Softball Tournament Regional Round Overview

California College Softball

Softball Tournament Regional Round Overview

With the 2015 NCAA Women’s College Softball Tournament pairings announced late on Sunday night it was very clear that RPI, and geographic proximity played a vital role in how this bracket was put together. As expected, the SEC dominated the top 16 national seeds. They had five of the top eight national seeds and seven of the 16 national seeds. Florida led the way as the number one overall national seed followed by Auburn at number four, LSU at number five, Alabama at number six, and Tennessee at number eight. As far as surprises go, Arizona at number 12 is a bit of a surprise considering the struggles all season long in the circle and the fact that they did not win their series against Oregon or UCLA. Notre Dame sneaking in at number 16 is a little bit of a surprise considering how soundly they got beat by Pittsburgh in the ACC Tournament, but they were rewarded for a very strong finish with the opportunity to host a regional.

In regard to some of the more potentially challenging brackets, the selection committee did not do the top seeded Florida Gators any favors by putting Hofstra in the Gainesville Regional. Hofstra finished with a number 13 overall RPI after knocking off James Madison in the Colonial Athletic Association Conference Tournament in Harrisonburg this past weekend. UCLA as the seven seed opposite Missouri as a potential Super Regional partner got a tricky draw with Cal State Northridge, San Diego State and Texas. The Bruins have better personnel than all three of these teams, but if they are not on point in the circle, they could end up having to go all the way to the if necessary game to advance on to Super Regionals.

As far as teams that could advance on to the Super Regionals that are not seeded are concerned, there are a couple of potential darkhorses. UCF has the pitching, led by Shelby Turnier, to get through the Tallahassee Regional and upset Florida State. The Knights are experienced and they won’t be intimidated by playing on the road against an in-state rival like the Seminoles. Minnesota has an excellent opportunity to get out of the Tucson Regional as they have the pitching to slow down the Arizona offensive attack enough to get through that draw. The Golden Gophers will need a big performance from Sarah Groenewegen. In the circle she is 28-5 on the year and at the plate she is hitting .379. Washington has enough offensively to give Alabama fits in Tuscaloosa as they do have a win in Eugene this season against the Ducks, but their pitching is going to have to step up in a huge way if they are to shock the Crimson Tide.

The projected winners for the Regional round are as follows: Florida, Oregon, Michigan, Auburn, LSU, Alabama, UCLA, Tennessee, UCF, Missouri, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Louisiana-Lafayette, Georgia, James Madison and Notre Dame.


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