Women’s College World Series Preview

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On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez & Victor Anderson talk to Oklahoma Sooners Softball radio voice Chris Plank about the Sooners path getting back to the Women’s College World Series.

Among the topics Plank discussed included

  •  Sooners getting back to Oklahoma City
  •  Up and Downs of 2017
  • Strength of Big 12
  • Oklahoma not being a Top 8 seed.

Also in Podcast Eric and Victor recap the Super Regional as well as give outlook of the Women’s College World Series as well as quick thoughts on D2 and D3 Championships.

In The Circle with Chris Plank 

 

 

Look Back at 2016. Look Ahead to 2017

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On this edition of In The Circle podcast, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson talk to Justin McLeod of Justin’s World to recap the year in softball and look ahead to the potential storylines in 2017 in both College and NPF softball.

  • Is Oklahoma the team to beat in 2017?
  • Who is the best college softball player going into 2017?
  • Who were some of the best coaching moves in the off-season?
  • The year that was in the NPF and what in store for the league in 2017?
  • Impact of Softball returning into the Olympics.
  • Early look at some of the storylines in the SEC, Big 12, Pac 12, Big 10, American Conference and more.

In The Circle Podcast episode 58 with Justin McLeod.

Check out Justin’s work at Justin’s World.

Also in case you missed the most recent episodes of In The Circle check out below.

Mackenzie Audas on her UCF Career and new career in Photography.

Stephanie Best on her Hall of Fame career at UCF. Her career in the NPF and ProSwings.com company.

Tiffany Lane on participating in The World Championships this summer.

2016 NPF Championship Series recap 

You can follow In The Circle on Twitter @InTheCircleSB & on facebook.

 

Texas Hires Tripp Mackay

The Red River Rivalry  just got  much more interesting with the news on Wednesday as Texas Head Coach Connie Clark hired Tripp Mackay to be her Asst Coach and hitting coach of the Longhorns.

MacKay will be taking over the position previously held by Corrie Hill, who spent the last 11 years overseeing all aspects of the Texas offense while serving as bench coach on Clark’s staff.

MacKay will now be working for Clark after going against her for many years as Mackay served eight seasons as part of Patty Gasso’s coaching staff from 2007-2015 at the University of Oklahoma, where as an assistant, Mackay was responsible for working primarily with OU’s outfielders and offense.

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Tripp Mackay was Oklahoma Asst Coach (2007-2015) helping Sooners win National Title in 2013

Mackay helped the Sooners win the National title in 2013 with an offense that led the country in runs scored per contest (7.8) and slugging percentage (.582), while also rating in the Division I top 10 in batting average (.333), home runs per game (1.54) and doubles per game (1.57). The powerful lineup also established the NCAA single-season record for walks with 348 and set Big 12 season marks for runs scored (476), RBIs (444), slugging and on-base percentage

“Tripp is one of the best coaches in the business,” Clark said in Texas Press Release. “His specialty is with the offense, but he studies every aspect of the game and prepares athletes at an exceptionally elite level. His energy, passion and knowledge shine when he is teaching student-athletes. I wanted an immediate impact guy for our open assistant position and with Coach MacKay, we got that. He will be a tremendous compliment to our coaching staff.”

MacKay currently is working with the newest National Pro Fastpitch expansion team, the Scrap Yard Dawgs. During his time with the organization, he has been in charge of overseeing player and coach development as well as development camps and clinics while currently serving as the team’s co-head coach.

Mackay will have to wait for a return to Norman more then likely until 2018 as the Longhorns are scheduled to host the Sooners in 2017.

NCAA Softball Tournament Projections V

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Here is my Fifth 2016 NCAA Softball Tournament Projections of the season. () is RPI ranking.

Here is In The Circle Podcast where we breakdown the Conference Tournaments, Teams that are in and out and seeding scenarios and more.

In The Circle Podcast : NCAA Tournament Projections, Conference Tournament Previews

ACC (4): Florida State (7), Notre Dame (29),  Louisville (46), North Carolina (35)
American (3): UCF (31), South Florida (20), Tulsa (41)
Big East: DePaul
Big 12 (5):  Oklahoma(4), Baylor (13),  Texas (26), Oklahoma State (34),Kansas (47)
Big Ten (4): Michigan (2), Minnesota (22), Nebraska (32), Ohio State (40)
 Pac-12 (7):  Oregon (9), Washington (6), UCLA (14),  Arizona (21), Utah(25), Oregon State (30), California (37)
 SEC (11): Florida (1),  Alabama (3), Auburn (8), Missouri(10),  Kentucky (16),  Tennessee (11), LSU (15), Georgia (19), Texas A&M(17), South Carolina (24), Ole Miss (27)
 A-10: Fordham
 America East: Albany
 A-Sun: USC Upstate
 Big Sky: Sacramento State
 Big South: Longwood
 Big West (3): Cal State Fullerton (28), Long Beach State (36), CSUN (55)
 CAA:  James Madison (5)
 C-USA: Florida Atlantic (23)
 Horizon: Wright State
Ivy: Dartmouth
 MAAC: Marist
 MAC: Miami (Ohio)
 MEAC: Delaware State
 MVC: Wichita State (50)
 MWC: Fresno State (17)
 NEC: Saint Francis
 OVC: Jacksonville State
 Patriot: Lehigh
Southern: Samford (53)
 Southland: McNeese State (33)
 Summit: North Dakota State
 Sun Belt (3): Louisiana-Lafayette (12), Texas State (44), South Alabama (43)
 SWAC: Alabama State
 WAC: New Mexico State
 WCC: BYU (45)
Last 4 In : Kansas, CSUN, Ohio State, Oklahoma State
First 4 Out :  Illinois (48), Virginia Tech (42) , Boston College (52), Arizona State (39),
Projected Host Teams
1- Florida
2- Michigan
3-Oklahoma
4- Oregon
5- Florida State
6-Alabama
7-Washington
8- Auburn
9- James Madison
10- Tennessee
11-Louisiana Lafayette
12- Kentucky
13- Missouri
14- LSU
15-Baylor
16- UCLA
Teams in Contention to Host
Fresno State, Arizona, Georgia, Minnesota
Conference RPI Rankings Top 12
1- SEC
2- Pac 12
3- Big 12
4- ACC
5- Big Ten
6- Sun Belt
7- American
8- Colonial
9-Big West
10-A-Sun
11- Mountain West
12- CUSA
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Oklahoma vs Tennessee Tops Softball Viewers

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Oklahoma’s Patty Gasso

The Oklahoma Sooners dominant win over the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday  was the 2nd most watched College Softball regular season game of the season. The Sooners-Vols game that was on ESPN garnered 311,000 viewers according to SportsTVRatings.com. It is second only to Kentucky at LSU game on April 9th which had 392,000 viewers. That game was also on ESPN. Oklahoma-Tennessee more then doubled the audience of College Baseball’s Georgia-Florida game which aired at same time on ESPN2 and garnered only 144,000 viewers.

Finishing a distant second and third this weekend in viewership was the  the rivalry between UCLA-Arizona. Saturday’s telecast on ESPN2 between the two Pac 12 powers in College Softball drew 182,000 viewers while Sunday’s telecast garnered 166,000 viewers.

Texas AM-Missouri game on ESPNU’s Saturday telecast was the other College Softball game to garner more then 100,000 viewers as it had 112,000 viewers beating Georgia-Auburn which garnered 75,000 on ESPNU earlier in the day. The ACC’s telecast of Notre Dame at North Carolina on Sunday had 70,000 viewers on ESPNU and 88,000 viewers on the Monday night telecast on ESPNU.

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU Softball Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
March 18 7 p.m. No. 16 Tennessee at No. 1 Florida ESPNU-  74K
March 24 5 p.m. Mississippi Valley State at Texas Southern ESPNU-44K
March 26 Noon  Florida at  LSU ESPN2-250K
  9 p.m.  Texas at  Baylor ESPN2-164K
April 2 Noon  Alabama at  Florida ESPNU-298k
  12pm10:30 p.m. Tennessee at Missouri

UCLA at  Oregon

ESPNU-101k

ESPNU- 99K

April 3 7 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State ESPNU- 91k
April 8 7 p.m. Coastal Carolina at Winthrop ESPNU- 67K
April 9 Noon  Texas A&M at  Tennessee ESPNU- 135k
  5:30 p.m. NC State at  Florida State ESPNU-89k
  3 p.m.  Kentucky at LSU ESPN – 392k
  7:30 p.m.  Georgia at  Missouri ESPNU-163K
April 10 3 p.m.  Oklahoma at  Baylor ESPN2- 208K
  4 p.m. NC State at  Florida State ESPNU- 73k
April 16 1 p.m.3pm  Tennessee at  Georgia

Texas at Oklahoma

ESPN 2-207k

ESPN2-219K

 April 17 12 p.m.  Missouri at Kentucky ESPNU- 163k
April 23 2 p.m.

430pm

 Georgia at  Auburn

Texas AM at Missouri

ESPNU-75K

ESPNU-112K

  2 p.m.  Oklahoma at  Tennessee ESPN- 311K
  5 p.m.  UCLA at  Arizona ESPN2-182k
April 24 3:30 p.m. Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPNU-70K
  5 p.m.  UCLA at  Arizona ESPN2-166k
April 25 7 p.m.  Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPNU-88K
April 27 6 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU-45k
  10:30 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU*-34K
April 28 4 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at Florida A&M ESPNU
April 30 7 p.m.  LSU at Arkansas ESPNU
  8 p.m.  Auburn at  Tennessee ESPN2
May 1 3 p.m.  Arizona at  Oregon ESPN2
  5 p.m. UCF at USF ESPNU
  7 p.m.  Auburn at Tennessee ESPNU
May 7 Noon  Georgia at  Alabama ESPN
  1 p.m.  Texas A&M at  Auburn ESPNU
  3 p.m. South Carolina at  Missouri ESPNU
May 13 3 p.m. SEC Tournament ESPNU
  5:30 p.m. SEC Tournament ESPNU
May 14 Noon American Championship ESPN
  2 p.m. ACC Championship ESPN
  5 p.m. SEC Championship ESPN
May 15 10 a.m. SWAC Softball Championship ESPNU**

Texas at Oklahoma Tops Softball Viewers

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Oklahoma’s Patty Gasso

For the first time this season. An SEC Game was not the most watched Softball game of the weekend. The Texas-Oklahoma game on Saturday on ESPN2 was the most watched College Softball game of the weekend garnering 219,000 viewers according to big12_logoSportsTVRatings.com.

The Longhorns-Sooners edge out the Tennessee-Georgia game that aired right before the Texas-Oklahoma game on ESPN2 garnered 207,000 viewers. Missouri at Kentucky on Sunday on ESPNU garnered 163,000 viewers on ESPNU tieing it with Georgia-Missouri the week pror  for the most watched College Softball game on ESPNU this season.

Oklahoma and Tennessee will be showcased this Saturday on ESPN at 2pm.

 

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU Softball Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
March 18 7 p.m. No. 16 Tennessee at No. 1 Florida ESPNU-  74K
March 24 5 p.m. Mississippi Valley State at Texas Southern ESPNU-44K
March 26 Noon  Florida at  LSU ESPN2-250K
  9 p.m.  Texas at  Baylor ESPN2-164K
April 2 Noon  Alabama at  Florida ESPNU-298k
  12pm

10:30 p.m.

Tennessee at Missouri

UCLA at  Oregon

ESPNU-101k

ESPNU- 99K

April 3 7 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State ESPNU- 91k
April 8 7 p.m. Coastal Carolina at Winthrop ESPNU- 67K
April 9 Noon  Texas A&M at  Tennessee ESPNU- 135k
  5:30 p.m. NC State at  Florida State ESPNU-89k
  3 p.m.  Kentucky at LSU ESPN – 392k
  7:30 p.m.  Georgia at  Missouri ESPNU-163K
April 10 3 p.m.  Oklahoma at  Baylor ESPN2- 208K
  4 p.m. NC State at  Florida State ESPNU- 73k
April 16 1 p.m.

3pm

 Tennessee at  Georgia

Texas at Oklahoma

ESPN 2-207k

ESPN2-219K

 April 17 12 p.m.  Missouri at Kentucky ESPNU- 163k

 

April 23 2 p.m.  Georgia at  Auburn ESPNU
  2 p.m.  Oklahoma at  Tennessee ESPN
  5 p.m.  UCLA at  Arizona ESPN2
April 24 3:30 p.m. Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPNU
  5 p.m.  UCLA at  Arizona ESPN2
April 25 7 p.m.  Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPNU
April 27 6 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU
  10:30 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU*
April 28 4 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at Florida A&M ESPNU
April 30 7 p.m.  LSU at Arkansas ESPNU
  8 p.m.  Auburn at  Tennessee ESPN2
May 1 3 p.m.  Arizona at  Oregon ESPN2
  5 p.m. UCF at USF ESPNU
  7 p.m.  Auburn at Tennessee ESPNU
May 7 Noon  Georgia at  Alabama ESPN
  1 p.m.  Texas A&M at  Auburn ESPNU
  3 p.m. South Carolina at  Missouri ESPNU
May 13 3 p.m. SEC Tournament ESPNU
  5:30 p.m. SEC Tournament ESPNU
May 14 Noon American Championship ESPN
  2 p.m. ACC Championship ESPN
  5 p.m. SEC Championship ESPN
May 15 10 a.m. SWAC Softball Championship ESPNU**

Big 12 Outlook

 

Oklahoma begins life without Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley who are in the NPF with the USSSA Pride. Is this the year the Sooners will get knock off for the Big 12 championship or will ace pitcher Paige Parker keep the Sooners on top of the Big 12?

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Lauren Chamberlain & Shelby Pendley

Eric Lopez & Victor Anderson talked to Justin McCleod’s of Justin’s World about the outlook for the Big 12. Among the topics discussed included.

  • How will Oklahoma look without Chamberlain and Pendley?
  • What impact will Kelsee Selman have on Baylor after coming over from LSU?
  • Is Baylor a legit contender for the Women’s College World Series?
  • How will Sydney Romero do at Oklahoma?
  • Is Texas headed for a down season?
  • Could Oklahoma State suprise under new Head Coach Kenny Gajewski?

In the Circle : Big 12 Preview. 

2016 Big 12 Softball Preseason Poll

Rank Team Points
1. Oklahoma (5) 35
2. Baylor (2) 32
3. Texas 26
4. Kansas 20
 5. Oklahoma State 14
6. Texas Tech 13
7. Iowa State 7

Players to Watch according to Justin McCleod:
Kelsee Selman, Baylor – The former LSU hurler transferred to the Bears in the offseason and will be eligible to play immediately. While senior Heather Stearns is the undoubted ace of the Baylor staff, Selman will provide a nice compliment and the back end of an effective 1-2 punch. She figures to get plenty more than the fifteen appearances and fifty-seven innings she amassed at LSU last season as the #4 member of that staff.
Sydney Romero, Oklahoma – The younger sister of Michigan senior superstar Sierra, Sydney impressed in the fall season and she has the potential to be a quality infielder and help make up for the afore-mentioned losses of Pendley and Chamberlain.
Tiffany Mikkelson, Oklahoma State – ‘A career year’ indeed described Mikkelson’s 2015 season, when she hit .361/13/46 with a slugging percentage of .722. She finished in the conference’s top-ten in five categories, including total bases and on-base percentage, as well as walks, RBI, and slugging percentage. Under a new coaching regime and in her swan song season, Mikkelson’s game-changing capabilities will come in handy for Kenny Gajewski and I figure her to have another heavy-hitting season and a repeat of all-conference and all-region honors after the campaign’s completion.

Eric Lopez’s NCAA Tournament Projections for Big 12 – 4 Teams

Baylor

Oklahoma

Kansas 

Texas

ACC Preview

Big 10 Preview

Pac 12 Preview

SEC Preview

American Conference & Mid Majors

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