In The Circle

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Fastpitch News presents In The Circle with Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson. They bring you the latest news, views, previews, & reviews on all things softball from college to the NPF.

Fastpitch News

    • Sep 22, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 17m AVG DURATION
    • 348 EPISODES

    4.6 from 70 ratings Listeners of In The Circle that love the show mention: softball, solid, amazing, great, love.

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    Latest episodes from In The Circle

    Return of The (Hall of Fame) Mack

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 54:56

    After we sang about the 21st night of September, it's time to belt out the latest episode of In The Circle (preferably in the privacy of your quarters). Our latest episode starts with our analysis of the 2023 Mary Nutter Classic schedule, announced earlier in the week. The schedule includes a Sunday Funday showdown between Oklahoma and UCLA. We look at some of the notable games on the slate, and Victor Anderson teases an old show favorite coming back soon.  Afterward, we will play a portion of an interview our own Eric Lopez conducted with Mackenzie Audas for Black and Gold Banneret. She will be inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame this weekend, marking the fourth straight year UCF Softball has been represented. She chatted with Eric Lopez and Banneret's Bryson Turner about her UCF career and her upcoming induction.  We wrap up the show poking fun at Victor and him making an appearance on TV this weekend.

    Bradley's New Leader and Patty's New Deal

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 50:51

    It's Monday; You know what that means. It's time for a fresh episode of In The Circle, and Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson have plenty to say. In this episode, we break down Patty Gasso's new extension deal with the Sooners and why Victor feels she's worth much more. The guys share thoughts on where this could go for increasing coaching salaries and who Victor thinks should be the next coach to make seven figures. We then discuss the first signing for the OKC Spark in the WPF. After we wrap up with news, Eric chats with new Bradley Head Coach Sarah Willis. She takes over the program after spending the past seven seasons leading Bowling Green as Head Coach. In her first extensive interview since her hiring, Coach Willis shares her vision for the program and her coach journey, which has seen her make stops at Princeton, Southeast Missouri State, and Dayton before becoming a head coach.

    Staying Along The Bayou

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2022 54:05

    It's time to bring you another edition of In The Circle that will be full of Bayou flavor. We start our episode with the latest news from the SEC and how it could impact Oklahoma and Texas' timeline on when they could join the league. In their television rights negotiations, we also mention a potential new suitor for the Pac-12.  Afterward, Eric Lopez chats with new McNeese State pitching coach Shelbi Sunseri. The former All-American and two-way sensation joins the podcast to discuss the process of joining the McNeese coaching staff as the pitching coach. Sunseri also reflects on playing in the WPF this summer and her playing career at LSU. And what interview would be without some discussion about LSU Head Coach Beth Torina.  We wrap up this episode when the SEC Softball schedule could come out for 2023 and a Tim Walton sighting at UF Volleyball earlier in the week. Eric wants to take credit for it, Victor Anderson not so much.

    Walking In Memphis: The Softball Version

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2022 47:07

    It's about the new Tiger in town on this episode of In The Circle. Eric Lopez chats with new Memphis Head Coach Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro about what led her to come to Memphis and help reshape the program. She shares her vision for the Tigers program and the difficult decision to leave Alabama, where she has been associated with the Crimson Tide for over a decade.  Victor Anderson reflects on a busy weekend (six broadcasts in three days) and how he still has his voice in check, unlike a prominent NFL broadcaster.

    Leading Off and Rolling Humps

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 70:42

    It's been a long time since we provided a podcast for the fans. Well, that changes today with our new episode of In The Circle. After an eventful week off, the boys break down the field for the NFCA Lead Off Classic, including WCWS participants Texas and Northwestern. We also analyze some of the marquee match-ups in Clearwater during the season's opening weekend.  After that, Eric Lopez chats with new Campbell Head Coach Trena Prater. After being an assistant in Iowa for the last four years, she shares the reason for coming to Campbell and her expectations for the program. She also talks about building her coaching staff and getting back a talent-filled roster looking for their third straight Big South Championship.  The boys then look back at Michigan's new coaching hire and the wild events in Chicago while the podcast was off. We wrap the show by showcasing Illinois State's press conference announcing the retirement of Head Coach Melinda Fischer and the introduction of new Head Coach Tina Kramo.

    Michigan Softball Women and A New Era Beginning

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 74:42

    It's been over a week since the news came from Ann Arbor, and we're still reeling from it. On our latest edition of In The Circle, we will hear from new Michigan Head Coach Bonnie Tholl during the show's opening segment from Monday's press conference. Also, Eric Lopez has some developing news about potential new foes joining Michigan in the Big 10 and what it could mean for the Pac-12.  Eric then chats with former Wolverine and Rawlings Gold Glove winner Kristina Burkhardt about her reaction to Carol Hutchins retirement. She reflects on what it was like playing for Coach Hutch and what kind of Head Coach Bonnie Tholl will be. Burkhardt discusses her journey in softball, from playing in North Carolina to Michigan and learning from her sister Ashley Burkhardt. The last word on this episode fittingly belongs to Coach Hutch herself as she spoke on Monday during her press conference on Monday afternoon.

    Crowning A Champion, Waiting for a Plane, and Softball Retirements

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2022 51:48

    It took a little longer than usual (thanks, Mother Nature), but alas, we have a new champion in Athletes Unlimited. Today's episode will break down one of the most dramatic weekends in AU history. Eric Lopez has hosting duties, while Victor Anderson recorded this episode while waiting for his flight back to Orlando. No, seriously, Victor did the show at O'Hare International Airport. Nonetheless, he had PLENTY to discuss with his time in Rosemont, and he gives a day-by-day analysis of how we got to Deija Mulipola being crowned champion.  We also look back at the swan songs for Danielle O'Toole and Amanda Chidester, a Saturday surprise, an accidental photobomb from Vic, and Mother Nature's impact on Sunday. You'll also hear Victor's interviews from Sunday night with Rookie of the Year Shannon Rhodes, GEICO Defensive Player of the Year Hannah Flippen, and Runner-up Alyssa Denham.  We wrap things up with final thoughts and another legendary coach calling it a career. 

    Down the Stretch The Come, Athletes Unlimited Softball Championship Week

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 70:21

    We have reached Championship Week in Season three of Athletes Unlimited, and there's still a lot to play for the week. We will look at all of the storylines in this AU-themed edition of In The Circle. The show starts with Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson recapping the leaderboard heading into the final week and who has the inside track to take home the title. We also discuss the potential of an all-Wildcat Top 4 at the end of Sunday.    Afterward, we chat with AU Broadcaster Eric Collins, who shares his perspective on why this season might be the best. He also reflects on his journey into broadcasting, including working for Team USA, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and much more. Eric also shares some advice for young broadcasters breaking into the field.   Our show wraps up with some news in Tuscaloosa and our final AU Pro Draft with a unique twist. Plus, we predict who will be crowned the Season three Champion.  *Disclaimer: Portions of this episode were recorded before the Carol Hutchins retirement news

    Carol Hutchins Retires from Michigan Softball #ThankYouHutch

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2022 59:33

    When breaking news happens, In The Circle will be ready to talk about it (even when one of us is flying into an airport when it happens). Very few things will make us scrap our whole schedule and work on a new show. What happened in Ann Arbor on Wednesday Afternoon was one of those things. When "THE" Adam Schefter tweets about it, then it's a big freaking deal. In this emergency episode, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson break down the surprising and sudden news of legendary Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins announcing her retirement on Wednesday. The guys look back at her Hall of Fame career and reflect on her emotional post-game press conference after the Orlando Regional in May.  We will play back a portion of our interview with Coach Hutch when she came on the podcast last February and hear from several Wolverines, from Jordan Taylor to Marissa Young, among others, about playing for Hutch. Finally, we share our memories of one of the game's titans.

    Bleav In...Our Guest Co-Host

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2022 82:56

    Something feels a little different on today's episode of In The Circle. Maybe it's because schools are back in session? Maybe it is because football is starting back up soon? Or maybe SOMEONE doesn't want to show their face after Eric Lopez embarrassed them in this past week's AU Fantasy Draft? Depending on your preference, we have you covered as Jenna Becerra joins the podcast. She reflects on Bleav In Softball reaching their 100th episode. She also talks about what she has learned about hosting 100 episodes and booking guests like Dr. Dot Richardson, Jessica Mendoza, Cat Osterman, and more. Becerra also discusses her 2021 broadcast season between the Pac-12 Network and Stanford radio, serving as Play-by-Play and Color Analyst. Victor Anderson FINALLY shows up at the end of the show to reflect on this past week in Athletes Unlimited and what we can expect during Championship Week in Rosemont.

    HEY YO!!! The Latest with Scott Hall

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 68:26

    Thursday usually means two things; one day closer to Friday and a new edition of In The Circle. Today's show is full of announcements, storylines, and much more. We begin the show recapping Week 3 of Athletes Unlimited and have our weekly draft. Eric took the W last week and finds himself leading 2-1 in the best of five series. Can Victor pull out a victory and set-up a winner-take-all Week 5 next week?   Plus. Eric Lopez catches up with a longtime friend of the podcast Scott Hall who recently shared his intentions to pursue broadcasting full-time. He shares with us his broadcasting career at Marshall which saw him broadcast 1,008 games during his time with the Thundering Herd. Scott reflects on a few of his favorite memories while being with the program and what the future holds.   We end the show with the huge announcement Victor has teased everyone with on social media the past week. It's so huge, Eric thinks one of the biggest matches in wrestling today moved because of it (not really).

    News, Media, and Golden Mics

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2022 126:24

    Just when you thought we would have a quiet weekend in softball....there's really no such a thing. We have plenty to discuss on this episode of In The Circle. The guys are joined by Justin McLeod from Extra Inning Softball who broke the news of Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro set to be named the next head coach at Memphis. They break down what it means for both programs and where Coach Murphy goes to fill out his staff.   Eric and Victor take a look at the NJCAA's new deal with ESPN starting this year along with the significance of softball within the deal. How will this impact NJCAA's coverage overall? Where does Division 2 and Division 3 go from here? We also breakdown the Big Ten's new deals with CBS & NBC plus why seeing Big Ten Softball will get a lot harder in a couple of years.   We wrap up the episode by looking back at the inaugural Golden Mic Awards which were announced last month on Extra Inning Softball as well as the state of softball broadcasting as we press forward into the 2023 season and beyond.

    Gwen Svekis Is Back and Week 3 of Athletes Unlimited

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 53:09

    It's all Athletes Unlimited on this edition of In The Circle. Victor is back after resting up his voice on Monday's show and he has plenty to talk about with Week 3 getting going. He chats about the rise of Haylie McCleney in Week 2 and the consistent play of Dejah Mulipola & Sahvanna Jaquish.   Eric comes on the show for a chat with friend of the podcast and AU Athlete Gwen Svekis. She chats with E-Lo about the growth of Athletes Unlimited which includes the debut of AUX in San Diego in June. She also reflects on being with Team USA, her former college coach Mike White making it to the WCWS Championship Series and much more. There might even be some Dolphin talk in the interview as well.   We hold our Week 3 Draft where Eric edged out Victor to even up the series at one win each. Will Eric pick Rachel Garcia #1 for the third straight week? Does Gwen find herself on one of the rosters this week? Our episode ends with some news regarding Meg Aronowitz and Beth Mowins  

    Coaching Carousel Continues, Hear From Yale's Laura Ricciardone

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 68:39

    There's plenty of movement in the Coaching Carousel, and we'll break it all down in this new episode of In The Circle. While Victor Anderson recovers from his week-long trip to his summer residence in Viera, Eric Lopez welcomes Extra Inning Softball National Editor Justin McLeod. They discuss the blockbuster announcement of Jo Evans being named the new Head Coach of UC-Santa Barbara. They discuss the impact of Coach Evans coming to the program and what it means for the Big West.  Afterward, Eric talks with someone who will be at a new program in 2023. New Yale Head Coach Laura Ricciardone talks about her vision for the program and her journey from playing at Harvard to coaching at Boston and USF. The show wraps up with Eric and Justin recapping Southern Miss naming Natalie Poole as their new head coach, and other coaching tidbits.

    Jessica Bracamonte Talks Toledo, Victor Talks Pro Softball

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 48:53

    As we continue this month, we keep chatting with new head coaches on In The Circle. Today's episode has Victor Anderson joining us from Viera, FL, as he is broadcasting the final week of the WPF Exhibition Season. Before we hear from him, we'll hear from new Toledo Head Coach Jessica Bracamonte on her new job. Bracamonte also discusses her playing career at Michigan State, returning to the MAC after spending time in the league as an assistant coach at Central Michigan, and what she learned at Duke under coach Marissa Young.  Eric Lopez then chats with Victor about more coaching news, including two massive hires out of the Southland Conference plus UCF reloading their staff with former national champions. We finally wrap up the show with our Week 2 Athletes Unlimited Draft. Victor used a strong showing from Savannah Jaquish and Mia Davidson to take home the crown in Week 1. Who will he select first this week, and how will Eric respond?

    Introducing the KPI in Softball, Can it Replace RPI?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 60:16

    After witnessing a SummerSlam for the ages, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson are fired up for the newest episode of In The Circle. Today's episode is all about The KPI. KPI was recently brought up during the NCAA Division I Softball Council's meeting in Indianapolis. We chatted with the man who introduced the metric, Michigan State Associate AD Kevin Pauga. He shares with In The Circle about his creation, its nuances, and how it is different from the RPI. He and Eric explain how the formula works and its impact on UCLA and Arizona State.  We hear from the guys with their thoughts on whether the KPI can help change college softball, plus some late news about the transfer portal and how Victor might be in a rivalry with one of our podcast family members.

    Kara Dill Talks New Job at Texas-Arlington, We Talk Athletes Unlimited

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 49:37

    Another Thursday means we have a fresh episode of In The Circle. We continue our #NewFacesNewPlaces series with our conversation with the next Texas-Arlington Head Coach, Kara Dill. She talks about becoming the new UTA Head Coach and her vision for the program. Coach Dill discusses playing for Kentucky and eventually learning from Head Coach Rachel Lawson while becoming a pitching coach. She also talks about what she learned from Beth Torina at LSU and Jo Evans at Texas A&M.   We also look ahead to Week One of Athletes Unlimited and have our first In The Circle AU Draft of the season. We added a couple of twists to the draft, and wait until you see who ended up on our respective teams.

    Alea White Talks North Georgia, UCF and Playing Career

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 60:11

    It's Monday, and You know what that means! It's a new episode of In The Circle, and another new coach is joining the podcast. In this episode, we're joined by new North Georgia Assistant Coach Alea White. She talks with Eric Lopez about what led her to North Georgia and working for Head Coach Mike Davenport. Coach White discusses the influences she learned throughout her career and being a Grad Assistant under Cindy Ball-Malone at UCF in 2022. Alea reflects on her decorated UCF career, what led her to play softball, and much more.   Victor Anderson and Eric chat about what Coach White's addition means for the Nighthawks in 2022 and how many teams, along with UNG, can make it to Chattanooga, Tennessee, for next year's DII National Championships. Plus, more coaching news, and Victor has some things to get off his chest.

    Apologies and Looking Forward

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 51:40

    On our latest episode of In The Circle, Victor and Eric address their comments on Monday's episode and the passionate response from the Oklahoma fanbase. They apologize for their Kevin Durant comparison and clear up on the issues going on with college sports as well as the transfer portal.   Plus, Eric Lopez welcomes back Rhiannon Potkey from D1 Softball to the podcast. She recently wrote about a recent meeting in Indianapolis between the NCAA Division I Softball Committee and NFCA where they discussed potential changes within college softball. Among the topics discussed were a possible replacement for the RPI, eliminating restrictions on dugout celebrations, and changes to the end of regionals.    Eric asks Victor his thoughts on the possibility of adding an additional day for regionals and more time in between games during regionals. We wrap-up with sharing upcoming guests on the podcast.

    Krista Wood Talks Creighton Softball, Oklahoma Get's Richer, USA Wins

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 63:11

    While Major League Baseball and everyone else is on an All-Star Break, we're still going strong here on In The Circle. Cue the Bill Belichick "No Days Off" meme, please. In this episode, we break down Hailey Lee's announcement to transfer to Oklahoma and its potential impact on the sport of softball. We chat about how the fans and social media are worried how college softball could turn into something similar to when UConn dominated college basketball. Plus, this might signify things to come with the transfer portal and NIL.   Eric Lopez chats with new Creighton Head Coach Krista Wood in her first extensive national interview since accepting the position. Coach Wood talks about the decision to return to her home state of Nebraska, leaving South Dakota State, building the Bluejay program, competing in the Big East, and much more. Eric makes a bold statement about Wood's hire, which has Victor Anderson thinking.    We wrap the show recapping and sharing final thoughts on USA Softball winning Gold at The World Games. The crowds and passion in Hoover were on display with the record attendance. However, the guys have some words for the Olympic Committee on getting softball in the 2028 Olympics.

    New UNF Head Coach Jeff Conrad

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2022 69:13

    Another Thursday means another new edition of In The Circle and another new head coach joining us on the podcast. Today, we chat with new UNF Head Coach Jeff Conrad in his first extensive interview since taking over the program earlier this month. Coach Conrad chatted with Eric Lopez about becoming the new head coach, taking over for Marcie Higgs, and the biggest changes he'll make from being an assistant to the #1 in command. He also reflects on his journey into coaching, his Hall of Fame sister (and another HOF player he knows), and his love for the New York Rangers.   After the interview, we break down some of the latest hires in coaching including Texas Tech and North Georgia finding their pitching coaches. Also, San Diego State's newest staff edition and what that means for one Big Ten school. We look at another impact bat landing in the SEC via the transfer portal and why Eric Lopez wasn't a fan of having softball at the Hoover Met during The World Games and not for the reason you think either.

    Jordan Clark Talks Taking Over the FAU Softball Program, More Transfer News

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2022 64:28

    On today's episode of In The Circle, we head down south to Boca Raton as Eric Lopez talks with new FAU Head Coach Jordan Clark in her first national interview since taking over the reins last month. She talks about taking over the Owls program for the late Joan Joyce, her journey into coaching, and the influence Tim Walton and Courtney Deifel have had on her. She also discusses what she envisions for the FAU program as they begin their final season in Conference USA before joining the American Athletic Conference in 2024.  We also breakdown the latest in the transfer portal and the addition that has Victor Anderson channeling his inner Kenny Smith (sans getting beat to the video screen, of course). We then talk about The World Games starting and the lack of national streaming coverage until the Semifinals. Please don't ask us how this went into bowling and Victor ranting about his least favorite bowling announcer.

    Erin Edmoundson Talks Tennessee Softball, Changing Schools and Future

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 61:31

    Another Thursday means another new episode of In The Circle. Today, we continue conversations with pitchers who found and thrived in new homes via the transfer portal. Eric Lopez chats with Lady Vol hurler Erin Edmoundson about her journey from Houston to Lubbock to Knoxville and all points in between. She shares her thought process on entering the portal and winding up in Tennessee. She also talks about her journey into softball, this past season, and what's next for her post-softball.   Afterward, the guys talk about a pair of pitchers finding new homes and the one move which has Victor declaring a team THE top challenger to Oklahoma in 2023. We also discussed more coaching movements and hires by Campbell and Stephen F. Austin. The show wraps up with breaking down Extra Inning Softball Softball SID's of the Year and Eric's concern about Team USA heading into The World Games in Birmingham.

    Hailey Dolcini Back In The Circle

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2022 70:58

    As we recover from one of the most news-filled weekends in recent memory, we attempt to get back on track on our latest edition of In The Circle. In our latest episode, we chat with Texas' Hailey Dolcini as she reflects on this past season and postseason in Austin. She shares with Eric Lopez what led her to go to Texas for her final season, her stellar career, and what she is working on next. Texas fans will like the answer they hear to that question.   Afterward, Victor Anderson joins the show to reflect on the landscape-shaping news of UCLA moving from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten. We discuss how it impacts both leagues, what is next for the Pac-12, and what it means for college softball. The guys also throw the possibility of a Big 12/Pac 12 merger and its strength. Finally, Eric compares the potential implementation of a safety base at first base to a blown call during WWE Money In The Bank. Trust us, Victor was just as stunned and silent as all of you are.

    Nicole Dickson Takes Over New Mexico Softball, Transfers and ACC-Big 10 Challenge

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 86:28

    In our latest edition of In The Circle, our "New Faces in New Places" series continues as Eric Lopez chats with New Mexico's new Head Coach Nicole Dickson. She discusses her decision to leave Stephen F. Austin and her expectations for the Lobos. She also shares her hectic schedule since taking over, working with her new Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez, coaching in a talented Mountain West conference, and more.   After the interview, the guys have plenty to say as they have more transfers to discuss, including a Division II power adding a former Longhorn and Ole Miss continuing to add reinforcements. Eric shares the announcement about the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and what match-ups he'd like to see in Clearwater involving Virginia Tech, FSU, and Nebraska, among others. We wrap up the show by breaking down the WCWS rating and how the MCWS finished in a dead heat. Victor and Eric also look at the nominees for the 2022 Extra Inning Softball Golden Mic Awards.

    College Softball New Face, In New Place, Eric Newell heads to Troy

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 70:52

    Our latest edition of In The Circle begins our "New Faces in New Places" series with Victor Anderson's interview with new Troy Head Coach Eric Newell. In his first national interview since becoming Troy's new leader, Coach Newell shares the difficulty of his decision to leave Auburn-Montgomery and how his family's support led him to jump. Coach also reflects on his time at AUM, the keys to his success, and what Troy fans can expect from their program in the coming seasons.   Eric Lopez then chats with Victor about some more schools going to DII for their new head coaches, like South Dakota State and Akron, and if we'll see more of this down the road. We also have some words for the older FAU alumni and fans who were unhappy about the Owls' new hire in Jordan Clark plus, we wonder how Victor still has a voice after all the walk-offs he saw this weekend in Viera with the WPF.

    New Devil In Charge at Arizona State Softball

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 81:11

    Arizona State has found its new leader; we will break it down in our latest edition of In The Circle. Justin McLeod from Extra Inning Softball was one of the first to break the news of Megan Bartlett heading to Tempe to take over the Sun Devil program. We discuss the process that led to her hiring and what is next for Arizona State and Texas. Justin also shared his thoughts on the new hires at Texas Tech and Akron, Cindy Ball-Malone's extension at UCF, and a new awards concept showcasing exceptional broadcasting in softball. Afterward, we have Part two of our interview with UCF's Kama Woodall. In this discussion, she chats with Eric Lopez about winning the Orlando Regional and her post-collegiate plans. Victor shares his thoughts on the news stories and some weekend plans involving the WPF. 

    College Softball Transfer Portal is Filling Up

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 83:10

    After taking the week off (well, at least Eric had the week off), the boys are back with a new edition of In The Circle. There was plenty of movement in the transfer portal, which led off the show. The guys look at some of the new landing spots for familiar faces, some SEC powers boosting up their rosters in the process, and a couple non-Power five names in the Portal to keep your eye on.  One person who had to navigate through the Portal recently joined Eric Lopez, UCF pitcher Kama Woodall. In the first of a two-part chat, Kama shares her journey, which started at NC State and ended up with her in Orlando as part of the Knights' historic 2022 season. She shares her trip to Orlando, her perspective on being in the Portal on two separate occasions, being teammates with Gianna Mancha, and her gusty 11-inning performance versus Michigan in the Orlando Regional.  We wrap up this episode by breaking down Jocelyn Alo's move to the WPF, her impact on the sport of softball, and how both the WPF and Athletes Unlimited can help the sport grow with more opportunities.

    In the Circle "Best of" the 2022 WCWS

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 78:11

    Our In The Circle Livestreams on YouTube had record-breaking numbers during the Women's College World Series. Thank you for being so supportive. Today's episode will feature some of the best interviews and soundbites from #ITCLive. Victor Anderson will serve as your guide through some of the best moments during our WCWS Coverage. During this "Best Of" edition, we'll hear from Illinois Associate Head Coach Laura Trout, WIU Head Coach Alisa Goler, Depaul HC Tracy Adix-Zins, Pac-12 Network Analyst Kenize Fowler, and UCF Head Coach Cindy Ball-Malone.

    Final Thoughts on History

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 80:26

    With the afterglow of Oklahoma's sixth National Championship still fresh, it's time to put a bow on it with our latest episode. Victor Anderson is joined by Softball America Lead Editor Kayla Lombardo, who was in Oklahoma City to witness the Sooners' coronation. She breaks down where the 2022 Sooners rank among the greats in the sport and the continued growth of the sport. Kayla also chats about the record crowds in Oklahoma City, recaps this year's WCWS, and her thoughts on how the game can grow even more. We also will look back to our postgame show Thursday night after the game as we hear from ACC Network analyst  Brittany McKinney give her thoughts on the Sooners and the state of the ACC.

    Andrea Vaughan Talks NCAA DII Softball Championship, Keith Parr Talks DIII

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 70:01

    It's a new episode of In The Circle, and you must have won a national championship to make this episode. Victor Anderson will be your host and has two interviews with the newest national championship head coaches lined up for you. First, Victor chats with Rogers State Head Coach Andrea Vaughan as she continues her media tour after bringing home the first national title in Hillcats history. The NFCA Central Region Staff of the Year leader reflects on the run her team made en route to the title and a school-record 58 victories. She also talks about the moments that led to that defining moment in Denver and her unique perspective as she won a national title playing at NAIA power Oklahoma City. We then focus on DIII and Christopher Newport as Victor interviews Head Coach Keith Parr. Coach Parr led the Captains to a 47-1 record en route to their first National Championship. He talks about his ease in coaching the team, their run to Salem, and eventually triumphing over Trine. Coach Parr also talks about the changes at CNU from his days playing baseball for the Captains and the easy decision to retire the #27 of Player of the Year, Kaitlyn Hasty.

    2022 WCWS Semifinal Recap, Championship Preview

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 50:46

    After witnessing one of the most memorable semifinal rounds in WCWS history, we are down to two long-standing rivals playing for the national title. On our latest episode of In The Circle, we break down how Oklahoma and Texas made it to the Championship Series and reflect on UCLA and Oklahoma State's seasons. We then are joined by a two-time National Champion and a member of Team Mexico, Nicole Mendes. She chats with Eric Lopez about how she got into broadcasting after a stellar career at Oklahoma, getting ready for Athletes Unlimited in San Diego, and much more. We wrap things up with our initial thoughts on Texas A&M hiring Trisha Ford to be their next head coach.

    2022 Softball WCWS Preview with Jenna Becerra and Justin McLeod

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 123:13

    We have finally made it to Oklahoma City, and we're ready to break all of it down in our latest edition of In The Circle. Today's episode is a replay of our Livestream Wednesday night, where frequent guests Jenna Becerra and Justin McLeod joined Victor Anderson and Eric Lopez. It had all of the usual funny and insightful analysis you come to expect and Eric venting about the All-American selection process.

    2022 NCAA Softball Super Regionals Recap, News on Texas A&M Softball

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 60:31

    After an unprecedented weekend of Super Regionals, we return to break down everything that happened in our latest episode. Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson recap all eight Super Regional matchups, including the wild finale in Tempe between Northwestern and Arizona State, including high praise for two particular individuals. We also talk about the stunning Game three in Blacksburg, Arizona's run to Oklahoma City, and Texas knocking off Arkansas. Also, more names are off the list for Texas A&M. Wait until you hear the numbers being offered to take over the Aggies and who will NOT be heading to College Station. 

    2022 NCAA Super Regional Softball Preview, Jenna Becerra Talks Stanford

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 78:45

    After another senseless shooting, we will do our best to provide a distraction and some entertainment on today's podcast. Victor Anderson leads off the show with his thoughts and words about the shooting and calls for more unity. Eric Lopez joins the show, and the guys share their thoughts on all of the Super Regional match-ups. We also chatted with Pac-12 Network analyst Jenna Becerra, who called Stanford's historic regional victory versus Alabama. She breaks down the Cardinals and their path to the Supers, the strength of the Pac-12 this postseason, and the rematch with Oregon State coming up this weekend. Victor warps up the show with his NCAA DIII World Series Predictions.

    Mayhem in College Softball, 2022 Regional Recap

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 75:17

    It was a weekend in college softball, unlike any other. On this episode of In The Circle, Victor Anderson and Eric Lopez were ON THE FIELD after UCF punched their ticket to Super Regionals and shared their immediate thoughts on the Knights' historic run continuing. We hear from the Knights during their post-game media availability, including Head Coach Cindy Ball-Malone. Justin McLeod from Extra Inning Softball joins Eric to break down all the regional action, including stunners from Tallahassee and Tuscaloosa and the Pac-12 flexing its muscles. Also, Eric and Justin make a confession that made Victor pass out like Fred Sanford. It's one episode you DON'T want to miss.

    2022 NCAA Softball Tournament Preview Show

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 73:48

    With the NCAA Tournament gearing up this weekend, we preview ALL 16 regionals in this edition of In The Circle. Naturally, we start local, where we hear from UCF's Cindy Ball-Malone and Michigan's Carol Hutchins on their thoughts on the Orlando regional. We also will listen to Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso with the latest on Sooner pitcher Jordy Bahl.   We will also air our other interviews from Selection Sunday with Texas play-by-play voice Andrew Haynes and Pac-12 Network analyst Jenna Becerra about the Seattle and Tuscaloosa Regionals.

    The 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament Field Is Set, We Preview the Bracket

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 94:25

    Selection Sunday has come and gone with a Field of 64 in place. In this episode, we break it all down with Eric Lopez, Victor Anderson, and Justin McLeod. They reflect on how the committee did with selecting the Field and Eric's reaction to UCF getting a chance to host as a national seed. We also will playback our interviews from Sunday's live stream with ACC Network Xtra commentator and for Seminole Caylan Arnold. So much to discuss that you will not want to miss this episode. (Sidenote: Our interviews with Andrew Haynes and Jenna Becerra can only be seen on our YouTube page due to technical issues during post-production Sunday night. You can find our Youtube channel here:

    Basking In The Sunshine (State Conference)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 99:21

    Fresh off the heels of a wild Selection Monday for DII and DIII, we get ready for it all on our latest episode of In The Circle. Victor Anderson runs the show this week and talks with two coaches who'll be making history this weekend. First, we hear from 2022 Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year Julie LeMaire from Nova Southeastern. The Sharks won a share of their first-ever SSC championship and will battle Alabama-Huntsville in their Opening Round game in Montgomery, Alabama. Coach LeMaire reflects on his historic season, her senior leader Sydney Lageyre, and where she was when the Sharks punched their ticket to the tournament. Afterward, Victor returns to his roots and heads to Winter Park to chat with Rollins Head Coach Christine Roser-LeFevers. She led the Tars to another NCAA Tournament appearance and battled for the SSC Championship through the season's final game. Coach breaks down how the Tars got to this point, her ace Ashley Worrell, and the togetherness on this team. Next, Victor talks a little DIII with Eric Lopez and how a regional ended up with only two teams and what that could mean for Texas Lutheran. Finally, we do a deep dive into the Big Ten tournament with our correspondent and voice of Nebraska Softball, Nate Rohr.

    College Softball Selection Sunday Nears, Gray Robertson Talks Bama and SEC Softball

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 109:01

    We're less than a week away from Selection Sunday, and we have more questions than answers. This episode breaks down the biggest storylines from the Power 5 conferences as we enter the final week before the NCAA Tournament. Eric talks about the impact Arizona State's series win versus UCLA could have on their chances of sneaking into the Top 8. We then speak with "Out of the Box" co-host and Alabama play-by-play voice Gray Robertson about the SEC Tournament and the outlook for the Crimson Tide. We share some of the key storylines heading into Gainesville, and one team Gray thinks could have a favorable draw to the semifinals. The show wraps up with a look around the American, USA, ASUN, and Sun Belt conferences. Eric Lopez breaks down UCF's chances to host and USF's chance to make the tournament. Plus, we officially announce our Selection Sunday plans.

    Kenzie Fowler Talks Pac-12 Softball, and We Talk Bedlam Softball, DII, and More

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 72:33

    We're full steam ahead on the In The Circle ship heading straight towards the postseason. In today's episode, we preview The Bedlam Series and the implications on the line for the Sooners and Cowgirls. We hear from Oklahoma's Patty Gasso during her weekly media availability, and she gives her thoughts on the potential future of the series. Next, we head west, where Pac-12 supremacy is at stake between UCLA and Arizona State. We chat with Pac-12 Network analyst Kenize Fowler who will be on the call of the pivotal series, with her thoughts on both teams and the topsy-turvy season for the Conference of Champions. We look at UCF vs. Wichita State and what made Graham Hays so fired up on social media (Hint: It has EVERYTHING to do with who WASN'T a Player of the Year Finalists). Finally, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson look at the final DII Regional Rankings and the critical series and tournaments he's keeping his eye on heading into Selection Monday. Plus, we have a significant announcement about Selection Monday.

    The #Mayhem Started Early

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 71:13

    As the calendar turns #MAYhem has begun. We have all of it covered in this latest edition of In The Circle. First, Victor chats with Extra Inning Softball's Justin McLeod about Texas Tech's sudden and stunning change, which broke on Sunday. Along with Eric Lopez, the guys look back at the recent troubles in Lubbock, how it falls on the athletic department, and is Texas Tech a viable job? Next, Eric chats with ESPN's Jessica Mendoza, who will be part of this week's Thursday Throwdown between Oklahoma State-Oklahoma on ESPN2. She talked about her new role with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mendoza discusses her versatility from the football sidelines to covering the Olympics and all things in between. She shares how she balances covering softball and baseball at the same time, as well as how she prepares for a broadcast. We then look over another regular-season conference deciding showdown in the American as UCF travels to Wichita to battle the Shockers.

    Tragic Strikes the Softball World

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022 55:48

    As the softball world mourns the sudden passing of JMU's Lauren Bernett, our episode will reflect on her life and the continuing fight for mental health. We discuss the impact social media and increasing pressures have on softball players and us as a society. The guys open up and share their personal experiences during this episode.  We also will air Eric Lopez's interview from Monday with Boston Head Coach Ashley Waters. This weekend, the Terriers enter the nation's longest winning streak at 23 games. Coach Waters talks about how her team has brought it all together this season and coaching with a bit of extra incentive for this season. We wrap up the show with final thoughts and some numbers that help those in need. If you or someone you love needs help, contact the NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness) HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or text NAMI to 741741. 

    Sandy Atkins Talks NCAA Softball Selection Process, Recap of DI and DII Softball Action

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 58:46

    With Selection Sunday less than a month away, it's time for one of our newest pastimes on In The Circle. Eric Lopez chats with DI Softball Committee Chairwoman Sandy Atkins in-depth about the selection process. They discuss various subjects from hosting criteria, making the field of 64, seeding teams, and other key topics. This is a must-listen interview if you were ever wondering what goes through the process. Atkins also discusses what she's learned from being on the committee in the last few years.    After our conversation, we briefly recap a wild weekend in DI and DII, plus Eric admits that figuring out the tournament field might be one of his biggest challenges. 

    Mary Kay Amicone Talks Weber State Softball, NCAA Softball DII and DIII Rankings

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2022 89:06

    It's Thursday, which means a new episode of In The Circle, and the boys have A LOT to say. They always have a lot today, but more so today than usual. We start with Victor's thoughts on the initial DII and DIII regional rankings. He looks at how the initial rankings match up with his mock rankings from #D2Tuesdays and how it could look down the road. It also includes the possibility that the two schools that played for the National Championship (West Texas A&M and Biloa) could miss the tournament.  Eric Lopez then sits down with Weber State Head Coach Mary Kay Amicone. The Wildcats enter this weekend as the only undefeated team in Big Sky play and looking to make it back to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Amicone reflects on their strong season so far and the mission to return to the postseason. She also talks about coaching with Jo Evans at Utah, building back the Weber State program, and more.  Afterward, the guys looked at the USA Softball Player of the Year Finalists. There were a few snubs. The guys were not too happy about it. 

    Cindy Ball-Malone Talks UCF Softball, Oklahoma Drops a Game, DII Takeaways

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022 64:03

    As we return from Easter, we have plenty to discuss on the latest episode of In The Circle. The guys start the show from the UCF Softball Complex, recapping UCF's series sweep over East Carolina. Eric Lopez chats with UCF Head Coach Cindy Ball-Malone and Assistant Coach Whitney Jones. The two talk about the team's success so far in 2022, their connection with Washington HC Heather Tarr, and working together at UCF. Coach Ball-Malone also talks about being a part of Team USA's coaching staff this summer at The World Games in Birmingham.    Afterward, the guys recap Texas' victory versus Oklahoma and why a loss could serve to benefit the Sooners down the road. Victor Anderson ends the show with his biggest takeaway from DII.

    We Preview a Big Weekend in DI College Softball, DII Talk with Stef Ewing

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022 74:41

    Before searching for Easter eggs and waiting for that Easter brunch, please tune in to our latest episode of In The Circle. We kick off the show previewing two of the big series this weekend; Oklahoma vs. Texas and Arkansas vs. Kentucky. We hear from Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso and Kentucky Coach Rachel Lawson during their media availability. We also look at some of the other important series in DI Softball.    Afterward, we deep dive into DII as Victor Anderson chats with Cal State San Marcos Head Coach Stef Ewing. This season, the Cougars are one of the best stories, going from 21 wins in the first two seasons and having no softball in 2021 to No. 4 in the NFCA Polls with a fourteen-game winning streak. Coach talks about the building blocks that have led to this historic start and the mindset the Cougars take to keep things in perspective.    Eric comes back to look at some of the critical series going on in DII and a ruling that could impact (positively) this year's championships in Denver. It is a move that has Victor wondering why it took so long and might not have enough time to be put in place.

    College Softball's Red River Showdown, Another Wild Weekend and The Pac-12

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2022 114:04

    It's Monday, and you know what that means! It's a brand new edition of In The Circle, and Victor Anderson is running the show (and making sure he's legal with the hosting position). We preview the upcoming Red River Showdown with Texas Softball play-by-play voice Andrew Haynes. He chats with Vic about the Longhorns' recent hot streak, the addition of Hailey Dolcini, what Texas needs to do to pull the upset, and their impending move to the SEC.    Eric Lopez and Justin McLeod from Extra Innings Softball join Victor to recap a wild weekend, including a breakdown of Sunday's action between Virginia Tech and Florida State. They also recap San Diego State's big Mountain West victory, a possible new leader in the West Coast Conference, Stanford's season-defining victory, and much more. Also, Eric mentions the one thing that might be holding back the Pac-12, and it has nothing to do with anything on the field. 

    It's All About The NCAA College Softball Brackets (For Now)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2022 71:46

    It's Thursday, and you know what that means! It means a new edition of In The Circle, and the theme for today's episode is Bracketology. Eric Lopez chats with Justin McLeod from Extra Inning Softball about ELo's latest Bracketology. They talk about how last week's results impacted the national seeding landscape, who's in, who's out, and who's in the mix to host.  Afterward, Victor Anderson and Eric chat about Florida State's win at Florida Wednesday night and how that can impact who is seeded higher in May. Eric then grills Victor about his first mock regional rankings, debuting on our latest #D2Tuesday. 

    College Softball Weekend In Review and A New Award

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2022 49:30

    Many things went down this weekend, and we break it all down in our latest edition of In The Circle. Eric Lopez shares his thoughts on seeing Virginia Tech and their pitching shut down UCF in person on Sunday. How confident is Eric in the Hokies and their championship aspirations? Victor chimes in about a wild ACC series and how it impacts Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. The guys also recap the action around the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, etc.   Victor Anderson gives a taste of what to expect on #D2Tuesday with his analysis of a wild Sunshine State Conference race before introducing a new segment to the show. If you're someone who acts a fool on social media or at softball games, you DON'T want to be on this part of the show. 

    In The Circle-Mania

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2022 56:19

    Our tribute to the late, great Joan Joyce continues on the newest edition of In The Circle. Eric Lopez chats with writer Matt Monagan about his feature on Joan Joyce as he explored her great athletic career, including playing in the LPGA. He also mentions her other exploits, as well as facing Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, and more.    Victor Anderson and Eric then preview the upcoming weekend in college softball, including a pivotal series in the Mountain West, a marquee non-conference series in Orlando, and more. The guys then go off-script and preview Wrestlemania with some comparisons with WWE Superstars and college softball.

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