#20 Tulsa Softball 2018 Preview

Tulsa Golden Hurricanes
Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #1 American
 Tulsa Logo
Tulsa had a superb 2017 campaign and 2018 could be even better. The Golden Hurricanes went 15-3 in AAC play and won their first two games in the NCAA Tournament. Then the team ran into Oklahoma in the Regional Finals. The Sooners had to beat Tulsa twice and they did it, first in a ten inning thriller and then in a 3-0 shutout. Despite Tulsa being so close to reaching the Super Regionals and disappointingly falling flat, that was a great year for the program. With the entire pitching staff returning and seven of the nine regular starters in the lineup, Tulsa will get another crack at reaching the Super Regionals in 2018.
2017: 41-17, 15-3
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: John Bargfeldt
Key Departed Players:
Maggie Withee, IF, .368 BA, 17 RBI
Maddie Withee, OF/C, .277 BA, 30 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Julia Hollingsworth, OF, .365 BA, 5 HR, 28 RBI
Tori Stafford, IF, .329 BA, 4 HR, 20 RBI
Morgan Neal, IF, .288 BA, 1 HR, 23 RBI
Shannon Hughes, IF/OF, 2 HR, 18 RBI
Emily Watson, P, 1.25 ERA, 30-6 W-L, 246.2 IP, 348 SO
Haley Meinen, P, 1.49 ERA, 6-1 W-L, 61.0 IP, 15 SO
Emily Watson is back for her senior season. She was one of the most dominating pitchers in the country last year and had the numbers to prove it. Watson went 30-6 with a 1.25 ERA. Of the 36 games she started, Watson finished 29 of them. In 246.2 innings of work, she struck out 348 batters and walked just 55. Haley Meinen and Lexi Blevins are capable of filling in when Watson needs a break. The Tulsa offense was relatively average last year, ranking fifth in the AAC with 3.88 runs per game. Maggie and Maddie Withee are gone, but the rest of the starters are back and that should boost the overall production of the offense. Julia Hollingsworth batted .365 with five homeruns and 28 RBIs as a sophomore and will likely be the leader at the plate. With occasional power provided by Tori Stafford, Rylie Spell and Shelby Estocado, the Golden Hurricanes will score more than enough runs to get Watson plenty of wins.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2018 Draft Rankings:
#10 Emily Watson