#15 Washington Softball 2017 Preview

Washington Huskies
Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #4 Pac-12
Washington was one of the more lethal offensive teams in all of college softball in 2016. The Huskies scored 399 runs in 54 games, which resulted in a trip to the Tuscaloosa Super Regional. Led by shortstop Ali Aguilar, Washington brings back a deeper team in 2017 and with games against Auburn and Oklahoma in the opening weekend of the season, they will find out right away where they stand nationally against the nation’s best.
2016: 39-15, 16-8
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Heather Tarr
Key Departed Players:
Kimberlee Souza, IF. 349 BA, 13 HR 59 RBI
Courtney Gano, IF, .373 BA, 3 HR, 24 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Ali Aguilar, IF, .367 BA, 21 HR, 70 RBI
Trysten Melhart, OF, .378 BA, 0 HR, 13 RBI
Julia DePonte, IF/OF, .371 BA .8 HR, 41 RBI
Taylor VanZee, IF/OF, .369 BA, 6 HR, 36 RBI
Casey Stangel, OF, .341 BA, 5 HR, 36 RBI
Morganne Flores, C, .303 BA, 8 HR, 29 RBI
Kelli Burdick, OF, .354 BA, 0 HR, 9 RBI
Taran Alvelo, P, 152.1 IP, 3.17 ERA, 152 SO
Madi Schreyer, P, 125.1 IP, 3.52 ERA, 83 SO
Ali Agular is one of the top all-around offensive players in all of college softball. She always finds a way to produce at a high level even when opposing teams pitch around her. Aguilar hit 21 homeruns and drove in 70 runs to pace a very explosive Washington offense. Trysten Melhart does an excellent job of putting the ball in play as she led the Huskies last season with a .378 batting average and had an on-base percentage of.462. Julia DePonte, Taylor Van Zee, Casey Stangel, and Morganne Flores lengthen this lineup with their ability to produce high quality at-bats and plenty of offensive power. They combined for 27 homeruns and 136 runs batted in. In the circle, Washington stabilized things a great deal with the emergence of Taran Alvelo and Madi Schreyer. The Huskies lowered their team earn run average from 5.07 in 2015 to 3.14 last season, which is a big reason why the future is even brighter for Washington. It is also going to be very important for Alvelo, Schreyer and the rest of the pitching staff to continue to make quality pitches and not walk batters. Back in 2015, the Washington pitchers walked 204 batters and struck out only 173 and those numbers improved in 2016 to 151 walks and 279 strikeouts. A good goal for 2017 for the Huskies would be have a strikeout to walk ratio of about 2.5 strikeouts to every walk issued. If Washington can stay healthy and navigate a tough schedule, which includes a stretch in April that has trips to Oregon and Alabama between April 13th and April 22th, they should be in position to host a regional once again in 2017.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2017 Draft Rankings:
#6 Ali Aguilar