Fans in the U.S. and around the world will be able to watch plenty of college softball this year. The 2018 season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Softball has begun.
The NCAA announced that ESPN will be broadcasting and live-streaming more than 650 games, following the booming broadcast numbers of last year.
According to ESPN, nearly 1.7 million viewers watched Oklahoma beat Florida, 7-5, in Game 1 of the 2017 NCAA national softball championship. The 17-inning game lasted nearly 5.5 hours, and the audience peaked at 2.15 million in the 16th inning.
Many NCAA players have worn their National Team jerseys in past WBSC events. Stars like Kelly Barnhill (USA); Aleshia Ocasio, Elicia D’Orazio, Taran Alvelo and Morganne Flores (Puerto Rico); Kelsey Jenkins (Canada), and Cielo Meza (Mexico) played in last year’s Pan American Continental Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and it’s expected that the top NCAA stars will be selected to represent their countries in the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship this August in Chiba, Japan, where the winning nation will earn an automatic berth into the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The finals of 2018 NCAA softball championship will be held at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium — OGE Energy Field in Oklahoma City from 31 May to 6 June.