Softball NCAA Tournament Super Regional Breakdown


Chalk reigned supreme this past weekend during the regional round of the NCAA Softball Tournament. The 16 national seeds all advanced on to Super Regionals but for UCLA, South Carolina, and LSU they had to go all the way to a game seven winner take all matchup to survive and advance on out of their respective regionals. In the battle for conference supremacy, the SEC is in the lead with nine teams advancing to Supers, followed by the Pac-12 with five. Thus, the expected collision course of the SEC and Pac-12 in Oklahoma City is still a distinct possibility for the Women’s College World Series.

Oregon heads into the Super Regional round with a rematch against Kentucky from the 2017 Super Regionals at Jane Sanders Stadium. The Ducks were methodical this past weekend as they outscored their regional opponents 12-0 in three games. Miranda Elish and Megan Kleist were dominant in the circle as they walked just two batters in 21 innings while striking out 36. Offensively, Oregon will need to continue to execute and have great discipline at the plate to wear down the Wildcats pitching.

Florida and Oklahoma were rock solid as well in their respective regionals. The Gators punched their ticket to Supers with a 4-0 win over Ohio State. Amanda Lorenz and Aleshia Ocasio were the difference makers for the Gators against the Buckeyes. Lorenz put the game out of reach with an RBI double in the 6th inning. Ocasio threw the first seven inning no-hitter for Florida in the postseason in program history in the regional final on Sunday. The Sooners had no problem at all in the Norman Regional, cruising past Boston University, Tulsa, and Missouri as they outscored them 24-0 enroute to their ninth straight Super Regional. Oklahoma will have a potential tough test with Arkansas, so it will be critical for the Sooners to start fast against the Razorbacks and get the home crowd rolling behind them.

UCLA and Arizona will meet up in the Los Angeles Super Regional. The Bruins had to win three consecutive elimination games including two against Cal State Fullerton on Sunday to get back to the Super Regional round. Rachel Garcia is going to be relied upon heavily in the circle to contain a Wildcat lineup that always has the potential to go off for big numbers at the plate. Arizona has gotten better down the stretch and they will need to be able to trade punches offensively with the Bruins at the plate as this could very well be a high scoring series between these two teams. It is unfortunate that they must meet in the Super Regional instead of the Women’s College World Series.

Washington and Alabama will get together in the 5-12 matchup at Husky Softball Stadium after meeting earlier in the season for a pair of games. The Huskies outscored the Crimson Tide 12-1 in two wins and they were able to get to Alexis Osorio in game one and knock her out of the game in the fourth inning. Gabbie Plain and Taran Alvelo kept the Alabama lineup in check over the course of both games. Plain was outstanding in the Seattle Regional as she did a great job of keeping opposing hitters off balance and not allowing them to get the ball in the air. Alvelo got some work in Sunday against Minnesota for three innings and if she can be available for about 7-10 innings this weekend, it should help take some pressure off Plain. For the Crimson Tide, they have two games worth of tape on Plain to work with from March and it will be interesting to see what type of adjustments head coach Patrick Murphy and his staff make this week when they face Plain again. This series has the feel of one that will go the full three games.

Now, as far as other matchups that could go the full three games this weekend. Look for Florida State-LSU to go three as the Tiger’s pitching combination of Carly Hoover and Ally Walljasper gives them a great chance to once again beat the Seminoles. For Florida State, they will have to execute with runners in scoring position and make LSU pay for any mistakes. Arizona State and South Carolina could go three if the Gamecocks can get to Giselle Juarez in game one and use their homerun power to their advantage. Georgia and Tennessee in the 7-10 matchup just has the look of a three game, down to the wire good old-fashioned SEC battle between two long time rivals. The Bulldogs went into Knoxville and took two of three during the regular season, but the Lady Vols have gotten better down the stretch of the season. While Georgia has been on fire offensively down the stretch, the loss of ace pitcher Brittany Gray late in the year has taken a toll on the pitching staff. This should be a much closer series with every game going down to the wire in the sixth and seventh innings. Overall, this Super Regional round looks like one that will not be all chalk and there will be at least one surprise upset winner this weekend if not more.


NCAA Tournament Central