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Women's College World Series 2017


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#1
CatOsterFan

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Here are your top 16 seeds for the 2017 NCAA Regionals:

 

1. Florida Gators

2. Arizona Wildcats

3. Oregon Ducks

4. Florida State Seminoles

5. UCLA Bruins

6. Washington Huskies

7. Auburn Tigers

8. Tennessee Volunteers

9. Texas A&M Aggies

10. Oklahoma Sooners

11. Utah Utes

12. Ole Miss Rebels

13. LSU Tigers

14. Kentucky Wildcats

15. Baylor Bears

16. Alabama Crimson Tide

 

Of course the biggest story is that the #1 team in the country, Minnesota, is somehow not seeded in the NCAA Regionals.  The selection committee's main job is to avoid and minimize controversy and they completely blew it this year and really screwed over Minnesota in the process.

 

Looking over this I also see that James Madison also got screwed over.  They are ranked #11 and are also not seeded in the tournament.

 

Oklahoma, seeded #10 looks to me to have the easiest road to the Super Regional.  The only other power conference team in their group is Arkansas who went 7-17 in SEC play and ranked 2nd to last. The only other teams Oklahoma would need to best are Tulsa and North Dakota State.

 

Games start this Friday May 19, and it's going to be a great postseason!



#2
KCSoftball

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I don't care what the committee states, Minnesota was jobbed! I really would like to know who and where the loyalty of those members lie? The SEC is the largest conference in the country and that alone starts them with a leg up on all committees!  They are telling all of us that Ole Miss, Alabama, Utah, Baylor, LSU, and Kentucky are all better? Time will tell!



#3
SpartanIlliniCub

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I have bad news...Minnesota got jobbed again yesterday!  Minnesota played Alabama (the top seed in its Region) 0-0 for 9 innings.  In the bottom of the 9th the bases were loaded and Minnesota ace Sara Groenewegen picthed a strike with a 3-1 count that the umpire counted as a ball, allowing the winning run to score in true "walk-off" fashion.

 

Can't Minnesota catch a break?  My God!  Alabama has now reached the Regional final with 0 losses.  Minnesota will need to beat Louisiana Tech and then beat Alabama twice to advance to the Super Regional (for the opportunity to play #1-overall-seed Florida most likely).

 

It's a shame because Minnesota absolutely proved it belonged and could hang with elite programs when it went toe-to-toe with Alabama for nine innings.  The road is going to be exceedingly tough for the Golden Gophers from here on out, but they have proven themselves capable and have excelled through adversity so far this season.  Now it's time to see what they really can do!!



#4
SpartanIlliniCub

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After two days of games, only one team from a major conference has been eliminated: Arizona State.  The Sun Devils lost to Ole Miss and North Carolina, and the team was sent home. 

 

Ole Miss continues to be on a tear and has earned a berth in the Regional final to play North Carolina for the chance to make the Super Regional. 

 

And after two days only two top-seeded team have losses: Oklahoma (which was beaten by North Dakota State) and LSU (which was beaten by perennial Cinderella team Louisiana Lafayette).   We will know our Super Regional pairings by day's end.  Stay tuned!!



#5
SpartanIlliniCub

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Arizona junior Danielle O'Toole is looking pretty unhittable right now.  In yesterday's game against South Carolina (a legit SEC school) O'Toole pitched a complete game one-hitter with seven strikeouts.  In yesterday's game O'Toole and the Arizona Wildcats defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 5-0.  Arizona will face off against South Carolina again today to see who makes the trip to the Super Regional.

 

O'Toole was one of the brightest pitching stars in the NCAA this season.  She finished the regular season with a a 1.02 ERA, 205 innings, 29-4 record, 202 strikeouts and 0.170 opponents' batting average. 

 

O'Toole  is peaking at the exact right time, and if she continues to play at this level throughout the postseason, Arizona will be tough to beat!



#6
SpartanIlliniCub

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The following teams have punched their tickets and will be playing in the Super Regional:

1. Florida vs Oklahoma

2. Tennessee vs Texas A&M

3. UCLA vs Ole Miss

4. Florida State vs Unknown

5. Oregon vs Kentucky

6. Washington vs Utah

7. Auburn vs Unknown

8. Arizona vs Baylor

 

LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette, and McNeese are currently vying for the right to play Florida State.  LSU and McNeese have one loss each, while Louisiana-Lafayette has none.

 

Oklahoma and Tulsa are battling for the opportunity to line up against Auburn.  Oklahoma really put its back against the wall yesterday by losing in an upset to North Dakota State 3-2.  But Oklahoma stormed back in a rematch to win 10-2 and eliminate North Dakota State.

 

Oklahoma struggled early on against Tulsa today—ace pitcher Paige Parker only lasted 1.2 innings and allowed 2 hits, 2 earned runs, and 3 walks before being yanked.  But Oklahoma kept grinding and eventually won on a walk-off home run by 3B Sydney Romero. 

 

The final games will be played and the final Super Regional tickets will be punched tomorrow.  Stay tuned!



#7
MammaZord

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So far, no big upsets. Oklahoma losing to North Dakota State in its first game—that was a little shocking. Good on the Sooners for getting it together and making it to the Regional final. Tulsa won't be an easy out in that second game! I am looking forward to watching it, and I'm hoping for an upset. Nothing against Oklahoma, but it's more fun when there is a Cinderella story! 

 

There are so many good matchups in the Regional finals! I am looking forward to the UCLA vs Ole Miss bout. The Rebs are on a tear and it should be a good matchup.  



#8
SpartanIlliniCub

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Defending NCAA champion Oklahoma somehow pulled off a furious comeback to make it into the Super Regional.  Oklahoma was in one of the easier Regional pools this year.  The three other teams were Tulsa, North Dakota State, and Arkansas.  Arkansas is an SEC school, but Arkansas went 7-17 in conference and ranked 2nd to last in the conference in 2017.

 

Maybe Oklahoma thought its Regional pool was too easy and overestimated it, because the Sooners were upset big-time in the first game, losing to North Dakota State 3-2.  It is very rare for a team that loses its first game in the Regional to move on to the Super Regional, and Oklahoma's back was definitely to the wall, but it found a way to win when it mattered.

 

Oklahoma battled back and defeated Arkansas 5-3 in the losers' bracket, then beat North Dakota State in a revenge game 10-2.  The Sooners were then faced with the formidable task of defeating unbeaten Tulsa twice in a row to advance.  Oklahoma won the first game 6-4, then came up big again to beat Tulsa 3-0.

 

Oklahoma now advances to the Super Regionals to face #7-seed Auburn.



#9
CatOsterFan

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Which conferences came out on top in the Regional?

 

Eight out of the 16 teams are from the SEC, five are from Pac-12, two are from the Big 12 and one is from the ACC. 

 

Everyone was upset that SEC teams got so many seeds in the Regional, but SEC teams did enough winning to justify their seeds. 



#10
MammaZord

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Alabama beat Florida in game one of the Super Regional! I didn't see the game, but looking at the box score, Alabama had a big 5th inning! The Crimson Tide scored three unearned runs.

 

Great small-ball play by Alabama, but errors really did Florida in: two throwing errors by Kelly Barnhill throwing to first on Alabama bunts! Yikes—she really had the yips! Perhaps nerves got to her a bit; hopefully she can rally and the Gators can get back in it in game two. 



#11
CatOsterFan

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What could be better than watching postseason college softball ALL DAY LONG?  Lots of great stories from today's game action.

 

My favorite story of the NCAA Super Regional so far has to be Oklahoma.  Oklahoma lost its first game in the Regionals and was staring elimination in the face.  Against all odds it rallied to advance to the Super Regional but it drew Auburn, the #2-ranked team in the SEC, as its Super Regional matchup.  Once again it rallied and defeated Auburn in two straight games 4-0 and 5-2.

 

Perhaps most important is that Paige Parker did not pitch in game two.  Parker pitched nearly every inning for the Sooners in their 2015 championship campaign, but now Oklahoma has better pitching depth and it is really working well!  Oklahoma looked like their postseason was going to end early, but now it may be the most dangerous team in the WCWS!  Perhaps the team will rally behind that first loss and use it to carry them to a 2nd straight title!

 

Florida is another hot story.  The Gators were ranked #1 through nearly all of the 2017 season.  Florida lost last season in the Super Regional and I figured it would be on a mission to avenge its early exit from 2016.  So the softball world was collectively shocked when it saw Alabama beat Florida in game one of their Super Regional matchup.  But the loss did not seem to phase Florida who won the next two games 2-0 and 2-1 to advance to the 2017 WCWS.  Finally we get to see this Florida team in the WCWS!

 

I watched a great Tennessee vs Texas A&M game today.  Tennessee won game one and was up 3-0 in the 5th inning.  The announcer even said something like "you can start to see Tennessee getting excited about the chance to go the WCWS."  Then Texas A&M had a huge inning in the 5th and took the lead 4-3.  Texas A&M went on to win the game and tie the Super Regional series up 1-1. 

 

Lots of very tight match-ups and great softball! I cannot wait for tomorrow.  We may have four game-three's tomorrow!  Hooray!



#12
SpartanIlliniCub

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Baylor!  Baylor's success is another amazing story from the Super Regional.  Baylor was a #15-seed taking on #2-seed Arizona.  Arizona won a stacked Pac-12 conference regular season title this year and was looking very strong heading into the playoffs.  Arizona's Danielle O'Toole was having an All-American-type season with a 1.21 ERA, 30-5 record, 219 innings pitched, 210 strikeouts and a .184 opponents' batting average.  She is a prototypical WCWS-title-style pitcher.

 

Arizona was poised to make a long run and make it to the WCWS behind O'Toole's rocket arm, but Baylor came through with an incredible upset.  Arizona took game one 3-2, but Baylor stormed back with a game two 6-4 win.  O'Toole took the mound for game three, but Baylor jumped on her early and hung 3 runs on the board by the third inning.  Baylor was actually ready to add to its lead, but a Baylor player missed tagging 3rd and was declared out.  Arizona had new life and put up 2 runs in the 5th and 6th innings to take the lead 5-4, but a key Baylor home run in the 7th inning put the Baylor Bears up for good and stamped their ticket to the WCWS. 

 

Congrats to Baylor and the Big 12 conference on the incredible win!



#13
MammaZord

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Texas A&M's Trinity Harrington is the story of the WCWS for me. Trinity lost her father to cancer during the NCAA tourney, but she returned in the Super Regionals to pitch a complete game win, sending the Aggies to the WCWS. Harrington was 13-2 with a 1.46 ERA during the regular season, but she missed time during the SEC and NCAA tournies due to her father's illness. She was able to be by his side when he passed, and she returned to help her team defeat Tennessee to get into the WCWS!!

 

It must have been so difficult for her to get into the mental state necessary to perform in the game against Tennessee. It goes to show what a strong bond she must have with her teammates—they had her back and trusted she could get the job done when the season was on the line. Her dad is surely looking down on her with great pride! 

 

This is an amazing story, and I'll be rooting for Trinity and the Aggies to go all the way! 



#14
CatOsterFan

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The WCWS is set!  Here are your 2017 teams:

 

1. Florida

2. UCLA

3. Texas A&M

4. LSU

5. Oregon

6. Washington

7. Oklahoma

8. Baylor

 

Conference breakdown:

SEC: 3

Pac-12: 3

Big 12: 2

 

This is the WCWS "field of upsets."  Fully half the teams in the WCWS field—Texas A&M, LSU, Oklahoma, and Baylor—beat higher seeds to make the WCWS tournament, further proof that parity is the trend in college softball and any team has a chance to beat any other team.

 

Florida is the obvious favorite for the WCWS. It was ranked #1 nearly the entire regular season.  Baylor is the lowest seeded team in the WCWS, but it beat a very strong Arizona team and absolutely deserves to be there.

 

It should be one heck of a WCWS!  Games begin Thursday June 1.  Tune in!



#15
SpartanIlliniCub

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Florida trounced Texas A&M in game 1.  The Gators humiliated the Aggies 8-0 in a 5-inning mercy rule victory.  Florida sent ace pitcher 1-A Kelly Barnhill to the mound, and she blanked the Aggies over four innings and only allowed 3 hits while striking out 5.  Florida then sent ace pitcher 1-B Delanie Gourley to the mound for the final inning, and she retired 3 out of 4 batters to end the inning.

 

The Florida bats pounced early and churned 2 runs on 3 hits in the first inning.  Florida manufactured 2 more runs off 2 hits and a walk to go up 4-0 after 2 innings.  Florida then put up 1 additional run in the 3rd and 3 runs in the 4th.  After a 5th shutout inning, the game was over by mercy rule. 

 

Florida is on a mission, and is going to be VERY tough to beat!



#16
SpartanIlliniCub

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#13-seed LSU has upset #5-seed UCLA!  LSU junior pitcher Allie Walljasper got the job done today with a 7-inning, 1-earned-run, 8-hits-allowed performance.  Allie didn't overpower the UCLA offense, but she kept it spread thin enough to only let in 1 run and put her offense in position to take advantage and secure victory. 

 

LSU's offense hit two consecutive blasts to the wall to score in the first, and plated the winning run in the 5th inning with a player who appeared to be out but was called safe because of catcher obstruction at the plate.

 

Exciting game!  The action continues tomorrow!



#17
SpartanIlliniCub

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Add another trouncing to Florida's 2017 WCWS resume.

 

LSU was fresh off of an upset victory over UCLA and had to be confident it could play with any team—until it met Florida.  Ace pitcher Kelly Barnhill delivered again for the Gators with a 2nd straight shutout victory.  Barnhill pitched a complete game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks. 

 

Florida's defense was excellent, but its offense was even better: Janelle Wheaton and Kayli Kvistad hit home runs and collectively drove in 4 runs.  Florida's offense put up 9 hits and 7 runs in 7 innings.  Very impressive.

 

In two WCWS games, Florida has outscored its opponents 15-0!  That is domination!



#18
SpartanIlliniCub

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It's going to be defending champ Oklahoma vs #1 seed Florida in the WCWS final.

 

Today Florida beat Washington 5-2.  Florida was up 5-0 on Washington until the 7th inning, when the Huskies were able to put up 2 pity runs.  Florida used its 2nd ace pitcher Delaney Gourley to face Washington, and she delivered!  Gourley pitched 7 innings and only allowed 2 runs and 2 hits in the 7th inning.  She also struck out 10. She was magnificent today!

 

But the real story was Florida's continued offensive assault against other WCWS pitchers. Florida hitters put up 7 hits over 7 innings and manufactured 5 runs.  The top of the Florida lineup was especially impressive: it put up 5 of Florida's 7 hits and was responsible for 4 of Florida's 5 RBI.

 

If Florida hitters and pitchers continue to put up numbers like this, they will win the WCWS handily.



#19
CatOsterFan

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The field is set!  Defending champion Oklahoma will take on #1-seed Florida in the WCWS final.  What a great matchup!

 

Oklahoma finished regular season conference play in the Big 12 with a 17-1 record, yet only managed a #10-seed in the Regionals.  That shows you how much respect the Big 12 gets.  But Oklahoma was about to prove the seed committee right in downgrading the Big 12 after Oklahoma started the Regional playoff with a loss to lowly North Dakota State.  It looked like it was all over for the Sooners, but the team has since won 9 in a row to make it to the WCWS final.

 

Florida was ranked #1 for most of the year and has a truly exceptional team led by ace pitchers Kelly Barnhill and Delanie Gourley.  Florida outscored opponents 16-1 in the Regional, beat fellow SEC superpower Alabama in the Super Regional, and cruised through the WCWS while outscoring opponents 20-2 in 3 games.

 

These two titans are now set to square off in a "best-of-3" championship series in Oklahoma City.  Whatever the outcome, it's going to be a great series!



#20
SpartanIlliniCub

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The word epic is seldom an understatement, but that  perfectly describes what happened last night when the Oklahoma Sooners won game 1 in a 17-inning nail-biting roller coaster slug match. 

 

Oklahoma was up 2-1 in the top of the 7th with 2 outs and 2 strikes, but Gator Sophia Reynoso hit a ball to the outfield that dropped just short of the Oklahoma fielder's mitt and allowed speedy Alesia Ocasio to score all the way from 1st base.  On to extra innings!

 

In the 12th inning Oklahoma's Fale Aviu hit a 2-run blast to put Oklahoma up 4-2.  After switching sides, Oklahoma was again up with 2 outs and ready to close the Gators out.  There were Gator baserunners at 1st and 2nd.  Then Gator Amanda Lorenz hit a shot to the gap that scored 2 Florida runs and again tied up the game.  Florida had saved themselves from defeat again!!

 

But despite the sensational comebacks, it all unraveled for Florida in the top of the 17th when Oklahoma freshmen Shay Knighten hit a towering 3-run bomb that put the Sooners up for good 7-4. 

 

This was the longest game in WCWS finals history!! What a historic match!!






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