College Softball's Top Outfielders Entering 2021
Let's face it: outfielders are often overlooked and underappreciated in softball. But anyone who really knows the game knows the importance of having good outties on your team. Whether it's because of their ability to prevent singles from turning into doubles, make a diving catch that changes the momentum of a game or do difficult things with athletic ease, outfielders are essential to any team's success.
As we look ahead to the 2021 college softball season, we at Softball America are taking some time to examine a handful of the top college players at each position on the field.
See below for three of the best outfielders in the college game today.
UCLA, Redshirt Junior
Jordan had the hottest bat for the Bruins during the 2020 season, but she was also reliable for UCLA in the outfield, posting a perfect fielding percentage. Defensively, Jordan plays right field and sometimes serves as UCLA's designated player. In 2021, look for her to continue to post otherworldly offensive numbers while also holding it down for the Bruins in the outfield.
Arizona, Redshirt Fifth-Year Senior
APC will enter her sixth college softball season in 2021. A torn ACL early in her college career has not stopped her from being one of the best center fielders in the sport. Palomino-Cardoza did not record a single error the last two years in over 109 chances. Like the rest of her stacked returning class, Palomino-Cardoza hopes to end her storied career in the outfield in Oklahoma City with a national championship for Arizona.
Arizona State, Fifth-Year Senior
Hackbarth, who had one of several hot bats in Arizona State's lineup in 2020, is also a force to be reckoned with in the outfield. She's only committed five errors in her entire college career, and has played multiple outfield positions for the Sun Devils. Expect much of the same type of play from Hackbarth in 2021, as she attempts to help lead Arizona State back to the Women's College World Series.