Each week in the Alumni Notebook, we highlight Softball Factory alums who are performing well at all levels of college softball.
Jocelyn Alo – Alo, a freshman utility player for the Oklahoma Sooners, has been known for her explosive bat all year and has showed no signs of slowing down in the postseason. The nation’s leader in home runs has collected 28 in total so far this season, notching her 28th—a two-run shot – in a 9-0 victory over Arkansas in the NCAA Norman Super Regional last Saturday. The win punched the two-time defending national champion Sooners a ticket to the 2018 Women’s College World Series for a chance to win their third-straight NCAA title. Alo currently holds the team’s top batting average (.415) and the best slugging percentage (.970) in the Big 12 Conference. She has tallied 62 runs, 68 hits, seven doubles and 46 walks drawn. The 2018 NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year owns the most RBI in the Big 12 with 70. Alo hails from Hauula, Hawaii and attended our Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in November of 2016.
Amanda Lorenz – Lorenz, a junior outfielder for the Florida Gators, scored a critical run for her team in a 5-3 win over Texas A&M in a deciding Game 3 of the Gainesville Super Regional sending UF to the 2018 WCWS. The Gators were down 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, when Lorenz and a teammate both drew walks to get on base. A walk-off three-run home run would then go sailing over the fence, giving the Gators the come-from-behind victory. The walk issued to Lorenz should not come as a surprise as the Moorpark, Calif. native’s sharp eye at the plate has drawn the most walks in the Southeastern Conference (66). The Sport Management major been an asset to her team all season, recording 72 runs, 74 hits, 19 doubles (tied for the most in the SEC), four triples, 11 home runs and 61 RBI. Her .433 average is the best on the Gators roster and third-highest in the SEC while her team-leading .784 slugging percentage is the second-highest in the conference. Lorenz participated in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2014.
Rachel Garcia – Garcia (27-3) is a redshirt sophomore for the UCLA Bruins who has been a crucial part of her team’s success this season. The 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year pitched a complete-game four-hitter in a 3-2 Bruins victory over Arizona on Friday to help sweep the Los Angeles Super Regional and advance to the 2018 WCWS. Her 1.02 ERA is the best on the team and she has tossed 18 complete games – nine of them shutouts – this season. Garcia has pitched in all seven games of the NCAA Tournament so far with a 6-1 record and 0.83 ERA. 55 of her 273 strikeouts on the year have come in the postseason. The espnW Player of the Year has also been hot at the plate in the tournament, batting .364 with two home runs and nine RBI, the most on the Bruins roster. The 2018 Pac-12 Player of the Year is from Palmdale, Calif. and took part in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2014.
Bubba Nickles – Nickles, a sophomore utility player for the UCLA Bruins, had a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate in her team’s 3-2 win over Arizona that landed the Bruins their fourth WCWS appearance in a row, a record 28th all-time. One of her three hits, a single in the third inning, would drive in the game’s tying run. Nickles’ .405 batting average is the second-highest on the team and she has registered an impressive 31 runs, 70 hits, 13 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 49 RBI in 2018. The Merced, Calif. native has recorded 46 putouts with two assists and totes a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. She participated in an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif. in November of 2013.
Jade Gortarez – Gortarez is a sophomore infielder for the Arizona State Sun Devils who picked up a single and a run in a 5-2 win on Saturday over the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Tempe Super Regional, locking the Sun Devils in for the 2018 WCWS. The Riverside, Calif. native has been a weapon for the Sun Devils this season at the plate, batting a solid .293 with a team-best 42 runs, as well as 56 hits 10 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 39 RBI. Gortarez, a baseball player throughout her high school career, attended the 2014 Under Armour Baseball Factory Southwest Championship.