Softball Tournament Super Regional Overview

Softball Tournament Super Regional Overview

The regional round of the 2015 NCAA Softball Tournament played out as expected as the SEC was able to get eight teams through to the Sweet 16 and only two unseeded teams advanced on to the Super Regional round. North Carolina State behind the pitching of Emily Weiman in the circle and timely hitting punched their ticket to their first ever Super Regional in program history by upsetting James Madison in the Harrisonburg Regional Winner’s Bracket game on Saturday and rode that to a 2-1 win in the championship game over Fordham. Kentucky got off the mat and showed some resolve by going into South Bend and taking the South Bend Regional with three straight wins to get their shot at the Florida Gators next weekend.

Now, with that, here is a quick look at some of the more intriguing storylines of the 2015 Super Regional weekend. These matchups have the potential to be very dramatic and filled with a  ton of offensive fireworks as the majority of the elite offensive teams in the nation have made it through to the Super Regional round.

First, the Southeastern Conference has a great shot to get at least five teams through to Oklahoma City and the College World Series. With Florida, Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Tennessee all hosting to go along with Missouri and Georgia having the ability to outslug UCLA, and Michigan respectively it is not too outlandish to expect at least five, if not seven teams, to make it through this weekend. The SEC has been building to this point for several years thanks to shrewd investments as a whole by the conference schools in their softball programs. Now it is their time to cement their place as the gold standard of college softball conferences by getting more than half of the eight teams in Oklahoma City.

Next, the Tuscaloosa Super Regional between Alabama and Oklahoma is arguably going the most fiercely competitive Super Regional. The Sooners have the offensive ability to keep pace with the Crimson Tide led by the likes of Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley. It will be up to the pitching staff of Alabama and the duo of Alexis Osorio and Sydney Littlejohn to keep the Sooners in check and limit them to around three runs a game. If the Crimson Tide can do that, they will be fine as they should be able to get to Sooner pitcher Paige Parker for about three to four runs a game in this series without too much of a problem. UCLA is going to be an intriguing team to watch in the Super Regionals as well. The pressure is on them to finally get back to Oklahoma City and save head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez from the ultimate hot seat by failing once again to make the Women’s College World Series. It is going to be critical for the Bruins to start fast and get game one against Missouri and keep the pressure on the Tigers offensively from the opening pitch.

Finally, expect at least one double digit seed to get through to Oklahoma City. The teams with the best shot to pull off upsets in order are Oklahoma, Missouri, and Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns have been on the Super Regional stage, so they have the experience advantage. Meanwhile, this is an Auburn team has not, so there is that unknown about the Tigers. However, Auburn does have plenty of talent. This series could be the one that goes three games and average a combined 20 runs a game as both teams are lethal offensively.


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