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 to determine the greatest all-time team. Voting begins Tuesday and continues through June 6. Each position’s poll will remain open for three days before votes are tallied. ESPNU and the ESPN App will air games highlighting players included in that day’s voting, culminating with a televised 7Innings reveal show.
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 begins Wednesday and lasts for three days.
Lauren Chamberlain — Oklahoma (2012-15)
Chamberlain rewrote the NCAA record books in her illustrious career with the Sooners. She holds the Division I home run crown with 95 homers and finished her career with a .960 slugging percentage. She was a four-time NFCA All-American who hit .395 with 254 RBIs in four seasons. And she didn’t leave Norman without a national title, as the Sooners won the 2013 WCWS.
Amy Chellevold — Arizona (1992-95)
Chellevold won back-to-back championships with the Wildcats in 1993 and 1994. She totaled 371 hits in her career, which was the most in Division I history when she graduated and still ranks fifth today.
Sheila Cornell — UCLA (1981-84)
Cornell saw her No. 16 jersey retired following a memorable career during which she won two national titles with the Bruins and was named an NFCA All-American three times. Though she hit .245 in her career, she hit .309 in her final season.
Ali Gardiner — UNC-Wilmington (2006), Florida (2007-09)
Gardiner might be best remembered most for her walk-off grand slam over Alabama in 2009 that sent Florida to the championship series. She was a two-time All-SEC selection who hit .332 in her career.
Bailey Hemphill — Alabama (2017-present)
Hemphill’s final chapter at Alabama has yet to be written, but she is on pace to be one of the most prolific hitters at first base in NCAA softball history. She is a two-time All-SEC selection who set Alabama’s single-season home run (26) and RBI (84) records in 2019.
Shay Knighten — Oklahoma (2016-19)
Knighten was one of the most clutch players in recent memory. In her WCWS career, she hit .352 with five home runs and 19 RBIs. That includes the winning home run in the 17th inning of Game 1 of the 2017 championship series and the game-tying homer off Rachel Garcia in the 2019 championship series. Knighten helped the Sooners win back-to-back national titles in 2016 and 2017.
Amanda Lorenz — Florida (2016-19)
In 2018, Lorenz became the first player in Florida history to reach base safely in every game in a season. A four-time NFCA All-American, Lorenz holds the program record for batting average (.407) and on-base percentage (.549).
Tori Vidales — Texas A&M (2015-18)
Vidales holds the Texas A&M program record for runs (198), RBIs (219) and total bases (480), and ranks second with 65 home runs and third with 246 hits. She was a two-time NFCA All-American and two-time All-SEC first-team selection.
ESPN’s Beth Mowins, Jen Schroeder and Michele Smith break down which of the eight finalists should make the cut for ESPN’s greatest all-time softball team.
The Pac-12 produced five of the eight greatest catchers we have ever seen, but the decision is not easy. Here are the eight finalists, as voting begins Tuesday and lasts for three days.