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Almost half of the NCAA’s athletes are women. Despite so much representation, you rarely find a “best college athletes ever” list that isn’t almost exclusively male athletes. That is about to change.

Here are 10 female athletes that surpassed their competition.

Photo Credit: Instagram

Photo Credit: Instagram

Jennie Finch

One of the most recognizable softball players in the world.

Finch dominated pitching for the University of Arizona from 1999-2002.

During that time, she led her team to a national title in 2001.

Finch set an NCAA record with 60 consecutive pitching wins over the course of three seasons.

She was named the Player of the Year twice and  finished her career with a 1.08 ERA.

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Diana Taurasi

Before becoming a WNBA star, Taurasi was a key member of the UConn women’s basketball team from 2000-2004.

During her collegiate career, Taurasi became UConn’s first two-time winner of the Naismith Player of the Year award: 2003 and 2004.

She also led her team to three consecutive national championships: 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Taurasi averaged 15.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists, finishing with 2,156 points.

Photo Credit: Instagram

mia hamm

Mia Hamm

Before competing with the U.S.W.N.T. for 17 years, she was a Tar Heel.  

Hamm played for the University of North Carolina for 4 years from 1989-1994, leading the Tar Heels to four NCAA championships.

She became the unanimous national player of the year in 1992 and 1993, as well as, a three-time All-American and ACC Female Athlete of the Year in 1993 and 1994.  

Hamm finished her career at North Carolina with 103 goals, 72 assists and 278 points. 

Photo Credit: Google Reuse

natalie coughlin

Natalie Coughlin

Before becoming an Olympian, Coughlin was a swimming sensation at the University of California Berkeley from 2001-2004.    

In 2003, Coughlin became the NCAA’s first three-time title winner in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 100 and 200- yard backstrokes.  

Collegiately, she won 12 NCAA titles and every dual meet, going 61-0.  

Coughlin was awarded the NCAA Swimmer of the Year award: 2001, 2002, and 2003.

Photo Credit: Google Reuse

tara cross

Tara Cross-Battle

She is a retired indoor volleyball player who was known for her all-around skills as a great passer and world-class hitter.

Cross-Battle played collegiately for California State University, Long Beach, and helped lead her team to the 1989 NCAA Championship title.

In 1990, she won the Honda-Broderick Award as the nation’s best female collegiate volleyball player.

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She was a member of the bronze medal-winning USA women’s team in 1992 and an enormous part of the offense.

Photo Credit: Twitter

maya moore

Maya Moore

Prior to winning four WNBA titles, Maya Moore dominated on the court for the UConn women’s basketball team from 2007-2011.

On December 5, 2010, she became UConn’s career scoring leader ith a total of 3,036 points.

She led the team to a 150-4 record, which included four Final Four appearances and two National Championships.  

Moore earned AP First Team All-American status for four consecutive years.

Photo Credit: Google Reuse

missy franklin

Missy Franklin

After competing in the 2012 Olympics and winning five Olympic Medals at age 17, Franklin became a household name.  

Franklin attended the University of California Berkeley and earned four individual NCAA titles.  

She helped the team win the 2015 NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving Championship.  

Franklin was awarded the Collegiate Woman of the Year and the Honda Cup in 2015. 

Photo Credit: Google Reuse

hilary knight

Hilary Knight

Before becoming a three-time Olympic champion, she was a member of the University of Wisconsin’s women’s ice hockey team from 2007-2012.

During her collegiate career, Knight earned First Team All-American and Player of the Year honors.

She also led the team to two national championships.

Knight is the all-time goals leader at the University. Her 143 career goals are the most by any men’s and women’s hockey player in school history.

Photo Credit: Instagram


Cat Osterman

Before Osterman became a member of the USA Softball National Team, she pitched for the University of Texas from 2002-2006.

During her collegiate career, she helped lead her team to three Women’s College World Series appearances: 2003, 2005 and 2006.

She was a two-time winner of USA Softball’s Collegiate Player of the Year in 2003 and 2005.

Osterman holds the NCAA record for career strikeout ratio per seven innings 14.35 and UT career records with 136 wins and a 0.51 ERA.

Photo Credit: Instagram

Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

Natalie Williams

Williams attended UCLA from 1991-1994 and was a member of the volleyball and women’s basketball team.

In her collegiate career, she became a four-time NCAA volleyball first team All-American, two-time NCAA Champion (1990 and 1991) and the 1992 NCAA Volleyball Player of the Year.

On the basketball court, Williams was a four-year starter on the women’s basketball team and a two-time All-American.