It’s the time of year where there’s so much going on: graduations, Memorial Day barbeques and this little thing called the NCAA Softball Tournament.
Credit to the NCAA: it knows how to throw a great party and, if you love great softball—from huge offensive plays to stellar pitching—this weekend will be one where it’ll be tough to not stay glued to the TV.
ESPN’s network of channels could host as many as 24 games if all of the eight Super Regionals would go the max three games (it’s a best of 3 format… we love the NCAA’s “interactive bracket” which has everything you’ll need to follow on this one page) and if Thursday’s kickoff of the Super Regionals is any indication, we have some great, great Div. I college softball ahead of us!
Two of the eight Supers began with a bang: two close games including an upset in the Tallahassee Super Regional as #13 seed Oklahoma State beat #4 seed Florida State 3-1 and in Tuscaloosa #8 seed Alabama shutout #9 seed Texas 3-0.
Oklahoma State 3, Florida State 1
If the reigning National Champion Florida State Seminoles are to make a return to the Women’s College World Series, they’ll have to win the next two games after losing Game 1 Thursday night.
Oklahoma State posted its 17th comeback win of the season Thursday, as the Cowgirls flipped a 1-0 deficit against No. 4 Florida State into a 3-1 win in nine innings to take the first game of the Tallahassee Super Regional.
It was the seventh time this season that OSU has come from behind to defeat a ranked opponent, and is the Cowgirls' highest-ranked road win since defeating No. 1 Florida, 1-0, in the Gainesville Regional on May 21, 2017.
Samantha Show gave up a leadoff single in the fourth inning but she retired the next 18 batters she faced to keep the Cowgirls in it.
The right-hander recorded five strikeouts against the Seminoles and walked just one en route to tossing her 19th complete game of the season. In 17 of those outings, including Thursday's win, Show has allowed no more than two earned runs, and she now has pitched 77 of a possible 104 innings against top-15 opponents for OSU this season.
The Cowgirls logged only four hits over the first eight innings, but it was in the game-deciding ninth where things sparked, as Madi Sue Montgomery led off with a first-pitch double to center field. Michaela Richbourg followed the senior immediately with a two-run home run to right-center field that put Oklahoma State on top, 3-1.
The Cowgirls are now just a single win away from clinching their eighth trip to the Women's College World Series, and their first since 2011. Their first chance to do so will come at the same time and on the same channel tomorrow, as the two premier programs meeting at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.
"Obviously a really good softball game," coach Kenny Gajewski said. "I didn't like the way we started. I thought (Florida State pitcher Meghan) King was really good and had us tied up, but we adjusted and got that done. Really proud of Samantha (Show). I thought she got stronger as the game went. A great crowd and a great game - the atmosphere here is awesome. It's going to take everything we've got to finish this thing out."
Excerpts from Oklahoma State’s softball game recap… to read the entire story click HERE.
Alabama 3, Texas 0
Alabama softball was lights-out in the circle to open its Super Regional series against Texas Thursday night, shutting out the Longhorns, 3-0.
The Crimson Tide struck first against Texas with a two-run home run from senior Merris Schroder in the third inning with an added insurance run from freshman Skylar Wallace on a fielding error in the fourth.
The Alabama defense and freshman Montana Fouts (18-4) did the rest, with the rookie right-hander allowing just three hits and no walks in the complete-game shutout.
Game two of the Super Regional series is set for an 8 p.m. CT first pitch on ESPN Friday, May 24 at Rhoads Stadium.
"Montana had a bounce-back game tonight with no walks and five k's against a very good team," UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. "It was just a much better performance. Steph [VanBrakle Prothro] told the team postgame that [Fouts] basically hit every spot except for the ball that was hit right back at her, and after that she just finished the deal. It was just a good opening Super Regional win."
Excerpts from Alabama’s softball game recap… to read the entire story click HERE.
Here’s is the schedule for all of this weekend’s games courtesy of the NCAA’s softball site:
*Indicates Host Institution
All times ET
Oklahoma* vs. Northwestern Super Regional- May 24-26 at Norman, Oklahoma
Game 1: Oklahoma vs. Northwestern | Friday, May 24, 3 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 2: Oklahoma vs. Northwestern | Saturday, May 25, 4 p.m. | ESPN
Game 3: Oklahoma vs. Northwestern | Sunday, May 26, 2 p.m. | ESPN
Alabama* vs. Texas Super Regional- May 23-25 at Tuscaloosa Alabama
Game 1: Alabama 3, Texas 0
Game 2: Texas vs. Alabama, Friday, May 24, 9 p.m. | ESPN
Game 3: Texas vs. Alabama, Saturday, May 25, 2 p.m. | ESPN
Florida* vs. Tennessee Super Regional- May 24- 26 at Gainesville, Florida
Game 1: Florida vs. Tennessee, Friday, May 24, 7 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 2: Florida vs. Tennessee, Saturday, May 25, 6 p.m. | ESPN
Game 3: Florida vs. Tennessee, Sunday, May 26, 2 p.m. | ESPNU
Florida State* vs. Oklahoma State Super Regional- May 23-25 at Tallahassee, Florida
Game 1: Oklahoma State 3, Florida State 1 (9 inn.)
Game 2: Oklahoma State vs. Florida State, Friday, May 24, 7 p.m. | ESPN
Game 3: Oklahoma State vs. Florida State, Saturday, May 25, 12 p.m. | ESPN
Washington* vs. Kentucky Super Regional at Seattle, Washington
Game 1: Washington vs. Kentucky, Friday, May 24, 9 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 2: Washington vs. Kentucky, Saturday, May 25, 10 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 3: Washington vs. Kentucky, Sunday, May 26, 10 p.m. | ESPN2
Ole Miss* vs. Arizona Super Regional - May 25-26 at Tuscon, Arizona
Game 1: Ole Miss vs. Arizona, Friday May 24, 7 p.m. | ESPNU
Game 2: Ole Miss vs. Arizona, Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m. |ESPN2
Game 3: Ole Miss vs. Arizona, Sunday, May 26, 8 p.m. | ESPN2
Minnesota* vs. LSU Super Regional - May 24-26 at Minneapolis, Minnesota
Game 1: Minnesota vs. LSU, Friday, May 24, 5 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 2: Minnesota vs. LSU, Saturday, May 25, 6 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 3: Minnesota vs. LSU, Sunday, May 26, 4 p.m. | ESPN
James Madison vs. UCLA* Super Regional- May 24-26 at Los Angeles, California
Game 1: James Madison vs. UCLA, Friday, May 24, 9 p.m. | ESPNU
Game 2: James Madison vs. UCLA, Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m. | ESPN
Game 3: James Madison vs. UCLA, Sunday, May 26, 4 p.m. | ESPN