Play Ball 

By Jacqui McLean

College softball is right around the corner. NCAA teams have just wrapped up the practice Fall season, and we can expect the Spring season to begin February 10. 2023 is an exciting time for softball fans due to some new changes in the NCAA. 

For starters, the transfer portal is something that has been getting a lot of attention this past year. The transfer portal allows athletes to transfer schools without any sit out period or punishment. The portal is used by athletes to join a team where they will get more playing time, experience  more success, have more scholarships, or even just to find a new beginning. So far, some of the biggest transfers have come from Miranda Ellis, who transferred from Texas to Oklahoma State, Mack Leonard, who transferred from Illinois State to Florida State, and Ally Shipman, who transferred from Tennessee to Alabama. 

However, the most shocking came from Alabama where six key players all entered the transfer portal at the same time. This leaves Alamaba with an entirely new team dynamic going into this season. It sure is going to be exciting seeing how things play out for transfers. 

Seeing as Oklahoma won their second NCAA Women’s College World Series Championship last year, they are the sure favorite for this year. As well, they have benefited greatly from the transfer portal by gaining Cydney Sanders. That is important considering Joclyn Alo, the MVP and current home run leader, graduated and now plays professionally. 

Other teams to look out for are UCLA, Northwestern, Virginia Tech, and Alabama, who are all predicted winners of the Power 5 conferences. 

All in all, there is a lot to look forward to in the 2023 season. 

Great article!