I went 6-2 with my predictions missing the Minnesota and Oklahoma State series winners.
Florida State vs. Oklahoma State
Things got started on Thursday night with the Florida State verses Oklahoma State series. The Cowgirls showed they came to play taking game one 3-1. Florida State came back in Friday’s game getting the 4-1 win. It all came down to Saturday’s game that had a noon start. Oklahoma State got the 3-2 win knocking out the defending champions and moving on to the WCWS.
I got this one wrong with my prediction. I thought playing at home Florida State would move on to defend their championship but the Cowgirls and Samantha Show proved too strong for them.
Alabama vs. Texas
Thursday night Alabama took it to Texas 3-0 and it looked like it was gonna be a short series but in Friday’s high scoring game Texas took the win 7-5. Texas looked like they were gonna lose the game until their pitcher Miranda Elish got hit in the face by a ball from her catcher thrown to second base that took her out of the game (Elish was taken to the emergency room as a precaution but is doing okay according to the team but unable to play in Saturday’s game, though she was on the bench. It has been reported that she has some sinus damage from it). That seemed to rally the team who was down 4-0 on to the win. Texas freshman standout Shealyn O’Leary earned the win in relief. Game three played Saturday afternoon went to Alabama 8-5 moving them on to the 2019 WCWS.
It took all three games instead two but I predicted this series right picking Alabama.
UCLA vs. James Madison
UCLA and Rachael Garcia was just too much for James Madison on Friday night as they won by a score of 6-1. The Bruins put it to James Madison for the second game in the series. This one was never close as the Bruins got the 7-2 win.
I did predict UCLA to win the series but figured James Madison would take one game in the series but I was wrong on that as UCLA totally dominated this series and have me feeling confident in my preseason pick for them to be the 2019 D1 Softball Champions.
Florida vs. Tennessee
Florida took game one of the series on Friday 3-0. Gator pitcher Kelly Barnhill looked in really good form getting the win. In post game comments Barnhill was asked about her getting more control as the game went on and she had this response. “As the game went on my pitches were getting better and better. Sometimes the longer you are out there the more of a groove you get in and can feel your pitches better – I think that’s what was happening at the end of this game.” In Saturday’s game two of the series Tennessee showed heart as they knew they were playing for their tourney life. Caylan Arnold went for Tennessee in the circle while Kelly Barnhill got the start again for Florida. After the dust had settled in the 9th inning the Lady Vols got the needed win 3-2 to force a game three on Sunday. It all came down to a do or die game three for both teams on Sunday afternoon. Florida took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and held it until the top of the 7th when Tennessee scored a run thanks to home run by senior Haley Bearden. Then in the bottom of the eighth Florida got the walk off win when Amanda Lorenz doubled and moved to third on a ground out to Ashley Morgan. Jaimie Hoover then supplied the necessary hit, a single to left-center field, that allowed Lorenz to score. Florida’s Kelly Barnhill got the complete game win in the circle while Ashley Rogers suffered the complete game loss.
I figured this would be a tough series since both teams know each other well and it took all three games and extra innings for Florida to win and move on to the 2019 WCWS.
Washington vs. Kentucky
Washington took the 1-0 lead in the series with a 3-0 win in the opening game of their series Friday night. Saturdays sophomore Gabbie Plain threw a two-hit shutout getting the 5-0 win for Washington to move them on to the WCWS.
I had this one right. I figured playing at home and with their shutdown pitching Washington would take the series.
Oklahoma vs. Northwestern
The Sooners took game one of the series 3-0 on Friday. In series game two played Saturday against Northwestern Oklahoma got an early lead and never looked back as they defeated Northwestern 8-0 and move on to the WCWS.
I predicted this one right. Like I thought Oklahoma looks really strong and playing good ball at the right time and ready to make a strong run at being crowned Champions this year.
Arizona vs. Ole Miss
Ole Miss took and early 2-0 lead in game one of their series with Arizona but then the Wildcats came battling back getting the 5-2 win. Arizona put the pedal to the metal in game two winning by a score of 9-1 to claim their series and move on to the WCWS.
I got this prediction right figuring Arizona’s big bats would just be too much for Ole Miss to overcome.
Minnesota vs. LSU
Minnesota took game one of the series 5-3 on Friday evening. LSU’s Shelbi Sunseri took the loss in the circle going 3.2 innings. Maribeth Gorsuch finished out the game with her 2.1 no hits innings pitched. LSU has a history of falling behind in series and coming back to win them but that didn’t happen this time. Minnesota shut LSU’s bats down getting the 3-0 win and moving on to their first ever WCWS appearance for the school’s softball program.
I missed this one picking LSU who seems to always finds a way to make it to the WCWS but fell short against a tough Minnesota team.