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Upcoming Super Regional field at 16

Nine of the 13 selected SEC schools are still playing, as is five from the Pac 12, with the best-of-3 format played at eight different sites, with Oklahoma City the final stop

By Arnie Leshin

One more step for the 16 schools that landed in the Super Regional of the NCAA Women’s Softball Tournament.

From a field of 64, it became 32 following the opening round Regional. Now it’s 16 happy to survive until now, but half will make it to the College World Series in Oklahoma City.

The field is jammed with nine SEC schools and five from the Pac 12 joining Oklahoma of the Big 12 and Florida State of the ACC. Game ones are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, and the Elite Eight will be known after Saturday’s games.

Top seed Oregon hosted in its new state-of-the-art ballpark in Eugene and had little trouble disposing of Albany once and Drake in shutout fashion that featured quality pitching and enough hitting. It was its 27th straight Regional victory, which is second behind Alabama.

Next, the Ducks are home again and will go against 16th seed Kentucky in the best-of-three format. The Wildcats advanced at home by first turning back Illinois-Chicago and then topping surprising Notre Dame twice.

Second seed Florida spent 14 hours watching the raindrops fall, as did Ohio State, as they tried to get in the final game. When it finally let up, the Gators received no-hit pitching from Alyssa Osorio and blanked the Buckeyes, 4-0.

Now Florida will play host to SEC rival Texas A & M., the 15th seed that dominated Prairie View and McNeese before taking down Baylor in the elimination contest.

Third seed UCLA almost didn’t make it. The Bruins had to beat state rival Cal-State Fullerton twice, and did. After winning game one, the teams resumed for winner-take all 45 minutes later, and this time UCLA pulled out a tough one, 6-4.

The Bruins now await the visitors from Arizona. The 14th seeded Wildcats edged visitingMississippi State, 4-3, to survive and make it to Los Angeles.

Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma is the fourth seed and only needed three mercy-rule shutouts to move on. Next comes a visit from Arkansas, the 13th seed that had a tough go with Wichita State twice before prevailing 6-4 in the finals, but the Hogs proved they can hit.

Washington, the fifth seed, had to blank Boise State, 8-0, in five innings, nip Texas 2-1, and then wrap up its Regional by topping Minnesota. Now the Huskies get a visit from 12th seeded Alabama, with the Crimson Tide moving on over Middle Tennessee, Wisconsin and Oregon State.

FSU is the 6th seed and its pitching and clutch hitting got it past Jacksonville State once and twice over Auburn. The Tigers joined Ole Miss and Mississippi State as SEC dropouts.

Seventh seeded Georgia used its bats to outscore Harvard, Northwestern and Northwestern again, 27-9. Now the Bulldogs await SEC foe Tennessee, which is the 10th seed and shut down Monmouth, 5-0 in five, James Madison, 12-3, and Ohio, 5-0.

Rejuvenated Arizona State made it to this roundfor the first time since 2013 as the 8th seed barely got past the visitors from New Mexico State, 2-0,then handled Ole Miss,7-1, and Ole Miss again, 9-0, to reach the Supers and play host to SEC opponent South Carolina.

The Gamecocks are the 9th seed and ran into 3-1 loss to Liberty after downing North Carolina Greensboro, 5-4, and won their way out by twice shutting out Liberty, 2-0 and 5-0.

Louisiana State, the 11th seed, now travels to Florida State after getting a tough test from state rival Louisiana-Lafayette in order to move on. The Raging Cajuns dropped their opener, 1-0, to Houston, than got past the Bayou Tigers, 3-2, before losing the deciding game to LSU in extra innings. LSU also won over Fordham in five frames and over Houston.

EXTRA HITS – Only Oklahoma and Oregon pitched all shutouts at their respective Regional. FSU allowed just one run in three starts. South Carolina had to win three times in 24 hours. It will be the 14th straight Super Regional for Alabama.

The 22nd perfect game pitched in tournament history came from Hofstra right-hander Sophie Dandola in a 6-0 win over UNCG. Thirty minutes later, the Pride had to face South Carolina and went on to be eliminated. As for Dandola, she needed only 58 pitches, 45 of them strikes, to retire 21 in a row.

State-wise, there is two each from Florida and Arizona. In all, 14 states will be represented.

Some of the pesky no seeds were Liberty, Hofstra, Ohio, New Mexico State, Mississippi State, Wichita State, Drake, Notre Dame, and Northwestern.

Teams with softball recognition that lost were Auburn, Baylor, Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Texas,

May 24-27 (best-of-3) Super Regional round

In Eugene, Ore.

Thursday, May 24

Game One: (1) Oregon (49-7) vs. (16) Kentucky (34-19) 9 p.m. ESPS2

Friday, May 25

Game Two: Oregon vs. Kentucky, 11 p.m. ESPN2

Saturday, May 26

Game Three: (If necessary) Oregon vs. Kentucky 9 p.m. ESPN

 

In Gainesville, Fla.

Thursday, May 24

Game One: (2) Florida (52-8) vs. (15) Texas A & M (48-16) 7 p.m. ESPN

Friday, May 25

Game Two: Florida vs. Texas A & M 7 p.m. ESPN

Saturday, May 26

Game Three:  (If necessary) Florida vs. Texas A & M 5 p.m. ESPN

 

In Los Angeles, Calif.

Thursday, May 24

Game One: (3) UCLA (53-5) vs. (14) Arizona (43-14) 9 p.m. ESPN

Friday, May 25

Game Two: UCLA vs. Arizona 9 p.m. ESPN

Saturday May 26

Game Three: (If necessary) UCLA vs. Arizona ESPN

 

In Norman, Okla.

Friday, May 25

Game One: (4) Oklahoma (53-3) vs. (13) Arkansas (42-15) ESPN2

Saturday, May 26

Game Two: Oklahoma vs. Arkansas ESPN

Sunday, May 27

Game Three: (If necessary) Oklahoma vs. Arkansas 1 p.m. ESPN

 

In Seattle, Wash.

Friday, May 25

Game One: (5) Washington (48-8) vs. (12) Alabama (36-18) 9 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday May 26

Game Two: Washington vs. Alabama 9 p.m. ESPNU

Sunday May 27

Game Three: (If necessary) Washington vs. Alabama 7 p.m. ESPNU

 

In Tallahassee, Fla.

Friday, May 25

Game One: (6) Florida State (51-10) vs. (11) LSU (44-15) 7 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, May 26

Game Two:  Florida State vs. LSU 5 p.m. ESPN2

Sunday, May 27

Game Three:  (If necessary) Florida State vs. LSU 3 p.m. ESPNU

 

In Tucson, Ariz.

Friday, May 25

Game One: (8) Arizona State (46-11) vs. (9) South Carolina (49-15) 11 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, May 26

Game Two: Arizona State vs. South Carolina 9 p.m. ESPNU

Sunday, May 27

Game Three: (If necessary) Arizona State vs. South Carolina 9 p.m. ESPNU

 

In Athens, Ga.

Friday, May 25

Game One: (7) Georgia (46-11) vs. (10) Tennessee (48-12) 5 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, May 26

Game Two: Georgia vs. Tennessee 3 p.m. ESPN

Sunday, May 27

Game Three: (If necessary) Georgia vs. Tennessee 3 p.m. ESPN

 

 

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