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Grading the Women’s College World Series Uniforms, Part II

Yesterday, reader Andrew Hermeling brought us a really excellent Women’s College World Series uniform grading/ranking for eight of the teams in the tournament. He returns today with the final eight, plus one bonus school. If you missed yesterday’s article, Andrew includes an introduction which explains much of his mindset and grading criteria, so I’d recommend reading that if you haven’t already. And like yesterday, I’ll include one inline photo for each team, with a gallery directly below it showing all the uniforms worn.


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Grading the Women’s College World Series Uniforms, Part II
by Andrew Dyrli Hermeling

Yesterday we dropped my rundown of the 8 teams on the left side of the official NCAA College Softball Super Regionals bracket. If you missed it, you can catch up and see my grading criteria right here!

Today we are running down the right side of the bracket, plus my bonus “too good to exclude” team.


Tennessee: A-

If you haven’t gathered, I like orange. And Tennessee is another program that has a lot of great elements to work with. The logo of Tennessee’s women’s teams, in particular, introduces powder blue into their color scheme in ways that really works for me. There is also something very appealing to me about the way the spelling of “Tennessee” in cursive looks when used in a typical diamond script. However, again, dark GFGS is a net negative, and while I like the visual design of the “Lady Volunteers” logo, as I mentioned in my previous post, the inclusion of the word “Lady” simply no longer makes sense in a sports landscape that is making such rapid gains in gender equity.


Alabama: A

Standing out among crimson/cardinal/maroon and white teams is a challenge in NCAA softball, especially considering how successful so many of them have been lately. However, from a design perspective, Alabama is number one. The Capstone “A” is perfect as a helmet logo, and both the cursive “Alabama” and shortened “Bama” work for me. The negatives are minimal; stirrups would go a long way and their white uniforms would be better with a crimson belt. However, these are minor issues within a uniform program that otherwise keeps things simple to great effect!


Georgia: C-

Like so many NCAA programs, Georgia leans into unified design elements and wordmarks that are deployed across its different sports. However, unfortunately for the Bulldogs, these designs simply do not work on the diamond. The “G” logo, in part because of its similarities to Green Bay, just screams football in ways that I find distracting. Similarly, the font of the “Georgia” wordmark reads as if the softball program is an afterthought at a school that leans on its gridiron success. The mono-black tights with red tops is rough, but nothing compares to the all black uniform with the centered “G” chest logo. Absolutely brutal, although considering they’ve been wearing them in the tournament itself, it would appear that someone within the organization disagrees! Everything about Georgia’s softball uniform program would be elevated by design choices that gave the team a more diamond-specific identity.



Count UCLA among the teams that inherit institutional design elements that work well on the diamond. There’s something powerful about the UCLA acronym rendered with only a capital “U” so that it can be easily written in cursive. It feels quirky and vintage, is instantly recognizable as UCLA broadly, and seems totally appropriate for a softball team. While many softball teams choose not to include a road gray look, UCLA’s pinstripe approach is excellent. However, while I am here for copious amounts of UCLA blue, the mono-blue look needs more contrasting elements. And I wish they would pick a different logo for the hips. The cursive “Ucla” is great, but it doesn’t need to be repeated three times across the visor, top, and pants.


Missouri: D

Mizzou is bringing up the rear in the uniform design rankings. While they generally do well in terms of contrast–I especially like the pinstripe white pants with the black top–not much else about their uniform program works. The font of their wordmark feels dated and, like Georgia, does not seem well-suited for the diamond. I don’t mind the tiger’s head logo per se, but on both the hip and the helmet, it is too large. Whether here or in other sports uniform designs, the oversized logo feels like it’s trying too hard. While the mono-black look isn’t BFBS, as black is a primary color for Mizzou, it definitely needs a contrasting belt. And the camo top…ouch.


Duke: B+

Duke’s is a strong uniform set in need of an editor. Again, the recognizable “D” logo works well on softball unis, and their mono-blue uniform is a masterclass in using contrasting belts and hosiery to avoid a unitard look. I also like how they incorporate smaller logos, such as the Blue Devil head, to bring in some other visual interest. But the BFBS uniform, while not terrible on its own, is completely unnecessary and its use of an Old English font doesn’t fit with the rest of the program, even as it makes sense in terms of broader diamond aesthetics. Additionally, the inclusion of TNOB over-complicates a pinstripe uniform that would work better if it was NNOB. Were this an essay, I would say give it one more round of edits and then resubmit it.


Florida State: C+

FSU is bringing a lot of great elements to the table, but there are also significant problems. The interlocking FS logo is one of the best in the tournament and leans heavily on diamond design traditions. The “Seminoles” wordmark is a nice update on chest wordmarks and pairs well with the university-wide number font. And both the school-specific gold and the pinstripe uniforms are pretty near perfect. However, I for one am firmly in the camp that believes it is long beyond time to retire Indigenous iconography from all sports uniforms, with exceptions made for teams that represent reservations and their schools or otherwise Indigenous institutions. While I must acknowledge that FSU’s relationship with the Seminole nation is a step in the right direction and makes this a more nuanced conversation, the Indian head logo leans into problematic stereotypes. And the black top with the centered logo is an especially bad look, irrespective of whether it includes Indigenous iconography or not.


Oklahoma: B

The three-time defending national champs, a run which included a record 71-game winning streak, can certainly claim to be a dazzling team on the field. But their uniforms lack the luster of the team that dons them. The interlocking block OU works on the diamond, and they use stirrups and contrasting belts well. Likewise I like the Oklahoma state outline logo rendered as a sleeve patch. However, the block Oklahoma wordmark is inoffensive but also uninspired. And at the end of the day, the GFGS uniform is the real downer as it is a truly tragic addition to the set. Not only is it, like all GFGS uniforms, wholly unnecessary, its truncated pants stripes and weird sleeve panels make it an ugly uniform, regardless of whether it is superfluous or not.


Clemson: A

Clemson is the one team that didn’t qualify for the Super Regionals yet are still qualifiers in my heart. Granted, they would have had to have knocked out fellow “A” recipient Alabama to qualify, so maybe it’s for the best that Clemson has earned “too good to exclude” status. That being said, Clemson is the exemplar of what compelled me to write this breakdown in the first place. There are so many design elements here that I would hate in the MLB but that I absolutely love here. The contrasting tops and pants. The high-contrast elements on the matching dark-colored pants and tops. And those stirrups are gorgeous on any diamond. The set certainly isn’t perfect, as it does fall victim to the GFGS trend. But even those uniforms, perhaps with the exception of the orange-outlined white wordmark on the white top, are strong, the use of gray notwithstanding.


Thanks so much for indulging me, and make sure to let me know what you all think. If the comm-uni-ty is willing, I would love to run this back in 2025!

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Another great job, Andrew! And yes, we’d love another edition come next year!

Comments (18)

    You’re right about those Clemson uniforms, they’re gorgeous!
    I happen to share your opinion about indigenous iconography on uniforms. Unfortunately, FSU’s most infamous contribution to the sports universe is the tomahawk chop. I’m guessing the Seminole tribe will ultimately tire of the cringeworthy details done/performed for their “benefit”, and rescind their permission.

    UCLA: eliminate the pants logo or use an alternate logo or even the “B” hat logo they’ve used before.
    Duke: I don’t like jersey scripts that match the uni. The pinstripes are atrocious. Throw them out. The blackletter Duke ties into the university, mostly basketball so I like that.
    *Any stirrup that is the same color as the sanitary is redundant to me. Especially if there is no stripes on the stirrups.

    I’m generally OK with the indigenous iconography (particularly with FSU who seem to work with the Seminole tribe) but FSU’s softball uniforms that use the head logo are just bad design. All of their other uniforms work much better.

    The white jersey with the head logo would look much better with the interlocking FS (it also doesn’t really need to exist since they already have the home whites with pinstripes and the red jerseys they wear with white pants).

    The black jersey with the head logo… There’s just no good place to start but a few quick things 1) centered crests work in hockey, not in baseball/softball, basketball or football, 2) does FSU really need black jerseys when they already have red, gold, gray and white? 3) does anyone really want to be wearing black shirts out in the field in the Florida sun for 2-3 hours? (Virtually nobody is buying softball uniforms so it’s not a merch thing like you can argue with football and basketball teams adding black to generate sales.)

    Duke should get an F- for white letters and numbers on a white jersey. That shouldn’t even be allowed on the field.

    I’m totally watching this tournament, I just need to pick a team fro a bunch of schools I’m not a huge fan of.

    Tennessee is the only school, to my knowledge, that has fully separate identities for men’s and women’s athletics. The Lady Vols logo is different from the men’s logo. Several years ago, the Athletics Department did away with the Lady Vols visual style, and consolidated all athletics under a unified visual style, and in so doing, eliminated the the moniker Lady Vols. From what I remember, the student athletes themselves spoke out about their pride in having their own identity, and Lady Vols was reinstated. While equity is a worthy cause, having your own identity to take pride in cannot be overlooked. In this context, Lady Vols is used with a sense of pride, not inequality!

    Totally agree with you there, as a Tennessean, I have always remembered that “your Lady Vols” was a source of pride and maybe a bit of old fashioned southern culture. The name Volunteers was historically based on the people instead of just going for tigers, or some other non native animal like most of the rest.
    And the “baby blue” ( not powder blue) has been around since the 1960’s, and I dare say the first to use.

    From the internet;
    “The “blue accent color”, as it was called by Tennessee’s website, first debuted with the Lady Vols women’s basketball team in 1968 due to uniform manufacturing companies not offering orange uniforms”

    Basically, it boils down to “I’m not just a Vol, I am a LADY Vol!” Pat Summit is the biggest hero in UT culture. Also, that powder blue is now called “Summitt Blue.”

    That’s some good insight—and I’m more than happy to be wrong here! I’m not deep into Tennessee lore, and if I’ve missed part of the broader discourse then I will happily defer to those in the know!

    I think the broader discourse would be that Tennessee may be unique to the equity and have cre

    Just that Tennessee may have created the use of that identity and not just a blanket gender “issue” that needs to be corrected.
    But I agree it’s silly to have lady gators, badgers or tigers and whatnot.
    On that note, what about teams that have clearly masculine mascots (Longhorns, Scarlet Knights, Bulls, etc). That might be an interesting conversation with women athletes that take on a masculine name. Just a thought.

    Clemson and UCLA are tops! Classic looks that work really well.

    FSU gets an F- for me. The logo needs to go, it’s just unnecessary to use it at this point.

    The Seminole head logo was designed in consultation with, and approved by, the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Maybe we should let the tribe decide if it’s “unnecessary to use” and “leans into problematic stereotypes.”

    Weird that for some you included one offs but not all of their primary combos.

    For some reason I’ve always thought gray was acceptable for Tennessee. Their gray set is second to Clemson’s for sure, due to sleeves and socks, but it’s pretty good. The other Clemson set with GFGS pants and white-on-white script on the jersey is a demerit, and I would drop them below the Vols.

    Also, I’d put Mizzou ahead of Georgia. I don’t love the camo, but I think the yellow and black-over-pinstripes are good looks. Black is supposed to be a secondary color for the Bulldogs, but it’s primary in three of the four sets shown. The one with the G crest is particularly bad. The white ones are the only good set, save for the wordmark.

    I’ve always thought Ucla looks good, but agree with the “too much blue” comment for that set.

    Two unrelated thoughts:

    1. For a sport that allegedly tends to shy away from the “unitard” look (per the first installment of this series), there sure is a lot of exactly that on display here.

    2. There may be no prettier color combination in existence than powder blue and orange. Tennessee should get an A for that alone =D

    Duke should have lost more points for the ghosted numbers on one of their white sets, and also for having 2 white sets. I don’t mind the Gothic calligraphy, it has been one of their calling cards.
    The Clemson set is not worthy of an A. It’s a disjointed mess! A gray set with zero purple in it. White tops and gray pants. Two different cursive fonts that don’t match. Nah, there are some great uniforms out there, but this isn’t an A.
    As far as your issue with the UGA and Missouri wordmarks, I am not sure wh

    …where to go there. They’re the principal athletic wordmarks for those schools and they’re seen mostly in football end zones, sure; but those are these school’s most visible progra

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