By Jacqui McLean
As covid cases alleviate in the U.S., Americans experience a small return to normalcy, with many activities, such as college sports, becoming available to the public again. My personal favorite, college softball, began in February. Although this season might look a little bit different than most, it is exciting to see college ball nonetheless.
For starters, one of the biggest changes is the return of many 2020 seniors, returning for their fifth (or possibly sixth) season; causing an uproar, especially with younger athletes, who will lose significant playing time. Furthermore, it outraged many future recruits who will have a difficult time getting a spot on teams with larger than usual rosters. Due to covid, athletic departments have recently experienced significant budget cuts, resulting in less athletic resources and the removal of many college sports teams altogether.
Even with these drastic changes, this 2021 softball season is sure to be a good one. In the beginning of the season UCLA was the expected front runner. However, after a few weeks of game play the leaderboard has started to shift. As of March 8th, Oklahoma leads, followed by Arizona, and in third is UCLA. Texas’ victory over UCLA marked the first time that the Los Angeles school lost in 23 games. College softball seems more competitive than ever this year with numerous teams shaking up the rankings. Luckily, although many games cannot be watched on campus, ESPN will have the largest coverage of softball ever this year on it’s networks. In addition, numerous teams have provided streaming sites to watch games from the comforts of your home.
It will be exciting to see how this season plays out, and how the changes made this year affect the next few years of recruits.