Oklahoma No. 1 seed: NCAA softball tournament matchups set, outlook for regional round

The growth of collegiate softball has turned the NCAA tournament into must-see television over the last several years. That growth was felt on selection Sunday as anticipation built for the 64 programs and teams on the bubble that awaited their fate from the selection committee.

This next weekend marks the first step in the march to the Women’s College World Series for the Oklahoma Sooners and the 63 other teams that hope to knock off the reigning, defending undisputed back-to-back NCAA champions.

With tournament play beginning this Friday, here’s a look at each of the 16 regional sites.

Norman Regional - Marita Hynes Field

No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners: 51-1, 18-0 in Big 12, Big 12 Champs

California Golden Bears: 33-19-1, 9-14-1, 6th in Pac-12

Missouri Tigers: 34-24, 7-17, last in SEC

Hofstra Pride: 29-25, 16-7 in CAA, CAA Champs

The top-seeded Oklahoma Sooner will be the favorites to emerge from the Norman regional. The No. 1 team in the nation is on a roll. Since losing to Baylor in February, the Sooners have rattled off 43-straight wins.

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Los Angeles Regional

No. 2 UCLA Bruins: 52-5, 21-3 in Pac-12, regular season champ

Liberty Flames: 38-20, 19-5 in ASUN

San Diego State Aztecs: 35-15, 16-6 in Mountain West, tournament champs.

Grand Canyon: 46-11, 17-7 in WAC, tournament champs

UCLA will emerge from the regional round in Los Angeles to the Super Regionals. San Diego State’s an intriguing team to watch. They have wins over tournament teams Notre Dame, Wichita State, Loyola-Marymount, Cal State, Long Beach State, Boston, and Minnesota.

Tallahassee Regional

No. 3 Florida State Seminoles: 50-8, 22-2, ACC champions

South Carolina Gamecocks: 37-20, 9-15 10th in SEC

UCF Knights: 39-19, 15-3, AAC champions

Marist Red Foxes: 29-28, 12-8, MAAC tournament champions

South Carolina’s run in the SEC tournament make them an intriguing challenger in the Tallahassee regional. UCF is one of the best mid-major programs in the country. Florida State will be incredibly tough to beat twice, but there will be some good matchups in Tallahassee this weekend.

Knoxville Regional

No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers: 44-8, 19-5, SEC champions

Indiana Hoosiers: 42-18, 18-5, second in Big Ten

Louisville Cardinals: 33-18, 16-7, fourth in ACC

Northern Kentucky: 24-31, 14-10, Horizon tournament champions

Tennessee is the overwhelming favorite in the Knoxville regional, but it will be an intriguing set of matchups. Indiana and Louisville will provide a challenge.



Tuscaloosa Regional

No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide: 40-18, 14-10, tied for 4th in SEC regular season.

Central Arkansas: 44-10, 22-2, ASUN tournament champions

Middle Tennessee: 39-18, 13-10, Conference USA tournament champion

Long Island: 32-24, 14-7 (earned Auto-Bid by Default with Merrimack ineligible).

Alabama’s position as a No. 5 seed shows just how much the committee values SEC play. The Crimson Tide finished tied for fourth in the conference and earned a favorable regional slate with no Power Five programs joining them in Tuscaloosa.

Stillwater Regional

No. 6 Oklahoma State Cowgirls: 41-14, 10-8 in Big 12

Wichita State Shockers: 43-10, 16-2, first in AAC regular season

Nebraska Cornhuskers: 34-20, 16-10, fourth in Big Ten

Maryland-Baltimore County: 26-15, 15-4, American East tournament champions

Oklahoma State struggled over the last month of the season and their reward is they have to face a Wichita State team that beat them twice in the month of April.

Seattle Regional

No. 7 Washington Huskies: 38-12, 16-8, second in Pac-12 regular season

Minnesota Golden Gophers: 37-17, 17-6, third in Big Ten regular season

McNeese State: 44-14, 21-3, Southland tournament champion

Northern Colorado: 26-21, 9-6, Big Sky tournament champion

Washington or Minnesota will be the teams to watch in the Seattle Regional. McNeese earned a 3-2 win over the Huskies in February, providing a bit of intrigue to the regional.

Durham Regional

No. 8 Duke Blue Devils: 45-10, 19-5, second in ACC regular season

Charlotte 49ers: 33-21, 16-7, first in Conference USA regular season

Campbell Fighting Camels: 41-16, 15-5, Big South tournament champions

George Mason Patriots: 35-22, 16-10, Atlantic 10 tournament champions

Duke gets a favorable regional lineup with SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, or Pac-12 teams joining them in Durham.


Stanford Regional

No. 9 Stanford Cardinal: 40-13, 14-10, fourth in the Pac-12

Florida Gators: 36-20, 11-13, eighth in the SEC

Loyola Marymount: 27-20, 12-3, West Coast conference champions

Long Beach State: 31-21, Big West conference champions

Stanford has one of the best pitchers in the game in Nijaree Canady, but the Cardinal will need the rest of the staff to produce in tournament play.

Baton Rouge Regional

10. LSU Tigers: 40-15, 13-11, 6th in the SEC

Louisiana Rajun Cajuns: 46-13, 22-2, Sun Belt tournament champions

Omaha Mavericks: 32-15, 15-5, Summit tournament champion

Prairie View A&M: 26-18, 22-2, SWAC tournament champions

LSU is the favorite here, but they’ll have to overcome a group of teams on a roll after winning their respective conference tournaments.

Fayetteville Regional

No. 11 Arkansas Razorbacks: 38-17, 14-10, 5th in the SEC

Oregon Ducks: 35-15, 14-10, t-4th in Pac-12

Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 29-17-1, 11-12-1, 7th in ACC

Harvard Crimson: 29-15-1, 16-5, Ivy League champions

This is one of the more intriguing regionals that feels very up for grabs. Arkansas and Oregon will be the favorites, but Notre Dame and Harvard could steal a berth in the Super Regionals.

Evanston Regional

No. 12 Northwestern Wildcats: 38-11, 20-3, Big Ten champions

Kentucky Wildcats: 30-20-1, 10-14, 9th in SEC.

Miami (Oh.) Red Hawks: 37-18, 21-8, MAC champions

Eastern Illinois Panthers: 34-19, 16-6, Ohio Valley champions

Eastern Illinois will be making its first appearance in the tournament but won’t have an easy road with Northwestern, Kentucky, and a battle-tested Miami (Oh.).


Austin Regional

No. 13 Texas Longhorns: 42-13-1, 11-7, 2nd in Big 12

Texas A&M Aggies: 33-19, 12-12, 7th in SEC

Texas State Bobcats: 34-23-1, 13-9-1, 5th in Sun Belt

Seton Hall: 42-16, 18-6, Big East champions

It’s a battle of Texas schools and Seton Hall. The Longhorns should emerge from their regional. They’re a young team but one of the best teams in the nation. Texas State picked up a midweek win over Texas back in March in extra innings. Could they pull off another upset?

Athens Regional

No. 14 Georgia Bulldogs: 39-13, 16-7, 2nd in SEC

Virginia Tech Hokies: 37-18, 14-10, 5th in ACC

Boston University: 51-8, 17-1, Patriot champions

N.C. Central: 19-33, 12-7, MEAC tournament champion

This regional looks like Georgia’s to lose. The Bulldogs had a strong season in conference play. The SEC has a ton of depth in the conference and the battle-tested Bulldogs will be ready to roll. Boston is an intriguing team to watch after beating Baylor and Cal State Fullerton and splitting with Long Beach during the regular season.

Salt Lake City Regional

No. 15 Utah Utes: 37-13, 15-9, Pac-12 tournament champions

Baylor Bears: 39-16, 8-10, 4th in Big 12

Ole Miss Rebels: 30-26, 8-16, 11th in SEC

Southern Illinois Salukis: 19-33, 12-7, Missouri Valley tournament champion

Utah earned a host site by beating UCLA in the Pac-12 championship. There’s something about the Utes spoiling things for Pac-12 teams from the Los Angeles area.

Clemson Regional

No. 16 Clemson Tigers: 46-9, 18-6, 3rd in ACC.

Auburn Tigers: 40-17, 15-9, 3rd in SEC.

Cal State Fullerton: 33-19, 20-7, 2nd in Big West

UNC Greensboro: 37-20, 13-4, Southern Conference tournament champion

Clemson and Auburn will be the favorites to come out of the regional but don’t sleep on a Cal State Fullerton team that holds wins this season over California, Oregon, Tennessee, Florida, Oregon State, and UCF.

Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire