There is nothing like the crowning of a champion. The spring provides more than 420 hours of that anticipation across ESPN networks thanks to the NCAA Spring Championships, which include the entire Women’s College World Series (WCWS) games swinging into action today at 1 p.m. ET.
ESPN softball analyst Michele Smith knows the feeling quite well. She was a powerful left-handed pitcher at Oklahoma State. She went on to become a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a three-time world champion. Now, she is a well-known voice of NCAA Softball on ESPN and an advocate for the sport’s return to the Olympic Games.
Softball was dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
We asked Smith for her “Dream Team USA” lineup that she would have selected to play in the London Games this summer. The names shouldn’t be a surprise to those who follow the game. You can catch three of them in action today in the WCWS:
Shortstop: Katelyn Boyd, Arizona State, senior (Game at 9:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Centerfield: Michelle Moultrie, Florida, senior
Rightfield: Kaitlin Cochran, Arizona State
Designated Player: Janae Leles, Arizona
First Base: Valerie Arioto, California, senior (Game at 3:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Second Base: Stacey May-Johnson, Iowa
Third Base: Molly Johnson, Kentucky
Catcher: Ashley Holcomb, Alabama
Leftfield: Rhea Taylor, Missouri
Pitcher: Jolene Henderson, California, junior (Game at 3:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Other Team USA standouts to be on the look for? Well, 12 student-athletes in today’s matchups have been invited to camp and four are already on the team:
|1 p.m.||South Florida vs. No. 4 Oklahoma||Team USA: Keilani Ricketts (OU)
Invited: Janine Richardson (USF), Jessica Shults
|3:30 p.m.||LSU vs. No. 1 California||Team USA: Valerie Arioto (Cal)
Invited: Jolene Henderson (Cal), Lindsey Ziegenhirt (Cal)
|7 p.m.||No. 7 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Alabama||Team USA: Lauren Gibson (UT)
Invited: Ellen Renfroe (UT), Madison Shipman (UT)
|9:30 p.m.||No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 3 Arizona State||Invited: Katelyn Boyd (ASU), Dallas Escobedo (ASU)|