Monday, June 13, 2016

Revisiting Preseason Predictions

Before the 2016 college softball season began, we brought you our Bold Predictions for the year to come. With the season now over, let's revisit those predictions and see how well we saw the future. 

Prediction #1: There will be no more than one PAC-12 team in the Women's College World Series.

Outcome: Nailed it. Despite the fact that eight of the conference's nine teams reached the NCAA tournament, only three were selected to host a Regional and - with some help from the selection committee's seeding - only UCLA made it to Oklahoma City.

Kreskin Meter: 

Prediction #2: At least six Power Five schools will see coaching changes at season's end.

Outcome: To date, only two Power Five (ACC/Big Ten/Big 12/PAC-12/SEC) schools have made changes at their head coaching position. While more moves are possible, it's not likely that they'll reach the half-dozen mark.

Kreskin Meter: No stars

Prediction #3: A pitcher will not be named Player of the Year for only the third time ever.

Outcome: Prior to 2016, Stacey Nuveman and Ashley Hansen were the only two position players that had been the National Player of the Year. Michigan senior Sierra Romero was the favorite for the award for much of the season and she was officially named the winner prior to the Women's College World Series. 

Kreskin Meter: 

Prediction #4: 30% of the top ten Player of the Year finalists will come from mid-majors.

Outcome: This prediction was rooted in the success of perennial championship contender Louisiana-Lafayette's squad full of power hitters and James Madison's stellar pitching staff. A member of each group, ULL's Lexie Elkins and JMU's Megan Good, made the list of ten finalists for the award, falling just short of my prediction. A third, Kylee Hanson of Florida Atlantic, also made the list of finalists, leaving 30% of the group not from Power Five conferences, at least.

Kreskin Meter: 

Prediction #5: Florida State will relinquish their position as the second-best team in the Sunshine State.

Outcome: Yeah, not so much. The Noles not only performed to their usual excellent level during the year, but they wound up as the only Florida-based team in the Women's College World Series. They likely won't challenge the Gators for the top spot anytime soon, but they further closed the gap. The Noles' pitching staff impressed during the year and should do quite well again in 2017.

Kreskin Meter: Negative one star

Prediction #6: A Division 2 player will be drafted to the professional level for the first time ever.
Outcome: Two players - Missouri-St. Louis' Hannah Perryman and Indianapolis' Morgan Foley - dominated headlines and gained notoriety even with casual softball fans with their multiple record-breaking performances and stellar outings in the circle all season long. Perryman was the only member of the pair to be selected in the draft, going at #37 overall to the Akron Racers. Foley, for her part, signed with the Chicago Bandits shortly after her career at UIndy ended.

Kreskin Meter: 

Final tally: 16.5/30 stars

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