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WCWS Tournament of Champions Bracket: Session Three

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In absence of the 2020 Women’s College World Series, we bring you the Tournament of Champions Bracket!

We teamed up with the NCAA to pick the Top 16 teams of all-time to walk away with the highly coveted national title.

For this bracket, we took into account milestones, big performances, and eventually expanded the bracket to 16 to avoid an all UCLA/Arizona bracket. We slotted in every team with a championship and then allocated three slots to 12-time national champion UCLA and two slots to 8-time national champion Arizona.

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with 24, followed by the Big 12 (4), SEC (3), Southwest (2)*, and a single championship for the ACC, Big Ten, and Big West.

We will take an in-depth look at each team in the bracket. On to the Top 16!

*Texas A&M was a member of the Southwest Conference during its two titles.


Photo by Bryan Terry

Washington 2009 

A veteran squad led the Huskies to their first national championship in school history. Led by All-American Danielle Lawrie in the circle, Washington swept Florida in two games in the final series. UW went on the road for 30 days to earn the title the hard way, being forced to an if-game in the Amherst Regional and dropping and extra-inning Sunday night game to Georgia in the WCWS. In the third inning of Game 2 against the Gators, Morgan Stuart hit the ball off the end of her bat with the bases loaded. The tough spin proved to be too difficult to handle for Stacey Nelson allowing the go-ahead run to score. Lawrie shut out the Gators the remainder of the game bringing how the 21st title for the Pac-10 Conference.

Players To Note
Danielle Lawrie
Junior
Pitcher 

Lawrie sat out the previous season (2008) to complete for the Canadian National Team at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The seasoned veteran wasted no time picking right back up where she left off earning National Player of the Year honors and the Honda Award for Softball. The Women’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player finished the season 42-8 with a 0.97 ERA and 521 strikeouts.

Morgan Stuart
Sophomore 
Infielder

The breakout star went on a tear during UW’s championship run setting a Women’s College World Series record with four doubles. She also tied a WCWS hit record by going 5-5 against Georgia in the first semi-final game.  The sophomore batted .476 in the six games of the WCWS with a walk-off RBI single against Arizona State. The Riverside native led the team in RBI (37), doubles (16), and HBP (12).

By The Numbers
Head coach: Heather Tarr
Assistant Coach: Gina Carbonatto
Assistant Coach: Lance Glasco
Volunteer Assistant: J.T. D’Amico

Record: 51-12
Pac-12 Record: 14-7

Road to Oklahoma City

Amherst Regional
Vs. Sacred Heart, 9-1 (5) W
Vs. UMass 3-1 W
Vs. UMass 1-5 L
Vs. UMass 6-1 (15) W

Atlanta Super Regional
Vs. Georgia Tech, 7-1 W
Vs. Georgia Tech, 7-0 W

NCAA Women’s College World Series
Vs. Georgia 3-1 W
Vs. Arizona State 1-0 W (8)
Vs. Georgia 8-9 L (9)
Vs. Georgia 9-3 W
Vs. Florida 8-0 W
Vs. Florida 3-2 W


Cal State Fullerton 1986

Another second-place finish proved unacceptable for the Cal State Fullerton Titans entering the 1986 Women’s College World Series.

CSUF steamrolled through the 1986 WCWS, which was held in Omaha, Nebraska from 1982-1987. The Titans relied on the pitching duo of Broderick Award winner Susan LeFebvre and JC All-American Connie Clack. The two hurlers combined for a 5-0 record at the WCWS. Clark was named All-Tournament pitcher and faced Aggie ace, Shawn Andaya, in the final game. Clark struck out eight and gave up just one hit to Tori Parks to pick up the victory over the Aggies.  The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when Chenita Rogers tripled and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice. CSUF picked up single runs in the sixth and seventh to make the final score, 3-0. Rogers was a first-team All-American and racked up 74 hits during the ’86 season. The junior left fielder was considered the ‘fastest woman in collegiate softball’ and continued to command the field with a .438 postseason batting average. (CSUF 1986 Media Guide)

The program’s first national championship ended a series of heartbreaking losses for the Titan’s and its founder, Judi Garman. It’s no coincidence the ’86 staff also included world-renowned sports psychologist, Ken Ravizza.

Players To Note: 
Susan LeFebvre, Senior, Bellflower, CA 
Pitcher 
The Broderick Award winner in softball finished her senior campaign going 31-6 with 0.27 ERA. The 2 x All-American accumulated 702 career strikeouts and was named All-NCAA West Region and All-PCAA. LeFebvre threw a bulk of the innings for the Titans (284.2) forfeiting just 11 earned runs during her final season.

Connie Clark, Junior, Phoenix, Arizona (Central Arizona Community College)
Pitcher 
The junior transfer went 20-2 with the lowest ERA in the country (0.18) despite sitting out six weeks due to a back injury. The All-American hurler pitched three wins without giving up a single run in the WCWS. Clark was known for throwing an ‘unhittable riseball’ and gave up just 4 earned runs in 155.1 innings pitched striking out a whopping 197 batters.

By the numbers:

Coach: Judi Garman, 8th Season
Associate Coach: Kathy Van Wyk
Assistant Coach: Linda Shafor
Performance Specialist: Ken Ravizza
Record: 59-9-1
PACC record: 22-5-1

Conference: CSUF entered the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA) for its first season after six years in the Western Collegiate Athletics Association (WCAA)*

Road to Omaha
vs. Cal Poly Pomona, 2-0 W (West Regional)
vs. Cal Poly Pomona, 1-0 W (West Regional)
vs. Cal State Long Beach, 1-0 W (WCWS Game 1)
vs. California, 3-0 W (WCWS Game 2)
vs. Texas A&M, 3-0 W (WCWS Game 3)
vs. Indiana, 3-1, W (Game 4)
vs. Texas A&M 3-0, W (Game 5)

*The WCAA was a women’s only athletic conference on the West Coast formed of seven charter members: UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal State-Fullerton, Long Beach State, and San Diego State. 


2009 Washington vs 1986 Cal State Fullerton

  • #6 Washington (2009) (94%, 16 Votes)
  • #11 CSU Fullerton (1986) (6%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Michigan 2005

The Wolverines shocked the nation by defeating the defending national champions  — No. 7 UCLA — to win the program’s first national championship. The 2005 season marked the first installment of a three-game championship series. No. 1 Michigan dropped the first game of the series 5-0 only to bounce back and pick up the win in Game 2, 5-2. The if-necessary game did not disappoint as the Bruins scored first in the second inning. Winning on a three-run walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th inning, freshman Samantha Findlay solidified Michigan’s 52nd national championship in school history and just the second for a women’s program.

 

Players To Note: 

Samantha Findlay

The first freshman player to earn WCWS Most Outstanding Player with a .725 slugging percentage with 17 RBIs and .400 average in the NCAA Tournament. She was a key contributor in the final game against UCLA, driving in all four runs as a part of a 3-hit game including a three-run 10th inning home run. Findlay went on to earn All-American at second base in 2007 and holds University of Michigan records for home runs in a career (62), RBIs in a career (219), career slugging percentage (.677), and RBIs in a season (77).

By The Numbers
Record: 65-7
Big Ten Record: 15-2

Head Coach: Carol Hutchins
Assistant Coach: Bonnie Tholl
Assistant Coach: Jennifer Brundage
Volunteer Assistant Coach: Jennifer Teague

Road to Oklahoma City

NCAA Ann Arbor Regional

vs. Canisius, 8-1 W
vs. Seton Hall, 5-0 W
vs. North Carolina, 6-0 W

NCAA Super Regional

vs. Washington, 4-1 W
vs. Washington, 2-3 L
vs. Washington, 11-2 (6) W

NCAA Women’s College World Series

vs. Depaul, 3-0 W
vs. Texas, 4-0 W
vs. Tennessee, 0-2 L (11)
vs. Tennessee, 3-2 W
vs. UCLA, L 0-5
vs. UCLA, 5-2 W
vs. UCLA, 4-1 W (10)

 


Arizona State pitcher Dallas Escobedo, center, holds the 2011 Division I National Championship trophy in the air after Arizona State defeated Florida 7-2 in a Women’s College World Series championship series game in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Arizona State 2008

Arizona State’s victory over Texas A&M is the largest margin of victory in a shutout in a WCWS clinching game. The Sun Devils routed the Aggies 11-0 recording the first national title for the program. Katie Burkheat threw a four-hitter striking out 13 and picked up her eleventh straight win. Kaitlin Cochran provided the power for the ASU offense blasting a three-run homer, her 14th of the season, in the fifth inning to take the lead, 3-0. Arizona State sealed the victory with a four-run seventh inning and held Texas A&M in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win.

Players To Note: 

Kaitlin Cochran
Junior 

The powerful lefty racked up numerous awards in her junior campaign including: Pac-10 Player of the Year and First-Team All-American. Cochran hit .439 with 14 home runs, 51 RBI and boasted a .838 slugging percentage.

Katie Burkhart 
Senior 
Pitcher 

The lefthander had a stellar senior campaign leading ASU to their first national championship in program history. The two time All-American went 41-5 with 0.75 ERA and finished her career with 118 wins and 1670 strikeouts.

By The Numbers

Record: 66-5
Pac-10 Record: 18-3

Head Coach: Clint Meyers (3rd year)
Assistant Coach: Robert Wagner
Assistant Coach: Kristen Voak

Road to Oklahoma City 

Tempe Regional

vs. Stony Brook, 2-0 W
vs. Hawaii, 10-0 W
vs. Hawaii, 8-0 W

Tempe Super Regional

vs. Northwestern, 3-1 W
vs. Northwestern, 9-0 W

NCAA Women’s College World Series

vs. Alabama, 3-1 W
vs. UCLA, 4-0 W
vs. Alabama, 3-1 W
vs. Texas A&M, 3-0
vs. Texas A&M, 11-0


2005 Michigan vs 2008 Arizona State

  • #3 Michigan (2005) (64%, 21 Votes)
  • #14 Arizona State (2008) (36%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 33

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