#15 Texas Softball 2019 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
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Texas made the NCAA Tournament last season, but did not make it far. The expectations are vastly higher this time around in large part thanks to four transfers from Oregon. Miranda Elish was an All-American last season and went 25-2 in the circle. Mary Iakopo, Lauren Burke and Shannon Rhodes were all very productive at the plate last season for the Ducks and will look to continue that success in Austin.
2018: 33-26, 10-8
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike White
Key Departed Players:
Paige Von Sprecken, .321 BA, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 1.88 ERA, 12-11 W/L, 156.1 IP, 101 SO
Erica Wright, P, 3.30 ERA, 5-6 W/L, 80.2 IP, 75 SO
Key Returning Players:
Janae Jefferson, IF, .392 BA, 24 RBI, 11 SB
Kaitlyn Washington, OF, .359 BA, 3 HR, 20 RBI
Kiā€™Audra Hayter, IF/OF, .260 BA, 8 RBI, 11 SB
Taylor Ellsworth, C/UTL, .244 BA, 5 HR, 22 RBI
Brooke Bolinger, P, 2.20 ERA, 13-7 W/L, 117.2 IP, 123 SO
The four former Ducks alone would make this a very good team. But the Longhorns return plenty of talent too. Brooke Bolinger will have to compete with Elish for time in the circle after throwing 117.2 innings with a 2.20 ERA as a junior. Elish and Bolinger should be one of the most potent pitching duos in the country. Janae Jefferson is the top returning hitter. The sophomore second baseman hit .392 with 24 RBIs. Kaitlyn Washington hit .359 and brings more power to the plate with three homeruns and 13 doubles. Taylor Ellsworth has some pop to her bat too, belting a team high five homeruns and adding 22 RBIs. If the newcomers from Oregon can help improve an occasionally sluggish offense, Texas could compete with Oklahoma for the top spot in the Big 12.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament