While the Road to the Women’s College World Series was cancelled in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN still wants to celebrate the softball postseason that would have been.
So, over the next two weeks, we are giving fans the chance to vote to determine ESPN’s Greatest All-Time Softball Team, presented by 7Innings Podcast.
We are going position by position, as voting will remain open for three days per position before votes are tallied. ESPNU and the ESPN App will air games highlighting players included in that day’s voting, culminating with a 7Innings reveal show.
Beth Mowins, Holly Rowe and Michele Smith debate which of the eight finalists should make the cut for ESPN’s greatest all-time softball team.
Is the future home run queen the best shortstop to ever play college softball? Vote now!
Sis Bates — Washington (2017-present)
Bates is a human highlight reel. A two-time NFCA first-team All-American, Bates has committed just six errors over her past two seasons. At the plate, she has a .384 career batting average and will have one more year of eligibility remaining.
Laura Espinoza — Arizona (1992-95)
Espinoza was a cog in the Arizona dynasty, helping the Wildcats reach the national championship game in all four seasons and win two WCWS titles. Her senior season was perhaps the most prolific in NCAA history: She set Division I single-season home run (37), RBI (128) and total base (232) records as a senior.
Ashley Hansen — Stanford (2009-12)
One of the most decorated players in Pac-12 history, Hansen remains one of the best players in Stanford history. She was named USA Softball National Player of the Year in 2011, and her .402 batting average, 301 hits, 179 RBIs and 192 runs scored all rank in the top five in program history.
Jessie Harper — Arizona (2017-present)
Harper has 76 home runs, the most among active players, and will have one more season to try to match Lauren Chamberlain’s home run record. She is 19 homers shy — and considering she set a career high with 29 homers in 2019, it is within reach.
Dot Richardson — Western Illinois (1980), UCLA (1981-83)
Richardson is one of the most recognizable names in college softball history. She was the NCAA Player of the Decade in the 1980s and inducted into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in 2006. Richardson helped the Bruins win the 1982 national championship and led the team in batting average in each of her three seasons with UCLA.
Madison Shipman — Tennessee (2011-14)
Shipman was one of the best defensive shortstops of her time, and she wasn’t too bad of a hitter, either. The 2014 SEC Player of the Year hit .417 with 18 home runs as a senior and helped Tennessee reach the championship series in 2013.
Delaney Spaulding — UCLA (2014-17)
For a program as storied as UCLA, Spaulding is one of the best. She ranks second in Bruins history with 229 career RBIs and third with 61 homers. Spaulding was a two-time NFCA second-team All-American.
Natasha Watley — UCLA (2000-03)
Watley’s on-field accomplishments — the third-most hits (395) in Division I history, one national championship and two runner-up finishes with UCLA — are one thing, but Watley was an icon off the field too. Upon her retirement in 2017, she told ESPN’s Graham Hays, “If I broke a barrier, if I made any African American girls say, ‘I can because Natasha did,’ then that makes me feel proud and excited.”
Beth Mowins, Amanda Scarborough and Holly Rowe debate which of the eight finalists should make the cut for ESPN’s greatest all-time softball team.
The only player in Division I history with 300 hits, 300 runs scored and 300 RBIs was a second baseman. But is she the greatest one of them all? Voting closes Saturday.
Michele Smith, Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza all give their thoughts on who they think is the greatest softball first baseman of all time.
The greatest first basemen in NCAA softball history feature some of the most prolific hitters of all time. Voting closes Friday.
Voting has closed, but ESPN’s Greatest All-Time Softball Team will be revealed on June 8.