We have reached the (scheduled) final day of Regional action!
|LSU vs. McNeese
|Alabama vs. Minnesota
|Arizona vs. South Carolina
Keep it tuned here for all your NCAA Softball Tourney updates!
Oklahoma State 1, Florida 0
Well, things got mighty interesting.
The Florida Gators, the top-ranked team in the land, took a loss to Oklahoma State in Gainesville and are now one loss away from not even making it out of the Regionals.
Kelly Barnhill and Brandi Needham pitched their tails off on Sunday afternoon. The two pitchers combined to allow 10 hits, one earned run, 18 strikeouts and three walks. Each only allowed one XBH - a double for each - and it was Barnhill who was the lone hurler to allow the lone run.
That came in the sixth inning on a double by Vanessa Shippy that brought Maddi Holcomb home, and proved to be all that the Cowgirls would need to come away with a shocking win.
We’ll have a winner-take-all matchup coming later Sunday.
Kentucky 4, Illinois 2
The Wildcats are heading to the Super Regional!
For the first time since 2015, Kentucky has won the regional, defeating Illinois 4-2 in Lexington.
Kentucky drew blood right away, as Abbey Cheek singled with two outs in the first inning. Brooklyn Hinz singled Cheek home, and Alex Martens clobbered a home run to center field to put the Wildcats up 3-0 before the Illini even had a chance to bat.
Wildcats starting pitcher Erin Rethlake scattered five hits through 5.2 innings, and allowed just one run when Illinois third baseman Annie Fleming singled home Ruby Rivera in the bottom of the sixth.
Things got a bit interesting in the bottom of the seventh, when Illinois had back-to-back runners reach base to start the inning, and had the tying run at the plate. Kentucky pitcher Meagan Prince recorded three straight groundouts to seal the UK victory, however.
Kentucky will likely be heading to Eugene to face Oregon in the Super Regional, unless the Wisconsin Badgers can pick up two wins over the Ducks this afternoon.
Florida State 8, Georgia 5
The Georgia Bulldogs’ season came to an end after the ‘Dawgs fell to the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee.
Georgia just couldn’t keep up with the powerful ‘Noles, who slugged their way to victory with an 8-3 result. UGA faced FSU twice in the Regionals, and were dispatched on both occasions.
FSU got out in front early with a two-run homer by Jessie Warren in the first inning. Two innings later, the Seminoles added three more runs in the third. Dani Morgan knocked in a run with a double, Sydney Broderick hit a sacrifice fly and Cali Harrod brought the third run in with a single. Three innings in, it was 5-0 Seminoles, and the ‘Dawgs had to fight back.
Fight back they did though. Alyssa DiCarlo chipped away at the lead, hitting a two-run single in the bottom stanza of the third. Despite that though, FSU kept rolling. Morgan blasted a two-run homer in the ensuing inning to put them up 7-2, widening the gap between the clubs. Although DiCarlo went on to homer in the bottom of the fifth, much more work had to be done.
Following a bases loaded walk, the lead for FSU went up to 8-3. In the bottom of the 7th, Georgia would make their last gasp worth everything. DiCarlo punched a single to right to cut the lead to 8-4 and that was followed by a single from Maeve McGuire. In the end however, their effort would prove futile, as a game-ending double play sealed up the win for FSU and ended the season for the ‘Dawgs.
Auburn 8, California 2
Apparently frustrated with Saturday’s extra inning win over Cal, the Auburn Tigers made things much easier in Sunday’s regional final, scoring seven runs in the first two innings en route to an 8-2 victory over the Golden Bears.
Carlee Wallace and Haley Fagan got the party started in the first inning, as Wallace drove in two with a double, then Fagan drove in Wallace and herself with a two-run home run. The Tigers had a 4-0 lead right out of the gate.
They weren’t done yet.
With one out in the second inning, Kasey Cooper, Wallace, and Fagan all reached base to load it up for Alyssa Rivera. Rivera delivered with a double to score Cooper and Wallace, then Courtney Shea brought Fagan home with a single to put Auburn up 7-0 after an inning and a half.
Those seven runs were more than enough for Kaylee Carlson, who pitched four innings and allowed just three hits (one run). Makayla Martin came in for the final three innings, and also allowed three hits and one run.
The Tigers advance to their third straight Super Regional. They’ll host the winner of the Norman Regional.
Florida 5, Oklahoma State 0
No worries, no problems. Despite a scare, Florida is headed to the Supers!
The Gators finished off their stay in the Regionals with a 5-0 win over Oklahoma State. After the Cowgirls defeated the Gators 1-0 in an earlier contest on Sunday, UF struck back for revenge in the second meeting, avoiding an early exit in the process.
Florida got after it quickly, striking for two early runs in the first. Nicole DeWitt hit a two-run bomb after Amanda Lorenz got aboard with a leadoff double. The ensuing inning saw Lorenz drive in a run of her own on a sac fly and one more was brought aboard in the third. Jordan Roberts punched a single into play, which brought Lily Mann in to score. The fifth and final run of the game was tallied in the fifth as Sophia Reynoso singled to bring Kayli Kvistad in.
Delanie Gourley pitched fiercely in the must-win game, allowing just one hit in seven innings of work. Gourley struck out 11 Cowgirl batters, walked one and allowed no extra base hits.
Tennessee 3, Longwood 0
The Volunteers had a far less dramatic game Sunday than their thriller Saturday afternoon against USC Upstate.
Meghan Gregg got it going with an RBI single in the first inning, her first of two RBIs on the afternoon. Gregg also homered in the fourth.
That was more than enough for Vols pitcher Matty Moss, who pitched seven shutout innings and gave up just four hits en route to her 25th win of the season. Moss recorded nine strikeouts, as well.
Tennessee notched 12 hits on the afternoon, as seven of the nine Vols starters has at least one hit.
Tennessee now moves on to the Super Regional for the first time since 2015. They’ll host the Texas A&M Aggies.
Ole Miss 4, North Carolina 2
Ole Miss is headed to their first ever Super Regionals!
The Rebels completed another stellar showing on Sunday afternoon in the form of a 7-2 victory. In doing so, the Rebels maintain a winning streak that goes up to seven now with their win over the Tar Heels under their belt.
Kaitlin Lee once again shined as she racked up yet another complete game. In the outing, Lee allowed two earned runs, two walks, five hits and had six strikeouts. Lee only allowed one extra-base hit, a double off the bat of Leah Murray, and was otherwise terrific in the circle again.
Ole Miss had to fight back to win this one after falling behind early. The Heels built up a 2-0 lead after two RBI singles from Kendra Lynch and Brittany West in innings 1 and 2. They tied the game in the fourth thanks to a single by Miranda Strother and another single that was delivered by Brittany Finney.
Finney would then come up large two innings later, as she connected on a two-run bomb to break the 2-2 tie and put the Rebels up for good. Three additional runs would be tacked on in the seventh thanks to Strother, who hit another RBI single. Kylan Becker then advanced to home on a wild pitch and Courtney Syrett put the finishing touches on it with an RBI single.
Ole Miss will be facing either UCLA or Cal State Fullerton depending on results that go down out west later Sunday.
Texas A&M 3, Texas 1
The Texas A&M Aggies head back to the Supers and set up an All-SEC matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers!
The Aggies advanced after defeating in-state rival Texas on Sunday, winning 3-1 over the Longhorns in a tightly contested affair.
UT struck first int he second inning following a sac groundout by Kaitlyn Washington. Washington’s groundout allowed Mickenzi Krpec to jot home and allowed for the Longhorns to carry a 1-0 lead with them.
That wouldn’t last long, though. In the ensuing stanza, Tori Vidales tied the game with one swing of the bat, as the Aggies 1st baseman connected on a solo blast to right center. In the ensuing inning, Vidales would come up large again. She took a double to left center this time around that scored both Blake Ann Fritsch and Erica Russell to put the Ags up 3-1.
With Samantha Show on the mound, that would be all the offense they would need. Show pitched a complete game in the Aggies’ win, allowing four hits, one earned run, issued two walks and had four strikeouts against the 27 batters she faced.
Alabama 1, Minnesota 0
The Crimson Tide are going to the Super Regional!
After playing their second game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in as many days, Alabama picked up their second straight 1-0 victory to advance to their thirteenth consecutive Super Regional.
A Marisa Runyon RBI double in the top of the first inning provided all the offense the Crimson Tide needed, as Sydney Littlejohn and Alexis Osorio combined for a five-hit shutout of the Gophers.
Alabama will head to Gainesville for a Super Regional showdown with the Gators.
Arizona 9, South Carolina 0
23rd-ranked South Carolina was blown out by No. 5 Arizona 9-0 on Sunday, falling in the Tucson Regional Final in the process. The Gamecocks, who finish the season 34-25, were shut down by Arizona’s Taylor McQuillen, who threw a complete game shutout while striking out six.
South Carolina’s pitching staff was roughed up, as their starter Nickie Blue gave up six earned runs in 5.2 innings in the circle. Jessica Elliott then came in to pitch for the Gamecocks and gave up three earned runs herself.
The pitching staff can’t be put to blame completely for the loss. South Carolina was only able to mustard seven hits in seven innings, compared to 15 on the side of Arizona. Not one hitter in the Gamecocks lineup was able to collect multiple hits.
Arizona will now move onto the Super Regional, where they will face Baylor. They will need to move past Baylor in order to make it to the College World Series.
LSU 10, McNeese 1 (6 innings)
The LSU Tigers won’t quit yet.
After a lengthy, lengthy delay, the Tigers and McNeese resumed play and it would be the Bayou Bengals who’d come out on top. Thanks in part to the top of the lineup going 7-12, with Shemiah Sanchez adding a 3-4 day at the plate herself in the 5-hole, the Tigers won 10-1 over McNeese to stay alive in the NCAA Tournament.
Emily Griggs, Sahvanna Jaquish and Bailey Landry were the studs out of the 1, 2 and 3 spots in the lineup. Griggs herself went 3-4 with three RBI, two runs scored a double. Jaquish went 2-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI while Landry went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. The incredible output from the top of the lineup certainly helped put them in position to win, and win impressively they did.
Sanchez was no slouch herself. The Tigers 3rd baseman went 3-4 with a run scored and two RBI, helping to catapult the bottom half of the lineup as all but Aliyah Andrews recorded at least one hit.
Carley Hoover stood in and pitched brilliantly. Hoover went six innings, allowed three hits and one earned run, and while she issued three walks, she matched that total in strikeouts and allowed no extra base hits all night.
LSU 6, Louisiana 0
The LSU Tigers’ run continues!
After their 10-1 win earlier Sunday night against McNeese, the Bayou Bengals followed that up with a 6-0 victory over UL Lafayette. With the win, LSU now moves on to Monday where they’ll fight for one of the two remaining spots in the Super Regionals.
Carley Hoover stood tall yet again after a terrific outing against McNeese. Hoover allowed five hits, one earned run, issued no walks and struck out six batters. In her two outings tonight, Hoover allowed six combined hits, one earned run, three walks, nine strikeouts without a single XBH allowed in 13 innings.
Sahvanna Jaquish did some damage against the Ragin’ Cajuns. Jaquish went 2-3 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored, arguably the best outing of anyone on the team. Amber Serrett could lay claim to a challenger, as she went 2-2 with a home run herself, three RBI and a run scored, as could Emily Griggs, who went an impressive 4-4 at the dish with an RBI and a single. Constance Quinn and Aliyah Andrews contributed two of the Tigers’ 10 hits in the victory.
LSU will now move to a Monday afternoon showdown with UL Lafayette for the right to face Florida State in the Super Regionals.
LSU 5, Louisiana 1
The Tigers are going to the Super Regional!
Faced with the task of having to win three consecutive games, LSU finished the job Monday afternoon against UL Lafayette in Baton Rouge.
The Cajuns struck first, with a first inning RBI double off of Allie Walljasper, but Walljasper was able to minimize the damage and get out of the inning. She pitched a scoreless second inning, as well, before handing the ball over to Carley Hoover for the third.
In the bottom of the third, LSU got on the board when Aliyah Andrews stole second base. A wild throw allowed Amber Serrett to come around and score. Then, Emily Griggs drove Andrews in with a single.
The fourth inning brought more good fortune for the Bayou Bengals, as Sydney Springfield unloaded a two run home run to move LSU’s lead to three. Griggs drove in Sydney Loupe later in the inning to stretch the lead to four.
That was more than enough for Hoover, who pitched the final five innings of the game, allowing four hits and no runs.
The Tigers will now face the Florida State Seminoles in the Super Regional next weekend.