The top 10 colleges for women’s Division 1 softball
If softball is your passion you may be wondering if it’s possible to play in college, or even make it a career (playing, or coaching). Which school is right for you?
College Factual has ranked the best colleges for softball taking into account the athletic success of the team, as well as the academic success of the players and other quality measures. Use your athletic skill to get a great education so when you graduate you’ll have plenty of options for your future career.
View the entire ranking here. and learn more about College Factual’s methodology behind the ranking here. Use the widget to filter by Division or location.
Florida s Kim Waleszonia, center, celebrates her home run during the second inning of the championship game of the 2008 NCAA Softball Gainesville Regional against University of Central Florida on Sunday, May 18, 2008, in Gainsville, Fla. Florida won 10-0. (AP Photo/The Gainsville Sun, Aaron Daye)
1. University of Florida
Florida is the top-ranked college in the state. Its 49,000 students reside on 2,000 suburban acres in the Sunshine State. Liberal arts, psychology and biology are its most popular majors. It participates in extensive research including the International Center for Lighting Research and Testing.
Tim Walton built Gators softball into a national powerhouse since he took over as head coach in 2006, winning over 80% of his games. He also was named SEC Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2009.
2. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan has a solid reputation both on and off the field. Students come from all across the country to study at this public university that is known for its reasonable price and high academic standards. The most popular majors are child development and psychology, economics and business administration and management.
This is head coach Carol Hutchins’ 32 nd season leading the Michigan Wolverines. During that time, she’s amassed over 1,400 career wins, making her the second-winningest coach in NCAA softball history. She was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
3. University of California-Los Angeles
Kelly Inouye-Perez has been leading the Bruins as head coach since 2007. During that time, she’s amassed almost 400 wins. UCLA has been to the College World Series 19 times since 1982 and leads all schools with 11 NCAA Softball Championships.
UCLA has high ethnic diversity with 93% of its student coming from California. It ranks #7 out of all the schools in the state. It is the fifth largest employer in Los Angeles county, with an award-winning sustainable transportation network.
4. Hofstra University
Hofstra s 240-acre campus in southern New York includes an arboretum, bird sanctuary and replica of the Globe Theater. Its most popular majors are psychology, business administration and communication.
Larissa Anderson is entering her second season as head coach after 13 years as an assistant to the legendary Bill Edwards, who led the program from 1990 to 2014. She specializes in pitching and has produced seven of the last eight CAA Pitcher of the Year winners.
Dig deeper into College Factual s softball rankings with this interactive poll:
5. Baylor University
Baylor is the oldest continuously operating university in Texas and was one of the first higher education facilities west of the Mississippi when it opened in 1845. Its 16,000 students occupy 1,000 acres of classic architecture known as “College Town.” Biology, nursing and psychology are its most popular majors.
Glenn Moore has a 607-294 record with the Bears since taking over the team in 2000. In 2014, he led Baylor to its third College World Series appearance. In the last ten years, Baylor softball has achieved a 100% GSR four times and never less than 93%.
6.University of Notre Dame
Deanna Gumpf has led the Irish to 14 consecutive trips to the NCAA Regionals and won the conference tournament four times. Her crew has earned seven Coaching Staff of the Year honors since 2002. Her winning percentage is .715. Notre Dame is famous for excellent graduation rates for student athletes.
Notre Dame has a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and ranks #10 among the nation s colleges. Its most popular majors are finance, medical prep and accounting. Travel+Leisure lists Notre Dame s 1,250-acre campus as one of the most beautiful in the nation.
7. University of Missouri
The University of Missouri, or Mizzou as it’s affectionately called by alumni and fans, was established in 1839 as the first public institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River. When you combine the school’s reasonable net price with its high academic standards, the result is a great bang for your educational buck. The most popular majors at Mizzou are business, journalism and health sciences and services.
Ehren Earlywine has been leading the Missouri Tigers as head coach since 2007. From 2008-2013, he spearheaded the Tigers to six straight Super Regionals.
Founded in 1865, Lehigh University is a private research university occupying a spacious 2,350-acre campus in Bethlehem, Pa. Located just 70 miles from Philadelphia and 85 miles from New York City, Lehigh has a long-standing reputation as a leader in academic excellence. The university attracts students from all over the United States, and the most popular majors are finance and financial management, mechanical engineering and marketing.
Fran Troyan is starting his 21 st year as head coach for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. During his tenure, he’s led Lehigh to 17 Patriot League regular season titles and nine NCAA Tournament appearances. Troyan has been named Patriot League Coach of the Year six times.
9. Northwestern University
Kate Drohan has led the Wildcats to a pair of Big Ten Championships in 14 seasons and back-to-back semifinal appearance in the College World Series. Her twin sister Caryl is her associate head coach. Her teams have scored a perfect GSR five times in the last decade.
Northwestern has 18,000 students spread out over the main Evanston campus and a Chicago satellite. The school also operates journalism and communication schools in Education City, Qatar. As evidenced by its student-to-faculty ratio of 7 to 1, this very selective institution is known for its small class sizes and the opportunities it allows for faculty interaction.
10. The University of Tennessee
Tennessee s 27,000 students occupy 2128 acres which include an arboretum, agricultural campus and nanotechnology research facility. The T-RECS recreational center for students is an advanced athletic facility free for students including four basketball courts and two Olympic-sized pools. Psychology, business administration and physical education are its most popular majors.
Karen and Ralph Weekly are co-head coaches for the Volunteers. They have been honored with SEC Coach of the Year titles twice, coached 31 All-Americans and brought their team to the College World Series seven times.
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