The Super Regionals round starts this week to see what eight teams move on to play in Oklahoma in the WCWS for the 2019 D1 Softball Championship. All of the series are best two out of three games.
Here are some of my thoughts on each of them.
Oklahoma vs. Northwestern
Oklahoma started out a little slow this year but once the regular season got started they became a steamroller but in their regional against Wisconsin they stubbed their toes losing to them and ending a 41 game winning streak they had going. The Sooners only other loss was to UCLA back in February. Oklahoma is ranked #1 in the tourney and will be hosting the games so I look for them to handle Northwestern pretty easily taking it in two straight games.
UCLA vs. James Madison
I picked UCLA to win it all this year way back at the beginning of the season and I still think they will with the talent of Rachel Garcia both in the circle and the batter’s box. James Madison should give them a good fight though as I watched a lot of their series with Michigan and was impressed by pitcher Megan Good. If she is on her game James Madison should take it to the three full games before UCLA wins the series. UCLA will be hosting the series.
Washington vs. Kentucky
I haven’t seen much of Washington playing this season but from what I have I know they have strong pitching that might be able to hold Kentucky’s big bats to a minimum. Kentucky has been a surprise team this year to me. They seemed like a middle of the pack team but keep winning this season. I think it ends here though as they have to travel across the country with Washington hosting the series. I’m picking the Huskies to win this series and move on to the WCWS.
Florida State vs. Oklahoma State
From what I’ve seen Florida State looks good and ready to make a run at being back-to back champions. The only way I see Oklahoma State winning is if the games turn in to high scoring matches because Oklahoma State know how to put runs on the scoreboard.
Florida vs. Tennessee
I’ve seen a lot of both of these powerhouse SEC teams playing this year and both have had up & down periods. I picked Florida to make it to the championship series against UCLA this year in my preseason prediction but their lack of offense at times and pitcher Kelly Barnhill not looking in top notch form has let some doubts creep in to my mind. Tennessee with all its young players have also had some problems in the field but they seem to find a way to win. I think this series will go the full three games and I’m picking Florida since their playing at home but wouldn’t be surprised if Tennessee pulls out the upset.
Alabama vs. Texas
Alabama has been playing all season with a chip on their shoulder proving all their critics wrong that they would be a middle of the pack team this season. Big bats and strong pitching from all of their starters has had them rolling along this season. Texas has at times had trouble scoring runs and that could be a problem playing the Crimson Tide. Texas has been riding junior transfer Miranda Elish’s arm and if she can keep going they should be able to put up a fight but I look for Alabama playing at home to control things and get the series win in two straight games.
Arizona vs. Ole Miss
Ole Miss has a team that just won’t give up. They play their hearts out for head coach Mike Smith. Ole Miss has to head west to play Arizona at home where they have been mowing down opponents this year with a combination of the long ball and great pitching. I look for Arizona’s home run ability to quickly put lots of runs on the board to be too much for Ole Miss to overcome. Ole Miss might be able to take them to the full three games though before Arizona wins it.
Minnesota vs. LSU
LSU seems to every year find a way to make it to the WCWS round but this year Minnesota might stop that yearly trip. I haven’t seen alot of Minnesota play this year but from what I have seen there pitching is very strong and I look for them to hold LSU bats down and be able to win a tough fought three game series.