That’s as great a testament as any as to what head coach Mike Candrea has created in Tucson over the last 35 years. The bar has been set so high that seasons ending in the Super Regionals from 2014-18 had the program still yearning to take the next step and return to the Women’s College World Series despite seasons that would seem like a mere pipe dream for the majority of programs across the nation.
That tends to happen when you have a stretch like the Sooners have enjoyed over the last decade: three national championships, eight Women’s College World Series appearances, eight straight Big 12 titles and seven 50-win seasons.
There’s a relatively new name beginning to show up more often on lists of the elite club softball programs throughout the country.
Atlanta Premier has established itself as an up-and-comer in the world of softball. The organization’s Gold 18U team finished 2019 as the No. 3 club team in the country, according to the NFCA’s official rankings.