In last weekend play before the conference championships begin and then the playoff selections are made it was important to make a strong stand this past weekend. Some teams done that while others stubbed their toes a little bit.
Alabama– It was simple for the Crimson Tide win and your the regular SEC series champions. The bad part was they had to go to Tiger Park to play LSU a place where in the past they’ve struggled. In a year that has surprised me and many other softball writers Alabama continues to impress with their play. In the opening game of the weekend series Friday night Alabama came to life in the sixth inning of the game scoring 6 unanswered runs to get the 7-0 victory. On Saturday Alabama claimed sole possession of its sixth SEC Championship Saturday night at Tiger Park, with a 4-3 victory over LSU. The title is the sixth for Alabama, previously winning it in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. Alabama closed out the weekend strong by getting a 5-1 victory over LSU and getting the series sweep. That was the first series sweep for Alabama over LSU in Baton Rouge since 2005
Ole Miss– Going in to the weekend the Rebels hadn’t lost a SEC series the whole season and made a strong run at winning another SEC regular season title but that all fell apart with their weekend series against Georgia. In Friday night action Ole Miss lost to the Bulldogs 1-0 when in the bottom of the seventh, Georgia’s Armistead sent a 1-out double to the gap to bring in Milz from first. Game two of the three game series got suspended after just one inning with the Bulldogs leading 1-0. The game was rescheduled for Sunday before the regularly scheduled last game of the series. Ole Miss looked holding a 5-3 lead going in to the 7th inning but then things feel apart and what looked like a sure win turned in to a walk off loss for Ole Miss 7-6. Game 3 started after a short break and it looked like the Rebels lost heart after their tough loss earlier and came out playing flat with Georgia blowing them out getting their first SEC series sweep this season with the 8-0, 5-innings run rule win.
Tennessee– In another important series the Lady Vols hosted Texas A&M. For Tennessee it was looking for good seating going in to the SEC tournament and beyond while for the Aggies it was time to try making a statement to even get a playoff bid this year. Tennesse took the win 4-1, in the series opener Friday night at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. In game two of the series the weather caused a two hour delay in Tennessee’s senior day game. After that delay though things went right for the Lady Vols as the got the 4-2 win. In Sunday’s game three Tennessee was looking for the sweep while the Aggies were looking to keep any playoff hopes alive with a win. It took 10-innings but Texas A&M avoided getting swept in the series with a 6-4 victory thanks to Payton McBride who delivered the 10th-inning heroics as the junior hit a two-out two-run homer to right field.
Florida– Its been a very streaky year for the Gators. The team was looking to finish strong in hopes of not only hosting a Regional Round but maybe a Super Regional Round in the NCAA playoffs. Playing against Mississippi State the Gators have had their number having not lost to them since Mar. 29, 2015 in Starkville, Miss. But the Bulldogs didn’t care about past history and took game one 6-4 Friday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. In day two of the series Florida got a split in its doubleheader with Mississippi State on Saturday, with MSU winning 4-2 in game one and UF winning 2-0 in game two.
Georgia Southern got the 6-5 victory over visiting Georgia State on Thursday evening at Eagle Field. Georgia Southern scored nine runs in the fifth inning to blast past Georgia State10-1 on Friday night. Three Eagle pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as Georgia Southern celebrated Senior Day with a 2-0 Sun Belt Conference victory over visiting Georgia State on Saturday at Eagle Field.
Texas on Saturday night behind a one-hit shutout from junior pitcher Miranda Elish earned a 1-0 victory over Baylor. On Sunday afternoon on Senior Day (Bekah Alcozer, Brooke Bolinger and Ki’Audra Hayter) Texas collected another victory over Baylor 3-1.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns continues to look strong come playoff time. Summer Ellyson continues great pitching with a 16 strikeouts one-hit shutout effort as they defeated ULM 3-0. The remaing games in the series between the two teams was cancelled after persistant rain showers that lead to unplayable conditions at the ULM Softball Complex.
Texas State got the comeback victory over the UT Arlington Mavericks on Thursday evening at Allan Saxe Field. The start time of the game was delayed 1:47 due to lightning in the area. Texas State fell 4-1 against the UT Arlington Mavericks on Friday afternoon at Allan Saxe Field. The Bobcats closed out their 2019 regular season with an 8-7 walk-off loss against the UT Arlington Mavericks on Saturday afternoon.
Michigan State Friday’s game at Rutgers ended in walkoff heartbreak for the Spartans, as Katie Wingert hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 7-5 victory. In Saturday action Michigan State got a split in their doubleheader losing game one 7-3 before getting the win in game two 10-9 in 8-innings.
The University of Pittsburgh came to play getting a 11-0 run rule victory against Boston College in its series opener Friday afternoon at Vartabedian Field. On Senior Day Saturday Pitt used a walk-off grand slam to capture a dramatic 15-12 victory over Boston College. Pitts used a 7-0 victory to complete its sweep against Boston College in its final game of the season Sunday afternoon at Vartabedian Field. In a what might have been year for the team without injuries to several key players head coach Jodi Hermanek had these thoughts on the game, “Our goal today was to make this a team win and we accomplished that,” said head coach Jodi Hermanek. “I’m just excited that we came out here and finished this series and this homestand in front of our crowd in the way that we wanted to by competing really, really hard and getting some amazing outcomes and having everybody deliver.”
Mizzou got a comeback win over South Carolina with a walk-off single from Kolby Romaine at Mizzou Softball Stadium on Friday night. Saturday the two teams went at it again with Mizzou getting another walk off type win by a score of 7-6 this time thanks to Mizzou CF Brooke Wilmes launching a walk-off solo home run over the right field fence in the bottom of the eighth inning. Mizzou was looking for the series sweep on their Senior Sunday (Madi Norman, Kolby Romaine, Regan Nash, Raime Cohen and Cosette Tomita) but fell short losing 5-2 to South Carolina.
Arkansas got a 1-0 win over Auburn on Friday evening. Arkansas got another win on Saturday afternoon with a 7-1 comeback victory against Auburn in game two of their series. The Razorbacks trailed by one run heading into the bottom of the sixth inning and recorded seven runs on six hits to take the lead and secure the win.
Thanks to, Texas, LSU, Florida, Alabama, Texas A&M, Mizzou, Tennessee, Auburn, Louisiana, Ole Miss, Texas State, Michigan State University, Pitt, Georgia, Mississippi State, Georgia Southern and South Alabama athletic departments for their help.