#6 Washington Softball 2018 Preview

Washington Huskies
Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
Washington made an impressive run to the WCWS last year and made it all the way to the semifinals where they lost to top seeded Florida. The Huskies will look to ride that momentum into 2018 and make another deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Behind a couple of proven pitchers in Taran Alvelo and Samantha Manti, UW has all the tools they need to do it. Alvelo was the ace of the staff in 2017, going 34-10 with a 2.10 ERA in 249.2 innings of work. Manti will again be a quality secondary option behind Alvelo.
2017: 50-14, 16-8
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Heather Tarr
Key Departed Players:
Ali Aguilar, IF, .352 BA, 14 HR, 42 RBI
Casey Stangel, OF, .320 BA, 11 HR, 52 RBI
Madi Schreyer, P, 2.90 ERA, 7-3 W-L, 87.0 IP, 45 SO
Key Returning Players:
Taylor Van Zee, IF, .367 BA, 7 HR, 49 RBI
Morganne Flores, C, .335 BA, 13 HR, 74 RBI
Kelly Burdick, OF, .333 BA, 0 HR, 9 RBI
Sis Bates, IF, .330, 3 HR, 33 RBI
Taran Alvelo, P, 2.10 ERA, 34-10 W-L, 249.2 IP, 194 SO
Samantha Manti, P, 2.88 ERA, 8-2 W-L, 73.0 IP, 58 SO
The Huskies will have to move on without Ali Aguilar and Casey Stangel. Those two have been staples in the lineup for years. The torch will be passed to upperclassmen Taylor Van Zee and Morganne Flores. Van Zee led the team with a .367 average and added 17 doubles, seven homeruns and 49 RBIs. Flores hit .335 with 13 homeruns and 74 RBIs. Kelly Burdick and Sis Bates do not have the power of Van Zee and Flores, but those two are experienced hitters who both can get on base consistently. The expectations are very high for this group following last year’s success, and rightfully so, but it remains to be seen if UW can reload right away without Aguilar and Stangel. However, even with an occasional struggle along the way, this should be a great team by the time the tournament rolls away.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament