#35 North Carolina State Softball 2014 Preview

North Carolina State Wolfpack

Overall Rank: #35
Conference Rank: #5 ACC
#35 North Carolina State Softball 2014 Preview
North Carolina State Team Page


The Wolfpack is coming off of its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. Their 35 wins last season was also the highest since that 2007 team.  The ACC title was only the second in school history and first since 2006. Last season saw the team from Raleigh upset ranked teams South Florida and Virginia Tech. The Hokies were ranked as the #19 team in the country at the time the Wolfpack swept it.

2013: 35-20-1, 13-7
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Shawn Rychick

Field Players:
The Wolfpack was quite the power hitting club in 2013. Four players hit double digit home runs, led by Renada Davis, who smacked an outstanding 26 round-trippers, breaking the school-record by 12 and finishing third in the country. Two more of those power hitters return from a team that set nearly 40 individual and school records in Coach Rychick's first year at North Carolina State. The 88 team home runs broke the school record by 22, a record that was set in 2007. In fact, of the 12 team records broken, seven were from either those 2006 or 2007 teams that were so successful. Davis' 50 runs scored and 51 RBIs are both second in school history. Hannah Sommer had quite the collegiate debut, finishing second on the team in average (.297), behind Davis, while also hitting 11 homers and driving in 30.  Scout Albertson is the other double-digit home run hitting returnee. She hit 12 balls out of the park and drove in 35. Kirsty Grant finished second on the team in doubles, tied with Davis, with 10.

Emily Weiman became one of the most dominating pitchers in the nation last season. The rising junior threw 4,840 pitches in just over 323 innings on her way to earning ACC Pitcher of the Year and ACC Championship MVP honors, as well as setting nine school records. One of those broken records was wins in a season, when she won 33 contests, breaking Abbie Sims' record by six games. Weiman struck out nearly 200 more hitters as she walked (271 to 79).

Who to Watch:
Weiman and Davis. Well maybe the entire team. The team set a ton of school records, but can they sustain that success? Davis went from five home runs to 26 in a year. If she can continue that success, even with teams knowing how dangerous she is at the plate, it will be a rough year for ACC pitchers. Weiman also had her stats take a drastic jump.  She pitched in 54 games last year, including 52 starts. In 2012, she appeared in 38, starting 25. She also threw 125 more innings than the previous year. She's good, but will the arm tire out if she becomes pretty much NC State's only pitcher?

Final Projection:
The Wolfpack will be good.  Really good. The team has tasted a lot of success and most of the key players are now upperclassmen, with the exception of Sommer. The Wolfpack will find out how good it truly is, opening the season in the Kajikawa Classic against teams like Oregon State, Oregon, Stanford and Arizona State. Other non-conference games include Arkansas and Georgia. A mid-April showdown with national power Florida in Gainesville also looms.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Renada Davis, SS, 190
Hits: Renada Davis, SS, 58
Home Runs: Renada Davis, SS, 26
RBIs: Renada Davis, SS, 51
Runs: Renada, Davis, SS, 50
Stolen Bases: Kirsty Grant, C, 7

Wins: Emily Weiman, P, 33
Innings Pitched: Emily Weiman, P, 323.1
Strikeouts: Emily Weiman, P, 271
Saves: Emily Weiman, P, 1

Madness 2014 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#16 Courtney Mirabella


See All Softball Top 44 Previews