Best Pitcher

Christa Williams, UT Women's Softball

Up until four months ago, Christa Williams' story was as fairy-tale as it gets. Within the past year, she had graduated from Dobie High in Houston as one of the top recruits in the nation, with 47 career no-hitters and an 0.01 ERA, won an Olympic gold medal in Atlanta (pitching 9 2/3 scoreless innings), and become, as a 19-year-old freshman at UCLA, the marquee player at the most prestigious program in her sport. Yet only a couple of months after leading UCLA to the championship game in the College World Series – pitching all but three innings of the Bruins' six games and notching three wins (two by shutout), a save, and a tournament-leading 46 strikeouts – Williams announced that she was pulling up stakes and transferring to UT, a softball backwater with one year of varsity competition under its belt. Can Williams, pitching in the Horns' brand-new, deluxe stadium, turn around a team that was 6-10 in the Big 12 this past spring? Could be: There's no other team sport in which one position can dominate the way a pitcher can dominate women's fastpitch softball, and there's no doubt that Williams is one of the great ones.

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