#10 Texas Softball 2020 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
 Texas Logo
Texas quickly bought into head coach Mike White and his staff in year one last spring. The Longhorns won 46 games and advanced to the Tuscaloosa Super Regional where they took Alabama to the brink in an entertaining three game series. The progress by Texas was very swift and encouraging for a fan base that has high expectations for Coach White. The expectations for the program are for it to evolve into a perennial Women’s College World Series like White had at the University of Oregon.
2019: 46-17. 12-6
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike White
Key Departed Players:
Brooke Bolinger, P, 4.01 ERA, 2-1 W/L, 22.2 IP, 9 BB, 26 SO
Key Returning Players:
Janae Jefferson, INF, .408 BA, 0 HR, 23 RBI, 10 SB
Mary Iakopo, C, .356 BA, 11 HR, 43 RBI
Miranda Elish, P, .315 BA, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 1.81 ERA, 18-10 W/L, 185.1 IP, 52 BB, 226 SO
Reagan Hathaway, OF, .309 BA, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 8 SB
Lauren Burke, UTIL, .300 BA, 2 HR, 35 RBI
Kaitlyn Washington, INF/OF, .297 BA 4 HR, 36 RBI
Shannon Rhodes, OF, .278 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 8 SB
Shealyn O’Leary, P, 0.65 ERA, 14-3 W/L, 97.2 IP, 14 BB, 65 SO
This is going to be a very experienced team returning to the field in 2020 for Coach White and his staff. Janae Jefferson is an excellent contact hitter as she hit .408, drove in 23 runs, and stole ten bases in 2019. Mary Iakopo does a great job of handling pitchers as the catcher and can hit for a high average and plenty of power to lead the Texas lineup. Reagan Hathaway, Lauren Burke, Kaitlyn Washington, and Shannon Rhodes will bring a balanced mix of hitting for average and some power combined with timely speed. Colleen Sullivan transferred over from UCLA as she has some good potential as she hit .239 and hit five homeruns for the Bruins last season. Miranda Elish and Sheayn O’ Leary will form a strong 1-2 punch in the circle that will set the Longhorns up nicely for a deep postseason run. Elish and O’Leary are very good at limiting walks and forcing hitters to earn everything they get during each at bat. The schedule will be challenging for Texas as they will face Colorado State, Tennessee, Louisiana, UCLA, Washington, Michigan, Boise State, BYU, and Alabama. Thus, there will be plenty of chances for the Longhorns to build up their RPI. A trip to Norman to deal with Oklahoma will set the tone for conference play as the Sooners are the biggest obstacle in the Longhorns way in the Big 12 race.  Overall, look for the Longhorns to win another 45 plus games and make a deep postseason run in 2020.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament