Jenn Salling Talks Washington Softball

On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez talks with  Graduate Asst Manager Jenn Salling who played at Washington being part of the Huskies 2009 National Championship team.

Among the topics Salling discussed in the interview include :

Jenn Salling played in the NPF from 2011-2014 winning NPF Championship with the USSSA Pride in 2013. (Photo Courtesy of USSSA)
  • Outlook for the 2017 Huskies
  • What got Salling into coaching?
  • Being part of 2009 National Championship team
  • Playing with Danielle Lawrie
  • Being part of Canadian National team
  • Playing in the NPF
  • Softball back in the Olympics

Jenn Salling Interview

Salling joined the Huskies program as a player  on April 2, 2009 after transferring from Oregon. Salling  started every game at shortstop to help Washington win their first National Championship in program history.

In  2010, Salling earned first team NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-America, All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-10 honors. She was named a top-25 finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.

As a senior in 2011, Salling  earned Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and left Washington ranked in the Husky career records for batting average (T-10, .342), triples (T-eighth, 7), slugging percentage (ninth, .543),  on-base percentage (fifth, .474).

Salling would go on to play in the NPF as Salling was selected 3rd overall in the 2011 NPF Draft by the USSSA Pride where Salling played with from 2011-2013. Salling was part of the Pride’s 2013 NPF Championship.  Salling played 2014 season with the Pennsylvania Rebellion.

Salling is part of Canadian Softball team. Been involved since 2006 (Photo Courtesy of Canada Softball)

Salling left the NPF after 2014 season. Salling decided to return to Washington  joining the coaching staff as its graduate assistant coach in the fall of 2015. Salling still plays as a member of the Canadian National Team which she has been involved with since 2006. Salling was part of Canadian National team that participated in Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008. Among the highlights of her career with Canada, Salling   won the gold medal in the 2015 Pan American Games.

Washington coming off a 2016 season where the Huskies finished 39-15 advancing to the Super Regionals before falling at Alabama. The Husky program is celebrating their 25th season as an NCAA sport under 13th year head coach Heather Tarr as they enter the 2017 season.

The Huskies offense will be led by  Ali Aguilar,Casey Stangel and Taylor Van Zee.

Washington’s pitching will be led by duo of Madi Schreyer and Taran Alvelo in the circle.

For more on the Washington Huskies softball program. Go to  and follow on twitter @UWSoftball.




Look Back at 2016. Look Ahead to 2017


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 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.


Jen Schroeder Talks WCWS, UCLA, The Packaged Deal


On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson speaks to former UCLA Bruins Catcher Jen Schroeder  about her career at UCLA (2005-2008) which included being part of three Women College World Series teams during her career with the Bruins. Schroeder talked about the experience of being at the Women’s College World Series as well as her involvement with teaching and giving lessons to young players in California area as well as being involved with the PackagedDeal where she works with her sister Katie Schroeder who also played at UCLA being part of the Bruins 2010 National Championship team  along with former two -time All American and current ESPN Analyst  Amanda Scarborough and former Washington Huskies National Champion,  Morgan Stuart.

Morgan Stuart, Amanda Scarborough, Katie Schroeder, and Jen Schroeder formed PackagedDeal(Photo Courtesy of Packaged Deal)

Among the topics Schroeder discussed in the interview included  the following.

  •  UCLA Bruins making it to Women’s College World Series in 2016
  • Thoughts on Oklahoma winning the Women’s College World Series
  • Thoughts on UCLA Bruins currently.
  • Why so many players from California are leaving the state and the Pac 12 to play in other conferences?
  •  Super Regional between UCLA and Oregon
  • How Shroeder got into Softball?
  • How Schroeder got involved with  Packaged Deal?
  • What was it like playing at UCLA and bring part of 3 Women’s College World Series teams during her career.
  • What the future of Softball?
  • Who are the best Catchers Schroeder has seen in Softball?
  • What would Schroeder change about Softball if she was in charge?

 Jen Schroeder Interview

Schroeder was part of UCLA’s 2005 team that lost in three games to Jennie Ritter’s Michigan Wolverines for the National Championship.Game 3 of the Wolverines win in extra innings is among the most watched College Softball games of all-time.

Most-Viewed Games in WCWS History:

Rank WCWS Year and Game Matchup Viewership
1. 2007 Championship Finals – Game 3 Tennessee vs. Arizona 2,326,000
2.       2015 Championship Finals – Game 3 Michigan vs. Florida 2,273,000
3. 2005 Championship Finals – Game 3 Michigan vs. UCLA 2,240,000
4.       2015 Game 12 LSU vs. Michigan 1,950,000
5. 2007 Championship Finals – Game 2 Arizona vs. Tennessee 1,919,000
6.       2015 Championship Finals – Game 2 Florida vs. Michigan 1,865,000
7. 2003 Championship California vs. UCLA 1,852,000
8. 2009 Championship Finals – Game 2 Florida vs. Washington 1,788,000
9.       2015 Game 9 UCLA vs. Auburn 1,612,000
10. 2004 Championship California vs. UCLA 1,593,000

Schroeder is one of four sisters to play Division I softball which is discussed in the interview as her sister Katie played at UCLA and on United States National team along with her sister Michelle Shroeder who played at Stanford and Nicole Schroeder who currently plays at Arkansas.

Jen Schroeder (Photo Courtesy

she followed up her career  at UCLA  by being the the founder and owner of Jen Schro Catching, a softball instructional facility in Southern California. She is widely regarded as one of the top softball instructors in the country, and her clinics have drawn all-star guest instructors, such as Oklahoma’s Jessica Shults & Lauren Chamberlain and Florida’s Aubree Munro.

Schroeder and the Packaged Deal group travel all over the country.Below you can seethe dates and cities that The Packaged Deal will be at in 2016.

Packaged Deal

Check out Jen on Facebook & Twitter, and be sure to “Like” Jen Schro Catching on FB, as well.


NCAA Softball Tournament Projections V


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
4- Oregon
5- Florida State
8- Auburn
9- James Madison
10- Tennessee
11-Louisiana Lafayette
12- Kentucky
13- Missouri
14- LSU
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
11- Mountain West
12- CUSA
Follow In The Circle on Twitter & on Facebook.

Oklahoma vs Tennessee Tops Softball Viewers

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 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



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


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


 Georgia at  Auburn

Texas AM at Missouri



  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**

Gators Softball vs UConn Womens Hoops

On this edition of In The Circle Podcast, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson compare the Florida Gators current run against UConn Women’s Basketball current run. How do they compare?  Lopez and Anderson also break down Women Basketball product vs College Softball product and which one is more popular?  The guys also discuss the following

  • Recap College Softball weekend action in the SEC,ACC,Big 10, Mountain West, CAA, and more.
  • Is LSU in trouble following getting swept by Florida?
  • Is Sydney Little John Alabama’s new ace?
  • Preview the upcoming weekend series between LSU-Georgia, FSU-Notre Dame, UCLA-Oregon, and more.

In The Circle Podcast Episode 16

Follow In The Circle on Twitter & on Facebook.

PAC 12 Season Outlook

The Pac-12 has dominated college softball as 23 of a possible 33 national titles have been claimed by Pac-12 teams. However No Pac 12 team has won a National title since 2011 when Arizona State led by Dallas Escobedo defeated Florida in Oklahoma City. No Pac 12 team has even played in the championship series since then. The Conference that once ran the sport of Softball now finds themselves chasing the SEC power teams like Florida, Alabama, LSU and others. The Team thats been the closest to the National title has been Oregon who is the favorites once again this season to win the Pac 12 title which the Ducks have done 3 straight years.

Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll.  #Bold is from NFCA National Rankings Except for Utah which is from ESPN/USA Softball Poll. 

1.                                      # 4 Oregon (8) 64
2.                                      #7 UCLA (1) 51
3.                                     #13 Arizona 49
4.                                     #20 Washington 42
5.                                     #23 Utah 36
6.                                     #21 California 32
7.                                     #22 Arizona State 27
8. Oregon State 15
9. Stanford 8

On the In The Circle Podcast, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson talked to Justin McLeod of Justin’s World about the outlook of the Pac 12.

Among the Pac 12 topics discussed include :

  • Who are the biggest threats to Oregon in the Pac 12?
  • Can a young Arizona team be a legit Pac 12 title contender?
  • How many teams will Pac 12 get to NCAA Tournament
  • How will Arizona State do with  the sudden unexpected departure of Head Coach Craig Nicholson?

In The Circle : Pac 12 Preview

Some Key players to watch in the Pac 12 :

  •  Cheridan Hawkins, Oregon – Hawkins is the Ducks  pitching ace who was a College Softball player of the Year top 3 finalist last year after winning Pac 12 pitcher of the year. Hawkins was a College Softball Player of the Year Top 10 finalist in her sophomore season of 2014 and looks to lead Oregon back to Oklahoma City to chase the elusive National Championship. Hawkins figures to be among favorites for  Player of the Year.
  •   Allexis Bennett, UCLA – With a near-.500 batting average; first-team all-American  Bennett looks to be a Player of the Year contender not only in the Pac 12 but National player of the Year award. Bennett will look to carry a Bruins team that will look to get back to the Women College World Series despite losing last  year’s Pac 12 player of the Year Ally Carda.
  •   Danielle O’Toole, Arizona –  O’Toole could be  the difference maker for the Wildcats this season who were in need of some pitching especially with the surprising departure of Parks. Following a redshirt season after a transfer from San Diego State, O’Toole was the Mountain West’s top hurler before she ended as the newest member of Mike Candrea’s historically-great stable of hurlers. O’Toole makes up for, and then some, the absence of Parks and I expect great numbers from her this year – along the lines of a sub-2.00 ERA and a strikeout/walk ratio similar to her 2014 mark of 4/1.
  •   Annie Aldrete, Cal – The Tennessee transfer will be eligible to suit up immediately for Cal and should be not only a valuable bat in the lineup, but her veteran experience and skill behind the plate will be an important piece of Cal’s 2016 game plan, as well. Together with Taylor Koenig, who came to Berkley from Knoxville with her this offseason, the duo combined for producing 173 runs in Lady Vol orange last year. The Bears hope she can replicate that production against PAC-12 pitching, and I think she can do not only that, but more.
  •   Kayla Bonstrom, Stanford – McCleod ranks Bonstrom as the top first baseman in this year’s senior class. A first-team all-American selection a year ago after a stellar campaign as the Cardinal first baseman, I expect another stellar season, albeit not completely to those heights. She recorded a .439/13/54 slash line in 2015, and I expect another .400+ campaign with similar power numbers in ’16. The Cardinal can flounder, but Bonstrom is the undoubted bright spot in Rachel Hanson’s lineup. She is excellent defensively and I predict a mid-round selection when NPF Draft time comes around.

Eric Lopez  Pac 12 Projections for NCAA Tournament  ( 6 Teams)







You can check out the SEC Preview right here.

Follow In The Circle on Twitter & on Facebook.