The NCAA Softball Super Regionals have come and gone.
After the chaos of this weekend, we now have eight teams set to play in Oklahoma city. Two of them reside in the Southeastern Conference, as the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs moved on after a wild day of play on Saturday.
Although the SEC had nine teams playing in the Supers, seven of them were sent packing. Kentucky, South Carolina, LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Arkansas will no longer be playing this season. To be fair, A&M and Tennessee also played SEC teams, as they fell to Florida and Georgia. So, we were only going to get seven teams of a possible eight at best. Nevertheless, that’s the way the cookie crumbled.
Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina were promptly swept by Washington, Oklahoma and Arizona State. Their series ended before Sunday, as Huskies, Sun Devils and Sooners proved victorious and defended their home turf in the Seattle, Norman and Tempe Super Regionals. Meanwhile, Kentucky and LSU pushed both Oregon and Florida State to the limit.
The Wildcats put the No. 1 seeded Ducks on their heels after a Game 1 victory on Thursday. But Oregon rallied back with a 6-1 win on Friday and then a dominant 11-1 showing on Saturday. LSU, meanwhile, went up 1-0 in their series after a 6-5 win over the Noles on Friday. But FSU won two games on Saturday, scoring an 8-5 victory in Game 2 and then a 3-1 win in the deciding Game 3 later that day. There’s obviously no shame in losing to these high-quality teams, but it’s sour to see such terrific seasons end this way.
Anyhow, it’s Georgia and Florida who will represent the conference in OKC. And why not? Statistically speaking, UF and UGA have been two of the best teams all season long. Georgia has the best offense in the conference by BA (.335) and has belted 64 homers this season, just two behind South Carolina’s 66. Florida, on the other hand, can pitch like no other, with the 2nd-ranked ERA In the conference (1.39) and the most strikeouts, a whopping 547, 131 more than second-place Mississippi State’s 416.
Both UGA and UF won in dramatic fashion on Saturday. Cortni Emanuel sent one deep in the 8th inning to break a 1-1 tie in extras. Meghan Gregg reached base in the ensuing stanza, but Georgia held them off the board to win the Athens Super Regional. The Gators, meanwhile, got sent to OKC thanks to a walk-off bomb by Jordan Matthews.
Both the Gators and Bulldogs find themselves in ‘Bracket 2’ alongside UCLA and Florida State in OKC. They will open the WCWS against each other on May 31 at 6 p.m. ET. Should one of them advance through, they will face either Oregon, ASU, Oklahoma or Washington.
The Sooners are the team to watch as they’re looking for their third-straight WCWS title. Who was the last team not named OU to win it all? Well, that was Florida of course, who won in 2015 after winning in 2014. Georgia, meanwhile, will be seeking their first-ever WCWS title when they begin play.