NCAA Softball: Oklahoma heading to Super Regionals

Players of Washington Spirits on field/ JWS

The NCAA Softball Super Regionals are set. (Full bracket can be found here.)

Following the controversy that surrounded the regional site announcements — including eight SEC teams receiving hosting duties — the SEC saw seven teams advance while the Pac-12 has three teams remaining in the tournament. 

A breakdown of the matchups can be found below. 

No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 16 Washington

The number one seed in the country wasted no time taking care of business over the weekend. While the Sooners went down early against Wichita State, they came back in a big way, scoring eight in the second inning and then another 10 in the seventh in a 24-7 rout of the Shockers. They also tied the NCAA regional record with six home runs in one game. 

Washington, meanwhile, struggled against Michigan on Saturday, falling 2-1. Washington responded, taking down Michigan twice on Sunday, including coming back from being down 5-1 in Game 7 to exploding in the fourth inning and taking a 10-5 lead heading into the fifth. The score would stand as the Huskies advanced to face the Sooners in the Supers.

No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 14 Kentucky

The Crimson took swift care of Clemson, blanking them 5-0. Alabama didn’t allow a single run all weekend, as the Alabama pitchers recorded 44 strikeouts, breaking the record for the team’s most in regional play. 

Kentucky was in trouble heading into Sunday’s game against Notre Dame after dropping a game Saturday against the Irish. But the Wildcats responded in a big way, blanking Notre Dame in two straight games (7-0, 4-0) en route to a Super Regional appearance.

No. 8 Missouri vs. James Madison

Jordan Weber had a day Sunday, putting an exclamation point on Missouri’s statement weekend. The sophomore, who came five outs away from a no-hitter Friday, finished the job on Sunday in the Tigers’ 5-0 win over Iowa State and helped her team advance to the Super Regional. 

James Madison, meanwhile, got off to a slow start in Sunday’s game against Liberty. The Flames took the lead on a two-run home run to lead 3-1 after four innings. But the Dukes’ bats would respond, scoring five runs in the fifth. They would eventually win by a score of 8-5, extending their win streak to 27 and advancing to the Super Regional against Missouri. 

No. 6 Arkansas vs. No. 11 Arizona

Arkansas got the scoring started early in the first inning with two runs before Stanford responded with three of their own. Arkansas would do all of the scoring from that point on, with Linnie Malkin opening things up in the fifth inning with a three-run home run. The score would stand, as the Hogs took down the Cardinal 7-3 to advance to their second-ever Super Regional.

Arizona went down big in their final game against Ole Miss. Down by six runs, the Wildcats began to gradually claw back, scoring eight runs in the fifth to erase the deficit. Reyna Carranco would bring in the tying runs with a line-drive single to the right, and the Wildcats never looked back.

They would add on six more runs for a final score of 12-6.

No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Texas

Oklahoma State took down Mississippi State in a big way, defeating the Bulldogs in a final score of 10-2. OSU’s Sydney Pennington etched her name in the history books, breaking the program’s all-time career home run record with her 36th bomb.

Texas almost went home Sunday after dropping their first game against Oregon 3-2. But they would respond in a big way in Game 7, blanking the Ducks 1-0 off of a Jordyn Whitaker RBI.

No. 7 LSU vs. No. 10 Florida State

After dropping the first game against Louisiana by a score of 2-0, the Tigers bounced back in Game 7. LSU took a 7-1 lead in the fifth off of a Georgia Clark 3-run home run, but the Ragin’ Cajuns wouldn’t go quietly, scoring four runs in the sixth at an attempted rally before falling by a final score of 8-5.

Florida State blanked UCF on Sunday by a score of 2-0 to advance to the Super Regionals. Pitcher Kathryn Sandercock led the way, giving up only one hit with one walk and eight strikeouts. Through 83 pitches, the ace recorded 58 strikes.

No. 4 Florida vs. Georgia

Florida had a perfect weekend, going 3-0 against USF and South Alabama, including a dominant 8-0 win during the final game against USF behind a no-hitter from Elizabeth Hightower. Florida’s offense exploded in the seventh, scoring six runs, including a grand slam from Sarah Longley that marked the first home run of her career.

Meanwhile in Athens, Georgia took advantage of their home field advantage to take down No. 13 Duke. Tied in the bottom of the sixth, Sydney Chambley would drive home the winning run for the Bulldogs for a final score of 10-9.

Back when the two teams met in April, Florida won the series against the Bulldogs, taking back-to-back series wins after dropping the opener. 

No. 2 UCLA vs. Virginia Tech

After going down 1-0 against Minnesota, the Bruins responded in a big way, with Kinsley Washington bringing in two to give UCLA control of the game.

The Bruins would hold out and win 2-1. 

In Tempe, Virginia Tech took down BYU in five innings on Saturday to advance to the Super Regionals for the second time in program history. With a final score of 11-3, the Hokies hit five home runs, tied for their second-most in a game all season.

Teams will now play in a best-of-three series for a spot in the College World Series in Oklahoma City.