#20 Florida Atlantic Softball 2017 Preview

Florida Atlantic Owls
Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #1 Conference USA
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 The 2016 season was a crazy successful one for the Owls. Not only did they sweep both the regular season and conference tournament titles, Kylee Hanson was named C-USA Pitcher of the Year and a Second Team All-American, Madisyn Palmer was named the C-USA Freshman of the Year and Coach Joan Joyce was named the C-USA Coach of the Year. Oh, and the Owls went on a 21-game winning streak that started April 3rd with a win over Louisiana Tech and ended May 20th in the teams' first game of the NCAA Tournament against UCF.
2016: 51-9, 22-2
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Joan Joyce
Key Departed Players:
Melissa Martinez, IF, .357 BA, 61 H, 20 2B, 6 HR, 49 RBI
Christina Martinez, OF, .333 BA, 64 H, 4 2B
Carnesha Thompson, UTL, 56 H, 10 2B, 5 HR, 33 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Kylee Hanson, P, .28-5, 0.76 ERA, 221 IP, 300 K, 35 BB
Amanda Wilson, P, 16-4, 1.69 ERA, 128.1 IP
Emily Lochten, UTL, .342 BA, 54 H, 14 HR, 7 2B, 46 RBI, 25 SB
Madisyn Palmer, OF, .432, 41 H, 26 SB
Tatum Buckley, UTL, 41 H, 9 2B, 35 RBI
The Owls return one of the best pitchers in the nation in Kylee Hanson. Her 0.76 ERA led the nation and FAU knew that whenever she was on the mound, they would always be in the game. The Owls are fortunate to return Amanda Wilson, Hanson's co-pilot in the circle last season. While not the overpowering pitcher Hanson is, Wilson is the perfect compliment. Losing the Martinez twins and Carnesha Thompson will be tough, but returning Emily Lochten is huge. Madisyn Palmer will see an expanded role this year as well. Kaitlyn Burke might be a newcomer who gets playing time after being named first team all-state for four years in high school. FAU starts out the year with four of its five tournaments being in Boca Raton, including the first three. The trip to LSU for its tournament will be a test though, as the Owls will face LSU twice and Minnesota, another highly successful team.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2017 Draft Rankings:
#3 Kylee Hanson