2022 Roundtable on the Women’s College World Championship

The 2022 Women’s College World Championships begins Thursday, and seven teams will have the opportunity to prevent top-ranked Oklahoma from repeating.

To say that the companies that quickly took control would be an understatement. They have beaten their opponents in 38 out of 56 games this season on their way to a record 54-2. They lead the country in batting average, record runs and era. And they’re showing off their home race queen in Jocelyn Allo, who has finished in four of her five NCAA Championship games so far.

Caesars Sportsbook has a -350 chance of winning it all. Field +270.

The Sooners’ recurring show begins with a match against seed No. 9 Northwestern (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN app). If they win, they’ll play Texas Winner and No. 5 UCLA (ET back, ESPN/ESPN app).

On the other side of the arc, Oregon faces Florida #14 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN app), while Arizona #7 faces Oklahoma (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN app).

Can anyone stop Oklahoma from winning it again? Do any of the three unranked teams – the most in one WCWS – stand a chance of shocking the world? Our analysts make their own predictions for WCWS.

What team was most surprised to make it to WCWS?

Michael Smith: Oregon and Arizona. Both teams played their best ball at the end of the season, and that’s always a big component of getting into WCWS. Oregon’s win over Tennessee on the road shows how good the Beavers are.

Jenny Dalton Hill: If you asked me five weeks ago and told me that Arizona was going to make WCWS, I would never have believed you. After all, they were swept up to start the Pac-12 game and were in last place. Caitlin Lowe is a witch not only for figuring out how to get the most out of this team, but for doing so in her first year at the helm after replacing Mike Candria.

Amanda Scarborough: I’m amazed that Oregon has made it to WCWS. The Beavers were one of the last four teams in the tournament And the They’ve had to play Reigns and Super Regionals on the road. My biggest surprise came when they beat No. 11 Tennessee, and they haven’t looked back since.

Jane Schroeder: I will say Arizona. For me, that’s because they lost their first eight matches in multiplayer. Really felt like on Selection Sunday, we’ve been waiting to see if their names get called, and now we’ll be keeping an eye on them at WCWS.

What makes this year’s Oklahoma team different from last year’s team?

Smith: I think their playing style is more consistent this year, but Jordi Bahl’s injury will make them have to rely more on their attack. It’s unbelievable, but their attack is better this year than the amazing offensive team last year. It’s amazing.

Dalton Hill: This year’s team has fewer home runs but more maturity and experience. They have less circuit experience but are a quieter, non-panic offense. Their loss taught them the lessons needed to be a complete team, and it shows. If they brought back Jordi Bahl, wow!

Scarborough: their staff. Last year, their age was 2.49. This year, their age was a staggering 0.80. They do not give up many operations, and it is interesting that they manage the production process. Last year, they averaged 10.6 runs per game, and this year it’s 9.19 runs per game clip. (Both are very good.)

Schroeder: The depth of the field in Oklahoma this year makes them a tougher team for the postseason. Their first three arms have an Era of less than 1.00.

Who has the best chance of preventing recurrence?

Smith: University of California, Los Angeles and/or Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State has had a promotion for OU in four games this year. And if Megan Farimo catches fire, it could be a tough game for the Bruins for their family.

Dalton Hill: No one can keep up with that through shooting and defense. You have to be able to keep up with their attack. This group can score – and score a lot. Two teams have shown they can beat them once, but I don’t see anyone who can beat them twice.

Scarborough: I think Oklahoma has the best chance. Entering WCWS, Kelly Maxwell turns off the lights and isn’t allowed to run in the NCAA Championship. Cowgirls also have the confidence of knowing they’ve outgrown her before and know her well.

Schroeder: I think the University of California, Los Angeles, has the best chance of stopping freshmen from repeating. Megan Farimo and Holly Azevedo each racked up 20 wins – only the ninth time his teammates had 20 wins in the program’s history. And who wouldn’t want an epic rematch of the 2019 Championship Series?

Who will be the last two steadfast teams?

Dalton Hill: I’d love to see the UCLA-Arizona Final — they’ve met the championship seven times before, and Arizona has won four of them — but in the end, one of the final teams will be Oklahoma.

Scarborough: With the chaos that followed this postseason already, there is absolutely no way of knowing! But the Oklahoma State and Oklahoma State Final will certainly be interesting.

Schroeder: If this was a postseason period where the chalk stuck out on either side of the arc, I’d choose Oklahoma-Oklahoma State. However, this was a postseason nothing like this. I could have seen Oklahoma beat UCLA in the winners category, and then UCLA advance to the championship series once the arc flipped. Nor would it be surprising to see a match between Oklahoma and Florida. Either way, what I’ve learned in post-season is to expect the unexpected.

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