The 2012 number one draft pick of the National Pro Fastpitch League will lead her LSU Tigers to their first Women’s College World Series appearance in 8 years this week. Brittany Mack, selected number one by the USSSA Florida Pride and her Bayou Bengals squad will be among the elite 8 programs who qualify for the prestigious WCWS, which begins play Thursday. LSU received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after posting a 34-21 regular season record. The Tigers were the #2 seed in the College Station Regional where they were undefeated, handing the top seed (8th overall) Texas A&M Aggies a stunning upset. The Tigers then went on to pull off yet another upset against the #9 overall seed Missouri. LSU took a best of three series against Missouri to move onto the WCWS. The Tigers are skippered by USSSA Florida Pride Head Coach, Beth Torina.
Hillary Bach, the 7th overall pick by the Akron Racers will return to Oklahoma City with her Arizona State Sun Devils to defend their 2011 Championship. Bach, 19-1 in the regular season, helped her number three seeded ASU squad through the Tempe Regional undefeated. Following that, the Sun Devils squared off against University of Louisiana Lafayette in a Super Regional that would force a game 3 after ULL surprised the nation by handing ASU a first game loss. ASU came back to win back to back Super Regional games to punch their ticket to return to the WCWS.
The number one seeded Cal Bears have two more stellar members of the NPF’s 2012 Draft on the roster. Favorite for ASA/USA Softball Player of the Year, standout Valerie Arioto was the number eight selection by the USSSA Florida Pride. Arioto, 2012 Pac 12 Player of the Year, has been instrumental in keeping Cal on top of the national rankings nearly all season long. As a pitcher, first baseman, and hitter for the Bears, Arioto posted a nearly .400 batting average with 20 plus homeruns on the offensive side paired with a 1.32 ERA and 20 plus wins from the circle.
Also on the Cal roster and another big contributor to the success of the Bears, is Jamia Reid, the 19th overall selection by the Akron Racers. Reid leads all hitters on the Golden Bears roster with a .385 batting average and 47 stolen bases. On the 10th anniversary of Cal’s 2002 NCAA WCWS National Championship the Bears hosted the Regional round and the Super Regional round at home in Berkeley. They lost one game in the Regional to the Arkansas Razorbacks requiring a backs to the wall comeback before eliminating Washington in two games at Super Regionals.
The WCWS will kick off on Thursday in Oklahoma City. Click here to see the complete bracket.