20 Power Five Players You Shouldn't Overlook In 2021
The 2020 college softball season didn't exactly go as planned due to the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic. But, luckily, so many talented college softball players will return to their respective programs in 2021 hungrier to play and compete than perhaps ever before.
As we look ahead to the 2021 season, there are certain underrated players from the Power Five conferences who we believe can make some serious noise in college softball next year.
See below for five college softball players from each Power Five conference who should not be overlooked heading into the 2021 Division I season.
UCLA / JUNIOR / UTILITY
Washington delivered UCLA’s exhilarating walk-off hit in the 2019 national championship game. She’s a triple threat, posting a .353 average at the top of the lineup for the Bruins. Her versatility is also reflected in her defense in the infield and the outfield.
OREGON / RS FRESHMAN / CATCHER
Just a redshirt freshman, McGowan hit a solid .375 with 30 hits in 2020. She also didn't commit an error in her first season as a college catcher, posting a 1.000% fielding percentage.
CAL / JUNIOR / OUTFIELD
Coelho was impressive during the shortened season, helping the Bears with a .432 average and 32 hits. Her contributions to the lineup will be key for Cal in 2021.
OREGON STATE / JUNIOR / PITCHER
The Pac-12's pitching has proved to be stellar, and Mazon is one of its best, posting a 1.18 ERA and 130 strikeouts. The Beavers will look to her to lead the staff next season.
TEXAS A&M / SOPHOMORE / PITCHER / OUTFIELD
Herzog had an impressive 2020 season. Her productive numbers included a .425 average, 34 hits and 11 doubles. Prior to the season ending early, Herzog was on her way to an exciting sophomore campaign.
ALABAMA / JUNIOR / OUTFIELD
After Alabama’s thrilling run to the WCWS in 2019, Sides was the team's leader in many offensive categories during the 2020 season. She posted impressive numbers, including a .483 average with 28 hits. Look to Sides as an offensive threat for Alabama in 2021.
MARY WILSON AVANT
GEORGIA / SENIOR / PITCHER
Mary Wilson Avant was having herself an outstanding senior campaign in 2020. She posted a 1.39 ERA and 120 strikeouts, and will look to lead the Bulldogs' pitching staff in 2021.
FLORIDA / JUNIOR / INFIELD
After two years spent putting together nearly perfect numbers defensively, Adams proved in the shortened season to be a key to the Gators' offensive success. She posted a .375 average and 30 hits, while only striking out five times in 80 at bats. The Gators will need her production in 2021.
MARYLAND / SENIOR / INFIELD
Kufta proved to be a senior leader this spring. She had a standout season with a .424 average and 28 hits. Kufta will look to post similar numbers in 2021.
PURDUE / JUNIOR / OUTFIELD
After transferring from Georgia Teach, Webb wasted no time at Purdue and made an instant impact to the lineup. Webb, a triple threat, collected 30 hits and a .380 average, while also being active on the base paths.
INDIANA / SENIOR / PITCHER
Before the season was cut short, Goodin was having a successful campaign pitching for Indiana. She posted a 1.76 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 2020. Expect Goodin to lead the Indiana pitching staff once again in 2021.
MINNESOTA / SENIOR / INFIELD
Partain played a key role in the Gophers' run to the WCWS in 2019. And she was on pace for a fantastic senior season in 2020 with a .349 average, 14 walks and 50 total bases. Minnesota will need her offensive production at the top of the lineup next season.
KANSAS / JUNIOR / OUTFIELD
Jackson was having herself a breakthrough season prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. She led the Jayhawks with 32 hits, while also holding a .386 average in 2020. Jackson will be a key to Kansas' success going forward.
BAYLOR / RS SENIOR / PITCHER
The veteran pitcher was having an outstanding senior campaign. Rodoni collected 97 strikeouts and led the Baylor pitching staff with a 1.15 ERA. Rodoni’s 97 strikeouts also led the Big 12.
TEXAS / JUNIOR / UTILITY
Burke’s offensive production was a large part of the Longhorns' success in 2020. She produced a .453 average and only posted four strikeouts in 76 at-bats. Look for Burke to continue her success at the plate in 2021.
OKLAHOMA STATE / SOPHOMORE / INFIELD
Naomi found herself making a huge mark offensively for the Cowgirls this past season. On the bases, she was a threat with 12 stolen bases and 55 total bases, while also hitting eight home runs.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE / SENIOR / OUTFIELD
Forbes was having an exciting season in 2020, as she led the ACC in several offensive categories. The Mexican Olympic team member posted a .538 average and 43 hits. She was also a threat on the bases with 14 stolen bags.
NOTRE DAME / JUNIOR / PITCHER
Holloway was proving to be one of the strongest pitchers in the ACC in 2020. She was in the midst of her best season yet with a 1.09 ERA and 72 strikeouts. The Fighting Irish will look to Holloway to take care of business in the circle in 2021.
BOSTON COLLEGE / SOPHOMORE / PITCHER
Anderson led Boston College's pitching staff during her shortened sophomore campaign. She improved to a 1.80 ERA with 76 strikeouts, as she proved to be one of the conference's strongest pitchers in 2020. Look out for Anderson to be a force next season for the Eagles.
CLEMSON / FRESHMAN / PITCHER / UTILITY
In Clemson's inaugural season, Cagle was a leader for the Tigers while just being a freshman. She led the conference with 36 RBI and collected 35 hits and 10 home runs.