Softball action continues on Friday as three games are set to be played featuring SEC teams. Florida and Georgia are set to combat in Game 2 of their series, while Alabama and LSU will begin their Super Regionals against Washington and James Madison. It could shape up to be a big night for the SEC, although one team could see its season come to a bitter end depending on the result of the Gators-Bulldogs encounter.
With that said, here are five things you should watch for during Friday's Super Regionals action:
The champs are on the brink
In a surprising development, the Georgia Bulldogs have put the back-to-back National Champion Florida Gators on the ropes. The Bulldogs defeated the Gators 3-0 thanks to a 3-for-3 night by Maeve McGuire with two of Georgia's three runs batted in. Alyssa DiCarlo scored two of Georgia's three runs and went 2-for-4 at the plate on a night where the 'Dawgs didn't register a single extra-base hit, and yet they were able to still defeat the highly touted Gators.
Will Florida be taken down in their own dwelling, or will they force a deciding Game 3? Time will tell.
Heyyyyyy, hey Bailey!
Okay, so, truth be told I had to make some kind of reference to Bayley the wrestler there. You're all welcome.
Anyways, Bailey Landry was perhaps the most productive hitter for the Tigers in the Baton Rouge Regional. She hit .500 (6-12) at the plate and logged a triple in LSU's victory over LIU Brooklyn in the opener. The Tigers will need all that they can get from her if they want to make an impact over seventh-ranked JMU in their afternoon encounter Friday. If the Regional Round was any indication, it could be in the cards.
The Tigers should hope for a performance by Bailey Landry that's comparable to, say, TakeOver: Brooklyn or TakeOver: Respect. TakeOver: Dallas? Well... could be tough sledding.
Carley Hoover getting into a groove
In the Baton Rouge Regional, LSU pitcher Carley Hoover was called upon in 11.1 of the 20 innings the Tigers played in. All Hoover did was allow just one run to be scored in those innings accumulated in the opening round, allowed merely eight hits to be made against her, and struck out 13 batters.
To put it simply: She was dominant in the Regional Rounds and seems to have gotten in a groove which could be bad news for looming opponent JMU. Hoover's presence, if she replicates this type of performance, could prove to be pivotal for the Tigers.
Tide hopes to earn trifecta
Alabama has made the WCWS in each of the last two seasons. Will they make it a third? Their journey to OKC starts Friday night against the Washington Huskies who haven't made a WCWS since 2013. Tide softball has been one of the most dominant programs across the conference and country as they are the only program to make every Super Regional since the system started.
Let's see if they can transition that into three consecutive WCWS appearances.
The hot bat of Haylie McCleney
One of the biggest contributors in the Tide's Tuscalossa Regional victory was Haylie McCleney. McCleney's offense helped lift the Tide to three straight victories as she helped her cause in the slugging percentage department, hitting two doubles in the clincher vs. Cal, a triple in the first game against the Golden Bears, and a home run in the opener vs. Samford. If her bat can make the trip with her again against the Huskies, the Tide could be on their way to the WCWS again.