#21 Oregon Softball 2019 Preview

Oregon Ducks
Overall Rank: #21
Conference Rank: #4 Pac-12
 Oregon Logo
Oregon has had a very eventful offseason as they lost their head coach Mike White to the University of Texas. Former Oklahoma pitching coach Melyssa Lombardi took over the reins from Coach White and has seen the program go through a big transition as several key players have transferred to other schools. Oregon has arguably been the most effected by the new wild, wild west version of free agency in college softball where players left all over the country to take advantage of this rule change.
2018: 53-10, 21-3
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Melyssa Lombardi
Key Departed Players:
Jenna Lilley, INF, .363 BA, 5 HR, 41 RBI
Shannon Rhodes, OF, .347 BA, 11 HR, 42 RBI, 14 SB
Gwen Svekis, C, .324 BA, 17 HR, 60 RBI
Mary Iakopo, C, .306 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI
DJ Sanders, INF, 281 BA, 16 HR, 51 RBI
Lauren Lindvall, INF, .250 BA, 6 HR, 22 RBI
Megan Kleist, P, 1.32 ERA, 21-7 W/L, 179.2 IP, 21 BB, 221 SO
Mirada Elish, P, 1.20 ERA, 25-2 W/L, 175.0 IP, 32 BB, 249 SO
Maggie Balint, P, 2.11 ERA, 7-1 W/L, 59.2 IP, 16 BB, 62 SO
Alexis Mack, OF, .369 BA, 0 HR, 12 RBI, 24 SB
Key Returning Players:
Haley Cruse, OF, .377 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 10 SB
Mia Camuso, INF, .294 BA, 1 HR, 24 RBI
April Utecht, INF, .321 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI
The Ducks will look to Haley Cruse to lead the lineup in the early portion of the 2019 season. Cruse is a slap hitter who does an outstanding job of getting on base and making opposing teams pay with her speed. Maggie Balint ws the most experienced returning pitcher, but she too has transferred and was expected to replace Miranda Elish and Megan Kleist, who transferred to Texas and Louisiana, respectively. Jordan Dail and Madde Macgrundle are transfers who will have to step up and contribute in the circle immediately because innings are to be had in the rotation. The schedule in week one should help Oregon get off to a solid start before they head to the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational where they will play LSU, James Madison, and Kentucky in week two. Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Auburn highlight the rest of the non-conference schedule. The conference schedule starts off with a road trip to Arizona and a visit from Washington during the first two weeks. UCLA will host the Ducks in mid-April in what will be another season defining series. Overall, the amount big name players that have transferred is, without question, very high and the pressure on Coach Lombardi to produce quickly is also very high. That being said, if Coach Lombardi and her staff can get a complete buy-in from the team, then the Ducks will be in the mix to host in the postseason. If not, things will get very interesting in Eugene for Coach Lombardi very quickly.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament