrence and Sierra Romero (both from Michigan), Kelsey Stewart (Florida), Lexi Elkins (University of Louisiana), Alex Hugo (Georgia) and Haley McCleney (Alabama).  Among the top pitchers to be considered in this year’s draft are Cheridan Hawkins (Oregon), Kelsey Nunley (Kentucky), Kelsey Stevens (Oklahoma) and Shelby Turnier (Central Florida).  The Pennsylvania Rebellion currently holds the No. 1 pick.


The broadcast will also familiarize fans with some of the current stars of the NPF who are expected to attend the draft, including Lauren Chamberlain of the USSSA Pride (2015 No. 1 pick from Oklahoma), Dallas Escobedo of the Pennsylvania Rebellion (2014 No. 1 pick from Arizona State), Lauren Haeger of the Dallas Charge (2015 WCWS Most Outstanding Player and NCAA National Player of the Year from Florida) and Lacey Waldrop of the Chicago Bandits (2014 National Player of the Year from Florida State).


Details related to the television broadcast of the draft on CBS Sports Network are expected to be announced soon.  Presenting sponsor of the NPF College Draft is Bownet, maker of the world’s best portable sports goals, nets, bags, specialty equipment and training systems. The 2016 draft marks the fourth consecutive year that Bownet has been the event’s lead sponsor.



1-26-2016 Florida Leads NFCA Preseason Poll

Florida Leads NFCA Preseason Poll



Reigning Two-Time National Champion Florida Preseason Favorites in USA Today/NFCA Division I Coaches Poll

January 26, 2015


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Two-time defending National Champion Florida will start the 2016 campaign atop the poll as the Gators (60-7) received 26 first-place votes and totaled 782 points to earn the No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Preseason Coaches Poll.


Coming off its second consecutive WCWS title, Florida, under the direction of Tim Walton, opens the season at No. 1 for the second year in a row and third overall. In 2015, the Gators spent the first six weeks atop the poll and eight overall and have garnered the No. 1 ranking 14 times the past two seasons.


National runner-up Michigan (60-8) garnered two first-place votes and 755 points to come in at No. 2. WCWS semifinalists LSU (52-14) and Auburn (56-11) are your third and fourth ranked teams, picking up 711 points (two first-place votes) and 698 points (one first-place vote), respectively. Grabbing the final first-place vote and receiving 672 points in fifth-ranked Alabama.


Coming in at No. 6 is Oregon (51-8) with 666 points and at No. 7 with 625 points, UCLA. Rounding out the top-10 are Tennessee (47-17), Oklahoma (49-9) and Florida State (49-14).


The Southeastern Conference led the way with four of the top five selections and eight overall, while the Pac-12 boasted six programs. The Atlantic Coast Conference followed with three teams, while the Big 10, Big 12 and Sun Belt garnered two nods. The American Athletic Conference and Colonial Athletic Association had one squad represented.


The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Final 2015 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.



2016 USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll Preseason | Jan. 26, 2016


Rank Team Points 2015 Record Final 2015 Rank
1 Florida (26) 782 60-7 1
2 Michigan (2) 755 60-8 2
3 LSU (2) 711 52-14 4
4 Auburn (1) 698 56-11 3
5 Alabama (1) 672 48-15 6
6 Oregon 666 51-8 7
7 UCLA 625 51-12 5
8 Tennessee 548 47-17 8
9 Oklahoma 514 49-9 9
10 Florida State 493 49-14 10
11 Louisiana Lafayette 449 42-12 11
12 Georgia 416 44-17 12
13 Arizona 385 41-20 13
14 Minnesota 376 49-11 15
15 Missouri 369 42-16 14
16 Baylor 290 41-17 18
17 UCF 270 50-9 16
18 Kentucky 260 32-26 17
19 James Madison 198 48-10 22
20 Washington 197 42-17 21
21 California 142 39-18 23
22 Arizona State 136 36-22 20
23 North Carolina State 114 38-22 19
24 Notre Dame 77 42-15 t25
25 South Alabama 73 40-13 23


Receiving Votes: Texas A&M (38), North Dakota State (32), Utah (22), Hofstra (14), Nebraska (13), Texas (12), Northwestern (10), Ohio State (6), North Carolina (6), Florida Atlantic (5), Mississippi State (5), USC Upstate (4), UAB (4), Western Kentucky (4), Fresno State (3), Kansas (2), Louisville (2), Pittsburgh (2).


The USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.  First Place votes are in parentheses.



1-26-2016 Florida Tops ESPN Preseason Poll

Back-to-back NCAA WCWS champions Florida land at No. 1 in the Preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced the results from the Preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll today, with reigning NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) champions Florida atop the polls after claiming 17 of the available 20 first-place votes. Capturing the No. 2 spot with one first-place vote is Michigan, while LSU rests at No. 3 after receiving two votes.

Click here to see a complete listing of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate 2016 Top 25 Preseason Poll.

Finishing the 2015 season at No. 1 with a record of 60-7, the defending Southeastern Conference (SEC) Champions Florida Gators reached the 60-win plateau for just the third time in school history and posted their third-highest win percentage (.895). Florida will begin its season Feb. 12 at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament in Tampa, Fla., while conference play starts a month later (March 12) at Auburn.

No. 2 Michigan, last year’s runner-up at the NCAA WCWS, completed its season with a 60-8 record and returns eight starters to this year’s squad. The Wolverines will also begin their season at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament and will square off with Florida in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle. Meanwhile LSU, who made it to the NCAA WCWS for the fourth time in program history last season, returns seven starters and will host the Tiger Classic where they will play Ohio State in their first game of the season.

No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Alabama round out the Top 5 in the preseason poll. The Ducks, who tallied a program record of 21 conference wins last season, will look to claim their fourth-straight Pac-12 title this season. Following a 48-15 record in 2015, Alabama will begin its season at the UCF Classic on Feb. 12.

Rounding out the Top 10 are No. 6 Auburn, No. 7 UCLA, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 9 Tennessee and No. 10 Florida State.

Of the teams ranked in the preseason poll, seven squads have athletes on the 2016 USA Softball Women’s National Team. Florida is represented by Kelly Barnhill (Marietta, Ga.), Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.), and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) while LSU’s Bianka Bell (Tampa, Fla.), Oregon’s Jenna Lilley (North Canton, Ohio), Alabama’s Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.), Auburn’s Kasey Cooper (Dothan, Ala.), UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), and California’s Jazmyn Jackson (San Jose, Calif.) will also suit up for the Red, White and Blue this summer.

Six teams ranked in the Top 25 also have athletes on the 2016 USA Softball Women’s Elite Team. Tennessee boasts three Elite Team athletes in Rainey Gaffin (Thornton, Colo.), Meghan Gregg (Williamson, Ga.) and Brooke Vines (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), while Oregon will be represented by Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson, Calif.) and Gwen Svekis (Davie, Fla.). Also represented by two athletes is LSU, as Emily Griggs (Wichita, Kan.) and Bailey Landry (Prairieville, La.) will don USA across their chests this summer. Also suiting up for the Elite Team are Florida’s Nicole DeWitt (Garden Grove, Calif.), UCLA’s Paige Halstead (Alta Loma, Calif.), Oklahoma’s Sydney Romero (Murrieta, Calif.), Missouri’s Paige Lowary (Dallas Center, Iowa), and California’s Annie Aldrete (Monterey, Calif.).

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is currently in its 14th year. Starting Feb. 16, regular season polls will be released for 14-consecutive Tuesdays with the final poll of the season to be released on June 14 following the NCAA WCWS. The first of 14 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week accolades will also be announced on Feb. 16 with a new player chosen each Tuesday of the regular season.

In addition to conducting the ESPN.com/USA Softball collegiate Top 25 Poll and the USA Softball Player of the Week, ASA/USA Softball is also in the 15th season of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. The Top 50 Watch List for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be announced Feb. 3 with the Top 25 announced April 13, the Top 10 announced May 11 and the Top 3 announced May 25. The 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed May 31.

The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball Regions as well as members of the National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.

2016 Season – Preseason – January 26, 2016
Team 2015 Record Points Final 2015 Ranking
1. Florida (17) 60-7 495 1
2. Michigan (1) 60-8 473 2
3. LSU (2) 52-14 446 4
4. Oregon 51-8 428 7
5. Alabama 48-15 412 6
6. Auburn 56-11 409 3
7. UCLA 51-12 368 5
8. Oklahoma 49-9 352 9
9. Tennessee 47-17 341 8
10. Florida State 49-14 311 10
11. Louisiana-Lafayette 42-12 285 11
12. Missouri 42-16 258 12
13. Minnesota 49-11 257 15
14. Georgia 44-17 223 13
15. Arizona 41-20 217 14
16. Baylor 41-17 183 18
17. UCF 50-9 159 16
18. Kentucky 32-26 148 17
19. Washington 42-7 144 21
20. Arizona State 36-22 106 20
21. James Madison 48-10 95 22
22. California 39-18 80 23
23. Utah 36-19 58 25
24. Texas A&M 40-20 53 RV
25. NC State 38-22 47 19

Parenthesis denotes first place votes.

New to Poll: None

Dropped Out: None

Others receiving votes: Notre Dame (42), North Dakota State (16), Texas (13), USC Upstate (11), Virginia Tech (11), Fresno State (8), Hofstra (8), South Alabama (8), Kansas (7), Northwestern (7), North Carolina (4), San Diego State (4), Texas State (4), Nebraska (3), Ohio State (3), Mississippi State (2), South Carolina (1) 

*The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball Regions as well as members of the National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.