ESPN College Softball Announcers And WCWS Commentators

By Ayush Khadka / 2 July 2023 04:36 PM

Smith, Scarborough and Lyle are some of the great voices in collegiate softball.
Source : twitter

ESPN College Softball announcers in 2023 are Beth Mowins, Pam Ward, and Mark Neely. Michele Smith and Amanda Scarborough join as the analysts for SEC softball.

ESPN will televise more than 2600 softball games in their network for the D1 college softball season. They will also showcase the preseason and has the 7innings podcast for great analysis. The streams are available on ESPNU, ESPN2, SEC Network, and more. 

More than 600 colleges have membership for the Softball program and are divided into many ranks, i.e. D1, D2, and D3. The D1 schools are considered the best in softball, while the D3s are deemed lower levels. 

The ultimate prize in college softball is the Women's College World Series (WCWS), and many teams participate annually to win the trophy. The most popular is the D1 WCWS, which is held in Oklahoma City every year.

The D1 tournaments comprise 64 colleges competing through the double-elimination brackets. The matches are broadcasted by the partner ESPN, and many announcers are excited to share about the game in detail.

Softball Announcers 2023

SEC Network softball announcers include Kayla Braud and Dari Nowkhah. 

Here is the list of ESPN's Collegiate softball announcers for the 2023 season:

  • Kayla Braud
  • Dari Nowkhah
  • Mike Couzens

Kayla Braud

Kayla Braud is a college softball analyst who will provide the play-by-play voice in the 2023 TaxAct Clearwater Invitational. 

Braud is a former College World Series champion
Source : instagram

Braud joined the SEC Network in 2014 and has been working primarily as an analyst but calls some games during some tournaments. Her early career was involved with Michele Smith, and both of them used to talk about the softball games from the broadcast booth. 

Her first announcing role came at the Alabama Crimson Tide's match against the Tennesse Volunteers. This came at a request since Kayla wanted to call the game with her former rival, Madison Shipman, who joined the network in 2018. ESPN described this moment as the 'Throwback Throwdown.' 

Kayla is a former Softball player who played for Alabama Crimson Tide from 2010. With her outstanding performance, she received the SEC Freshman of the Year. During her Junior year in 2012, Braud won the College World Series and cemented her great legacy by receiving the NFCA first-team All-American two times. 

Moreover, Kayla has also gone beyond collegiate softball by making her booth appearances for the Root Sports of the Seattle Mariners

Dari Nowkhah

Dari Nowkhah is an SEC Network broadcaster who joined the platform in August 2014.

Nowkhah started his sportscasting journey from 2014.
Source : facebook

Nowkhah formerly worked in the football and basketball programs at the collegiate levels, However, he will be a crucial figure for college softball tournaments in 2023. He also does play-by-play calling for baseball matches. 

Dari has a long history of broadcasting career, since joining ESPN in 2004 as an anchor. Later, in 2011, he saw himself becoming the host of ESPNU, a college network that runs for 24 hours. Nowkhah also worked as a host of Baseball Tonight for SportsCenter.  

Before his ESPN affiliation, Dari was involved with the KOTV in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before that, he worked at the local KLKN-TV as a sports reporter.

Dari began his professional life by working at KCFW-TV as a Sports Director. Nowkhah is a 1998 graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

Mike Couzens

Mike Couzens joined the ESPN Network in November 2012 and will announce the 2023 TaxAct Clearwater Invitational alongside Kayla Braud. 

Having spent more than ten years at ESPN, Couzens has been lending his play-by-play voice for various NCAA sports, one of them being softball. He also covers high school basketball for ESPNU. 

Couzens also spent his career as a Broadcasting and Media Relations Manager for the Fort Wayne TinCaps, a MiLB affiliate team of the San Diego Padres. There, he conducted play-by-play for all 70 home games. Mike also created the Speaker's Bureau to promote TinCaps and their history. 

Before his time for the TinCaps, Mike worked as a broadcaster for the Big Ten Network from September 2013 to March 2014. Likewise, he was also involved as the Media Relations Assistant for the Dayton Dragons Professional baseball team in 2011.

Regarding his early career, Mike operated for the Syracuse Chiefs baseball program in 2010 and was an evening reporter for the WSYR 570 AM radio. Couzens studied at Syracuse University and graduated in 2010 with a Broadcast Journalism degree.

ESPN Softball Commentators

WCWS commentators are Michele Smith and Jeanne Zelasko. Michele is a former softball pitcher. 

Here is the ESPN commentator cast for the collegiate softball’s 2023 season:

  • Michele Smith
  • Beth Mowins
  • Jeanne Zelasko
  • Kevin Brown

Michele Smith

Michele Smith joined the ESPN network as a college softball analyst in 1998. She also does commentator work for the network. 

Smith is a former softballer for the Cowgirls.
Source : twitter

In 2012, Smith became the first female to do commentating duties for the nationally televised MLB game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. This was a proud moment in baseball history, and even the executive producer of Turner Sports stated that Michele was qualified for the job. 

Smith was a prominent figure in the 2022 WCWS doing commentaries for games like Game 2 of Northwestern Wildcats against Oklahoma Sooners. 

Michele is a former softball athlete who played for the Oklahoma State Cowgirls from 1986 to 1989. There, she received the First Team All-American, Big-Eight Conference honors, and the Triple Crown

Moreover, Smith also participated in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympic Games and bagged gold in all two competitions. She also went to play for Japan's Softball League in 1992 and won the Pro-League Championship 8 times. For Michele's career achievements, the ASA Softball Hall of Fame inducted her in 2006.

Beth Mowins

Beth Mowins joined ESPN in 1994 and has been working as a commentator and announcer. 

Mowins studied at Lafayette College.
Source : twitter

Mowins has been integral in her play-by-play voice for the WCWS, and she called various games in the 2022 tournament. For instance, she was there commentating on the Game 1 match between Texas and UCLA. 

The 55-year-old commentator started her professional career by working for WXHC-FM radio in 1991. She has also been in calling games for other sports like the NFL and NBA. 

Beth graduated from Lafayette College in 1989 with a degree in Arts. Later, she pursued a Master's degree in Communication from Syracuse University in 1990. Mowins earned the CoSIDA Jake Wade Award in 2014, given to the best media figures in college sports. 

Jeanne Zelasko

Jeanne Zelasko has been involved with the ESPN network for the coverage of college softball events since 2013. 

In the 2022 WCWS, Zelasko commentated on many softball matches like the Game 5 between the UCLA and Northwestern Wildcats. She also lent her voice for the Game 12 between the Oklahoma Sooners vs. the UCLA. 

Zelakso also operated for the MLB Network, where she did announcing duties for the LA Dodgers. This made her the first female to conduct a play-by-play in the Dodger's history. She primarily works for Fox Sports, where she joined in 1996. 

The Cincinnati native graduated from San Diego State University and worked for the KCEO radio show. She started her professional broadcasting career at KDCI-TV in 1993 and was a journalist for CJS Communications Inc. from 2003 to 2016. 

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown has been working for the ESPN Network since September 2016. 

Brown is an active Orioles Commentator since 2019.
Source : linkedin

Brown has been a lead commentator for the WCWS and was active in the 2022 edition, calling matches for Game 6 between Oregon State and Arizona. Likewise, Kevin was also present in a commentary for Game 8 between Florida and Oklahoma State. 

Moreover, Brown is also active as a play-by-play broadcaster for the Baltimore Orioles since February 2019. He also lent his voice to Time Warner Cable from September 2011 to January 2017. He gained experience in play-by-play from the MSG Varsity organization, where he worked for three years.

Kevin graduated from Syracuse University in 2011 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. During his college years, he took part in WAER-FM. Furthermore, Kevin also became the Director of Media Relations for the Syracuse Chiefs in March 2011.

World Series Announcers

Softball world series announcers include Jessica Mendoza and Courtney Lyle. Jessica is a former softball player.

The list of ESPN’s World Series announcers cast for the 2023 season is presented below:

  • Jessica Mendoza
  • Courtney Lyle

Jessica Mendoza

Jessica Mendoza is a color commentator who joined ESPN in 2007. 

Mendoza has established multiple career records in softball.
Source : instagram

Mendoza was a lead figure in calling games for the 2022 WCWS tournament, like commentating on the Championship Series games as well as other matches like Game 11 between Oklahoma and UCLA. She also became the first woman to broadcast in the Men's College World Series. 

The 42-year-old sportscaster has been involved in ESPN'S Sunday Night Baseball show since January 2016. She also joined as the commentator for the LA Dodgers for Spectrum SportsNet in 2022. 

Jessica played softball for the Stanford Cardinal in 1999 and had a successful season, receiving the First Team All-American honors. She holds softball records in homers, slugging percentage, and runs. 

Courtney Lyle

Courtney Lyle got involved with the ESPN Network in 2016 and has been working there as a commentator. 

Courtney has been doing commentary work for the platform since 2016.
Source : instagram

Lyle conducted her commentary for ESPN during the 2022 WCWS for the Championship Series matches between Oklahoma and Texas.

Becoming the youngest full-time sportscaster for ESPN, Courtney interned for the network in 2010. Before her time there, Lyle used to work at the WBIR and 13WMAZ as a sports reporter. 

A 2012 Alumni of the University of Tennessee with a Journalism degree, Courtney did an internship at the Tennessee Titans Radio Network. She also participated as an announcer for the Tokyo Olympics as well. 

Moreover, there are also other commentators like former Canadian softball athlete Danielle Lawrie and a plethora of other hosts like Andraya Carter and Amanda Scarborough.

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