#37 Florida Atlantic Softball 2018 Preview

Florida Atlantic Owls
Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #2 Conference USA
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Florida Atlantic missed out on the NCAA Tournament last year, but finished with a respectable 35-21 record overall and a 15-9 mark in a tough Conference USA. It will not take much more than that for FAU to get into the tournament this year. But they will have to do it without top pitcher Amanda Wilson. She led the team with a 15-10 record and a 2.07 ERA last year. Senior Tatum Buckley will likely step into the top spot after pitching 121.0 innings with a 2.43 ERA last season. Freshmen Sloan Hammons or Kara Lokeinsky will get a chance to play, but the Owls will hope that Tennessee transfer Kelsey Morrison can compete with Wilson for innings.
2017: 35-21, 15-9
2017 Postseason: None
Coach: Joan Joyce
Key Departed Players:
Delaney Rickey, OF, .260 BA, 31 RBI
Amanda Wilson, P, 2.07 ERA, 15-10 W-L, 179.1 IP, 70 SO
Key Returning Players:
Emily Lochten, IF, .408 BA, 18 HR, 41 RBI, 36 SB
Madisyn Palmer, OF, .337 BA, 12 RBI, 42 SB
Mia Olson, UTL, .281 BA, 5 HR, 27 RBI
Alex Miller, C, .280 BA, 24 RBI
Tatum Buckley, P, 2.43 ERA, 10-8 W-L, 121.0 IP, 51 SO
Emily Lochten had an amazing junior campaign. She batted .408 with 18 homeruns and 41 RBIs. She also swiped 36 bases. The return of Madisyn Palmer, who stole 42 bases, gives the Owls an amazing amount of speed on the base paths. Those two will get themselves into scoring position one way or another. With Mia Olson and Alex Miller back as well, FAU returns their top four hitters in terms of batting average. This was not a team that boasted a great offense last season, but this group is more experienced and that is enough to get the Owls over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament