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Women's College World Series 2012


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#1
SpartanIlliniCub

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The 2012 NCAA regional field is set! And games started today (BYU defeated Mississippi State 4-3 in case you were wondering). Here are the regional groups and their #1-seeds:

Left Side of the Bracket

1. Cal
2. Alabama
3. Arizona
4. Oklahoma
5. Florida
6. Texas
7. Tennessee
8. Texas A&M

Right Side of the Bracket

9. Missouri
10. Georgia
11. Oregon
12. UCLA
13. Arizona
14. La-Lafayette
15. Louisville
16. Washington

As for conference breakdown:

The left side has two Pac-12, two SEC and two Big 12 teams. The right side has four Pac-12 teams and one SEC, one Big 12, one Sun Belt and one Big East team.

The bracket is very top heavy with the three power conferences. Only two non-power conference teams are #1-seeds in their regional group. And neither is from the Big 10!

Who are your picks to make it through to the super regional?

#2
CatOsterFan

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Early upsets!

Four of the 16 regional #1 seeds have already lost one game and are dangerously close to elimination. Texas, Tennessee, UCLA and Florida are all currently 0-1 after 1 game. Texas was defeated by Northwestern, Tennessee was by Miami of Ohio, Florida by Florida Gulf Coast and UCLA was thoroughly embarrassed by a 7-2 loss against Hofstra. Yikes. Each of these teams have a chance to redeem themselves this weekend, but they will do so from the loser's section of each of their regional brackets.

#3
KCSoftball

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NCAA Softball Super Regionals—Best of 3 series.

Berkeley Super Regional
(1) California (54-5) vs (16) Washington (39-17)

Columbia Super Regional
(9) Missouri (45-12) vs LSU (36-22)

Tampa Super Regional
South Florida (48-11) vs Hofstra (41-13)

Norman Super Regional
(13) Arizona (38-17) vs (4) Oklahoma (48-8)

Tempe Super Regional
(3) Arizona State (49-8) vs (14) LA-Lafayette (52-4)

Austin Super Regional
(11) Oregon (42-15) vs (6) Texas (46-11)

Knoxville Super Regional
(7) Tennessee (50-11) vs (10) Georgia (44-15)

Tuscaloosa Super Regional
Michigan (42-15) vs (2) Alabama (53-7)

#4
SpartanIlliniCub

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The super regional field is made up of five Pac-12 teams, four SEC, three Big 12, one Big Ten and three others. There are two intra-conference rivalries in Cal vs Washington (Pac-12) and Georgia vs Tennessee (SEC). There is also an upset vs upset match-up in the South Florida vs Hofstra pairing: South Florida defeated Florida and Hofstra defeated UCLA. Pretty impressive.

The super regional games start on Thursday 5/24/12 and end on Sunday 5/27/12. It should be a fun weekend!

#5
jlurban

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News article from The Softball Channel website, posted 5/23/12, 8:54 AM CDT:

Sweet 16! Cal Tops Field
California Remains Favorite to Win 2012 NCAA Title

By TSC Contributor KEVIN KAGE

BERKELEY – The number of teams vying for the national collegiate softball title is down to 16, with #1-ranked Cal still the odds-on favorite to win it all.

That’s not to say Cal had an easy time of it this past weekend. The heavily favored Bears lost 3-2 to Arkansas on Saturday in front of their home crowd, putting them in the losers’ bracket and one game away from elimination.

The loss to Arkansas had everyone’s head spinning. The Razorbacks had received an at-large bid to play in the NCAA tournament only six days earlier amid screams of excitement—no one dreamed they actually had a chance to defeat the nation’s #1 team.

On the brink of a complete postseason meltdown, California was looking to bounce back against America East softball champion Boston University—and it did so in spectacular fashion. Featuring the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year in Jolene Henderson, Cal pulled out an 8-0 win in six innings to keep its season alive.

But it was now faced with the daunting task of defeating the pumped up Razorbacks in back-to-back games on Sunday.

To the delight of its home crowd, Cal run-ruled the Razorbacks 10-2 in five innings in the first game, forcing the if-necessary game seven, and then annihilated the Razorbacks 7-0 for the Berkeley regional title.

Jolene Henderson pitched back-to-back wins, improving to 34-2 in the circle. Britt Vonk tallied her first homer of the year and Ashley Decker drove in two runs of her own.

Cal will host Washington at Levine-Fricke Field this weekend in the Berkeley Super Regional.



#6
SpartanIlliniCub

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Alabama defeated Michigan easily in the first game of the super regional tonight. They cruised to a 4-1 victory ace pitcher Jackie Traina's complete game 1 run 3 hitter. The teams play again tomorrow at 4:30 eastern and Alabama will have a chance to become the first team into the WCWS field of 8. They will also have a chance to eliminate the only Big Ten team left :(

#7
CatOsterFan

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Why do you keep talking about the Big Ten? The Big Ten conference is totally irrelevant in NCAA softball. Stop wasting your breath.

#8
SpartanIlliniCub

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Alabama is in! Michigan was up 3-1 as late as the 4th inning but the Wolverines gave up two runs in the 6th and one run in the 7th to lose the game. Michigan is out and the Crimson Tide are the first team into the final 8 of the WCWS. And now my beloved Big Ten is finished!

In other news, the Ragin Cajuns obliterated Arizona State 6-0 in the first game of their super regional matchup. Dallas Escobedo gave up six runs in 6.2 innings for her worst outing of the season. But I highly doubt Arizona State will go down so easy.

#9
CatOsterFan

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You spoke too soon SIC! Arizona State is up on Louisiana Lafayette 7-1 in the top of the 4th inning. This game Hillary Bach is on the mound and she is shredding the Ragin Cajuns. In game 1 La-Laf freshman pitcher Jordan Wallace shut down and shut out the Sun Devil offense, but rather than stick with the hot hand, Louisiana-Lafayette put Ashley Brignac on the bump and so far the switch has not paid off. Brignac has given up 8 earned runs in 4 innings.

There is no chance I am going to root for Arizona State after they won last year. Go Ragin Cajuns!

#10
SpartanIlliniCub

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Posted Image

The final 8 is set! The teams are:

1. California
2. Alabama
3. Arizona State
4. Oklahoma
5. Tennessee
6. Oregon
7. South Florida
8. LSU

My underdog favorite Louisiana-Lafayette was defeated by Arizona State after winning the first super regional game 6-0. It would have been an awesome storyline to have such a small school upset the defending champion, but it was not meant to be. After getting lit up in game 1 Arizona State ace Dallas Escobedo bounced back to pitch a 7-strikeout shutout to close out the series.

Oregon upset Texas for a berth in the WCWS. Texas always seems to have a good squad, but they never live up to expectations. Texas won game 1 of the super regional series but could not seal the deal and lost to Oregon 5-4 in game 2 and 10-6 in game 3. I bet somewhere Cat is crying.

Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts looked unstoppable against Arizona. She and the Sooners defeated Arizona 6-0 and 7-1. Ricketts threw nine strikeouts in game 1 and 13 strikeouts in game 2. She threw 24 strikeouts and scattered just 10 hits in 14 innings.

Cal has gone with Jolene Henderson as their starting pitcher for the playoffs (rather than stud Valerie Arrioto) and the decision has paid off splendidly so far. Cal beat Washington in two games 5-0 and 2-0. Henderson threw 11 strikeouts in game 1 and 9 in game 2. She only allowed 7 hits and completely shut out Washington.

South Florida is the only team from a conference not called the Pac-12, SEC or Big 12. It took them three games to close out Hofstra, but they have a legitimate pitcher in Sara Nevins. Over 21 innings Nevins only let up 10 hits, 4 runs and struck out 19. Unfortunately they have to play red hot Oklahoma in the 1st round of the WCWS, so midnight may fast be approaching for this Cinderella story.

The games start on Thursday 5/31/12. It's going to be a crazy ride!

#11
SpartanIlliniCub

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Tennessee is another cool story this season. Tennessee has a team of sisters that are both excelling in the circle. The elder is junior Ivy Renfroe. So far this season Ivy has pitched 206 innings and has a 25-8 record, a 1.73 ERA, and 194 strikeouts. The younger is sophomore Ellen Renfroe. So far this season Ellen has pitched 225 innings and has a 27-4 record, 1.18 ERA and 276 strikeouts.

Though Ellen edged out Ivy in innings and statistical performance during the regular season, Tennessee seems to be giving Ivy the majority of the innings in the playoffs. Ivy pitched all of the innings in Tennessee's regional games and 2 of the 3 games in the super regional. When Ellen did get the circle in game 2 of the super regional against Georgia, she pitched a three-hit shutout with three strikeouts and led the Volunteers to a 1-0 victory.

It must be hard for Ellen, who has significantly better stats, to watch her sister get playoff innings ahead of her. Ellen's performance during the regular season should have earned her a shot to be Tennessee's #1 pitcher during the 2012 playoffs. Ivy appears to be getting innings solely because she is older. I know I would resent that if I was Ellen.

Posted Image Ivy Renfroe

Posted Image Ellen Renfroe

#12
CatOsterFan

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Only three teams dispatched their competition in two games: California, Oklahoma, and Alabama. Cal had the largest run differential with 7 to 0, Oklahoma had the next biggest differential with 13 to 1, and Alabama had the smallest with 8 to 4. All three teams faced pretty stiff competition: Cal faced Pac-12 rival Washington, Oklahoma faced off against Arizona, and Alabama defeated Michigan. We may well see two of these three teams in the WCWS final.

#13
CatOsterFan

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I cannot believe Florida did not make it to the WCWS. Heck, Florida didn't even make it out of the regional despite a #1 seed. Florida made it to the WCWS final in 2011, and this year it had a lot of returning starters. One of the most important was sophomore ace pitcher Hannah Rogers. In 2012 Rogers had a great season with a 28-8 record, 228 innings pitched, 1.23 ERA, and 202 strikeouts.

Rogers performed really well in the regional games too. The early exit cannot be blamed on her. In the regionals Florida opened up with a loss to Florida Gulf Coast 2-1, then defeated UCF 7-1, beat Florida Gulf Coast 6-2, and then lost to South Florida 1-0. Rogers only gave up 6 runs in 4 games, but the offense fell silent when the Gators needed it most. Especially in that last 1-0 loss. That was a big setback for Florida, but Rogers is only going to get better as she becomes an upperclassmen, and the Gators will develop their current talent and probably bring in some new ringers for next year I'm sure.

At least Hannah Rogers and Michelle Moultrie were named All Americans today. Maybe that will take away some of the sting (though I doubt it).

#14
SpartanIlliniCub

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All eight WCWS teams play tomorrow. The games start at 1 PM Eastern and continue through 9:30 at night. The matchups are:

Bracket 1:
1. South Florida vs Oklahoma
2. LSU vs California

Bracket 2:
3. Tennessee vs Alabama
4. Oregon vs Arizona State

Who are you all picking to win? I am taking Oklahoma, Cal, Alabama and Arizona to win their games.

#15
Papa Thor

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I cannot believe Florida did not make it to the WCWS. Heck, Florida didn't even make it out of the Regional despite a #1 seed.

You may not have heard but Florida kicked three starters off the team just prior to the regionals (It's About the Program). That was enough to change the balance of power.

Even though it's double elimination, it's too bad it worked out that two Pac-12 teams and two SEC teams are facing off against each other in the first round.

I'm with you, Spartan: Oklahoma, Cal (GO BEARS!!!), Alabama, and ASU in the first round.

#16
SpartanIlliniCub

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Oklahoma upsets Cal! #4 seed Oklahoma defeated #1 seed Cal today 3-0. The Sooners were powered by the masterful performance of ace pitcher Keilani Ricketts. Ricketts pitched a complete game shutout with 16 strikeouts and only two hits. Ricketts also helped her team from the plate with an RBI in the game. The Sooners offense was given a tremendous boost by leadoff hitter Georgia Casey, who had a hit, an RBI, and two runs.

With the Sooners defeating the highly touted #1-seeded Bears I think they will eventually win it all. Keilani Ricketts is peaking at the exact right time of the season and I think she is going to lead her team to its first national title since 2000.

#17
CatOsterFan

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Arizona State was another winner vs Oregon yesterday, but Dallas Escobedo did not look very sharp. She gave up five hits and only struck out five. Those are not the kind of WCWS numbers we are used to Escobedo putting up. The Ducks looked a little overwhelmed and not quite comfortable under the bright lights of the WCWS.

It's always nice when you can get away with a win even after not playing your best, but Escobedo is going to need to elevate her game if she wants to lead her team deep into the WCWS. We'll see how she does tonight against Alabama. Escobedo vs Traina is going to be an incredible matchup! Can't wait.

#18
SpartanIlliniCub

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Alabama upsets Arizona State! What an amazing game last night. The #2 seed defeated #1 seed and defending champion Arizona State 2-1.

Traina vs Escobedo was as exciting as promised and both pitchers turned in excellent performances. Traina pitched 7 innings with 11 strikeouts and only gave up 3 hits and 1 earned run. Escobedo also pitched 7 innings and struck out 9 while giving up 7 hits and 2 earned runs. The turning point in the game was a 5th inning home run by Crimson Tide slugger Amanda Locke. Way to go Alabama!

Things have not gone very well so far for the Pac 12 this WCWS tournament. Cal, Oregon, and Arizona State all already have one loss and are on the verge of elimination. Could this be a year where a non-Pac 12 team takes home the final prize? The last non-Pac 12 team to win was Michigan in 2005, and before that Oklahoma in 2000—only two non-Pac 12 in 11 years!

There are two losers' bracket elimination games today in South Florida vs LSU and Tennessee vs Oregon. I can't wait to watch!

#19
SpartanIlliniCub

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South Florida has been eliminated by LSU. What a thrilling game. LSU pitcher Brittany Mack threw a complete game shutout and her curve ball was absolutely FILTHY. During an in-game interview USF's coach said that pitch should be illegal (he was kidding of course).

Mack really had a terrific game. She was intense, had a ton of energy and was a great leader for her team. After watching the game today I see what the USSSA Pride must have seen when they drafted her #1.

The winning run scored after a tag-up from 3rd on an infield fly ball to the short stop! A slightly off target throw from the short stop let the run slide in untouched. Fantastic game. Very exciting. If LSU plays this well against ASU the Sun Devils will really have their hands full.

#20
CatOsterFan

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It's so nice to be able to watch these games live on ESPN and ESPN2. It's really fantastic to see softball played to packed stadiums too. Life is good.




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