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Five Mid-Major Programs To Watch In 2024

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(Photo via Wichita State Softball Twitter)

Wichita State

Under the leadership of head coach Kristi Bredbenner, the Wichita State Shockers proved themselves to be one of the best mid-major programs in the country. Despite losing one of the best hitters in college softball in Sydney McKinney, a recent graduate and rookie with Athletes Unlimited this summer, Lauren Lucas and Addison Barnard should provide an offensive spark for the Shocker lineup in 2024.

Batting .384 and .369, respectively, with 98 RBIs between the two, these rising seniors look to lead their team to bigger things next spring. In the circle, Alex Aguilar is coming off a dominant freshman campaign, boasting a 1.88 ERA in 115.1 innings pitched. The AAC Rookie of the Year has help in the circle, as Lauren Howell adds an 18-4 record in her 138.2 innings of work.

After going up against some of the best teams in the country throughout the 2023 season, the Shockers had two impressive wins against Oklahoma State and one win against Arkansas.


After making a deep run in the 2023 NCAA Tournament before losing to Washington in Super Regionals, head coach Gerry Glasco proved that his team can compete with anyone in the country. Along with their 50-16 record this spring, the Ragin' Cajuns had a win over Florida in early March and three wins over LSU, two of which won the Baton Rouge Regional.

After starting her collegiate career with a bang, Mihyia Davis looks to lead her team offensively and on the base paths going forward. She recorded a .380 batting average with 70 hits and 52 stolen bases in 2023, which was dominant enough to earn her the New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe Award. Next season, rising junior Sam Landry looks to be the ace in the circle after garnering a Second-Team All-Sun Belt honor after going 19-6 with a 2.13 ERA.

San Diego State

With softball legend Stacey Nuveman-Deniz leading San Diego State, the 2023 season proved to be a historic one for the program. The Mountain West Tournament champs got an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and were able to win the Los Angeles Regional before eventually falling to the Utah Utes in their own Super Regional.

Their postseason run was possible in large part because of their top three hitters: Bella Espinoza, Cali Decker and Mac Barbara. They each posted batting averages over .355 with at least 55 hits. Espinoza adds even more depth to this offense with her speed on the base paths, having 30 stolen bases throughout the season. Allie Light will look to be the ace once again in her upcoming senior season after posting a 1.90 ERA in 132.2 innings pitched this spring.


In recent years, the Charlotte 49ers have been one of the best mid-major programs in the country, and just recently made their first NCAA Tournament appearance. Despite a Regional round departure, the 49ers showed their grit and determination for more success in the future.

With top offensive contributors Kassidy Krupit and Bailey Vannoy graduating, Sam Gress and Lena Elkins in the circle look to lead their team during the 2024 season. Gress owns a 1.91 ERA from the 2023 season after pitching 227.1 innings. After playing a grueling schedule all year long, the 49ers had notable wins over Georgia, Arizona State and Virginia Tech in 2023.


After going 45-10 during the 2023 campaign, the Marshall softball program will look to continue its success in 2024.

In the circle for the Herd, ace Sydney Nester will no longer be with the staff due to graduation, so they will rely heavily on rising senior Savannah Rice to take over that role. Rice posted a 2.63 ERA in 88 innings pitched on her way to a 12-0 record this spring.

Marshall recorded some big wins in 2023, including a 2-1 victory over Virginia Tech.

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