Coach: Don Ellenberger
Postseason: Class 4A state runner-up
Outlook: The Cougars have won seven state championships, and they have advanced to the state final in six of the past 11 years. Crystal White and Emily Muller lead the pitching staff, while All-Metro first-team choice Olivia Ravadge carries a loaded offensive squad.
2. Seton Keough
Coach: Chuck Snee
Last season: 15-2, No. 2
Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion
Outlook: The Gators return a lot of talent as they attempt to repeat as IAAM A Conference champion. In addition to senior pitcher Hannah Tavik, Seton Keough returns sophomores Amber Cosgrove and Kelly Lynch, along with juniors Allison Clampitt and Morgan Scardina.
3. Eastern Tech
Coach: Jack Meyers
Last season: 22-3, No. 4
Postseason: Class 3A state semifinalist
Outlook: The Mavericks have a strong group of returning players, including junior pitcher Jordan Cargile and first baseman Laura Thacker (.385 average, 18 RBIs). Eastern Tech gets another boost as infielders Lindsay Meyers and Nicole Dell return from injuries.
Coach: Joe Hart
Last season: 14-7, unranked
Postseason: Class 3A East regional semifinalist