2015 NCAA Softball Tournament: Super Regionals Day 3 Wrap Up
The third day of the 2015 NCAA Softball Tournament Super Regionals saw three more teams book their trip to the 2015 Women’s College World Series. Three other Super Regionals also started action with their games scheduled to finish on Sunday.
Note: Games will be added to their respective super regional as they are completed.
#4 Auburn Versus #13 Louisiana-Lafayette – Auburn Super Regional Game 2
Auburn made program history by making their first Women’s College World Series with a 6-3 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in game two of their Super Regional.
Auburn took the lead in the top of the first with a single by Branndi Melero after a double and wild pitch allowed Kasey Cooper to get to third. Melero subsequently stole second, but the Tigers could only manage that one run.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were able to come up with a rally in the bottom of the first. It started with a single from Haley Hayden and walk to Shellie Landry with no outs while Lexie Elkins loaded the bases following an infield single. A single from Samantha Walsh drove in Hayden, but that was followed up by a double play to prevent any more runs from scoring.
The Tigers were back into scoring position in the top of the second with an error by Louisiana that allowed Jade Rhodes to reach second. She advanced to third on an illegal pitch, but a line out and fly out ended the threat.
Louisiana-Lafayette was able to take the lead in the bottom of the second with back-to-back singles from Kelli Martinez and Hayden. Landry drew a walk to load the bases with one out with Elkins single to center field to score Martinez to make it 2-1. The damage ended there for Auburn as they induced back-to-back fly outs to end the inning.
The Tigers were back into scoring position in the third with Cooper advancing to third with two outs, but once again they could not score. That changed in the top of the fourth with three straight singles from Auburn to load the bases with no outs. J Abbott singled back to the pitcher who was unable to handle it and H Fagan was able to score to make it 2-2. The Tigers loaded the bases again, but a fly out ended that opportunity.
In the bottom of the fourth, Louisiana-Lafayette loaded the bases with one out, but a double play ball ended the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Auburn finally was able to reclaim the lead. Morgan Estell lead off with a bunt single and advanced to third on two illegal pitches. She scored on a wild pitch to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. Following two walks and a ground out, Cooper came up and cleared all the bases with a three run blast to left field to provide some cushion at 6-2.
Louisiana-Lafayette was able to get one run back in the bottom of the sixth following a bases loaded walk to Walsh, but a fly out stymied their rally and left them trailing 6-3 after six innings.
The Ragin’ Cajuns had one last chance in the bottom of the seventh. Leandra Maly was able to draw a one out walk, but a pop out to second and ground out to short ended the game to send Auburn to their first ever Women’s College World Series.
Kentucky Versus #1 Florida – Gainesville Super Regional Game 1
The top seeded Florida Gators defeated fellow SEC opponent Kentucky 7-0 in the first game of their Super Regional. Lauren Haeger pitched a superb game giving up only two hits in a complete game shutout while striking out six.
The Gators jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Kelsey Stewart led off with a bunt single to third and she was followed by a single to left field from Nicole DeWitt that put runners on the corners. DeWitt then stole second, but the Gators quickly got two outs before a walk to Kirsti Merritt loaded the bases. Taylor Fuller was hit by a pitch to score Stewart while the next sequence provided some controversy.
Kayli Kvistad took a swing and hit the ball, which was fielded by the first baseman for Kentucky and appeared to end the inning. However, the umpire ruled the ball to be foul while replays showed the ball hit off her foot.
That bit of fortune for the Gators led to Kvistad hitting a bases clearing double to right field and give them a 4-0 lead after the first.
The next several innings were slow for both offenses. Between the second and fifth innings, each team was retired in order with no base runners for either team.
Kentucky only got their first hit in the top of the sixth with a single from Kara Howard to left field. They were unable to gain any momentum as Haeger was dominant from start to finish in this contest.
The Gators were able to extend the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Haeger led off the inning with a solo shot and two batters later, Merritt crushed a two run shot down the left field line that hit off the foul pole to make it 7-0.
The Gators were nearly able to run rule Kentucky, but a mix of good defense from the Wildcats and bad base running from by Gators prevented that from happening. The Gators had runners on second and third with one out when Justine McLean came up to bat. She hit a grounder to second, which was thrown home to get the runner out and McLean then tried to reach second, but was also thrown out to end the inning.
The Wildcats got their second hit of the game courtesy of Griffin Joiner in the top of the seventh, but once again Haeger was too much for them.
Game two of the Gainesville Super Regional will be on Sunday at 12 PM Eastern Time. A win by Florida sends them back to the Women’s College World Series while a win by Kentucky will force a game three to be played on Sunday at 3 PM Eastern Time.
#12 Arizona Versus #5 LSU – Baton Rouge Super Regional Game 1
LSU defeated Arizona in an impressive display of offensive in a run rule shortened game. The Tigers won 8-0 in five innings with two RBIs apiece from Bailey Landry and Sahvanna Jaquish.
Arizona looked poised to score in the top of the first following back-to-back walks to open the game. A foul out behind the batter’s box, a strike out, and fly out to center prevented the runners from moving up, let alone even scoring.
The Tigers were swinging the bat hot early on. The first three batters were able to get on base when Jaquish brought home two runs with single to left field. Kellsi Kloss was up next and crushed a double to center field to score another run to make it a 3-0 game. Jaquish was thrown out at home on a grounder, but Kloss was able to score on a wild pitch and LSU led 4-0 after one inning.
The second inning provided the Tigers with more cushion. Bianka Bell and Jaquish walked to put runners on first and second with one out when Sandra Simmons singled to first base to score Bell. A wild pitch allowed Jaquish to score and the Tigers were comfortably in front 6-0 after two innings.
The Tigers continued to see the ball well in the bottom of the third. After an error by Arizona allowed Emily Griggs to reach first, Bailey Landry hit a two run blast two batters later to make it 8-0 after three innings.
LSU’s Carley Hoover pitched five innings giving up one hit, three walks, and striking out one Wildcat hitter. The LSU batters drew 8 walks off the Arizona pitching staff and only struck out once.
LSU and Arizona will finish the series on Sunday afternoon. Game two of the Super Regional will be at 5 PM Eastern Time and a game three will only be necessary if Arizona wins. A potential game three would be played at 8 PM Eastern Time.
#2 Oregon Versus North Carolina State – Eugene Super Regional Game 2
Oregon advanced to the 2015 Women’s College World Series after defeating North Carolina State 9-3 in game two of the Eugene Super Regional.
The scoring did not start until the third inning. In the top frame, Oregon was able to strike first. Danica Mercado started with an infield single and then stole second. Nikki Udria came up two batters later singled to left while Mercado was able to score from second to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
The Wolfpack responded in the bottom of the inning. With runners on first and second with two outs, Molly Hutchison was able to hit a ball to the shortstop and the ensuing throw was poor, which led a run being scored. After three innings the game was tied at one.
The fourth inning, much like in the first game on Friday evening, was a trouble spot for North Carolina State. The Ducks were down to two outs with runners on first and second when the runs began to pour in. A single by Koral Costa to right field scored Jenna Lilley who was able to maneuver to avoid the tag by inches to give Oregon a 2-1 lead.
Mercado was up next and she drove home Lexy Beaudrie-Pierson to make it 3-1. Alyssa Gillespie came up and singled to short left field to score another run to keep runners on first and second. Udria was able to drive home the fourth run of the inning with a single to right field that brough Mercado home.
The Wolfpack were able to get a solo shot from Renada Davis in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 5-2 deficit, but they still had an uphill battle.
The Ducks added more runs in the top of the seventh. It started with single from Janie Takeda and error by the left fielder allowed her to move all the way up to third. After a walk to Jenna Lilley, Hailey Decker came up and hit a single to left field.
Up next was Janelle Lindvall who emptied the bases with a three run shot to right center field to make it a 9-2 game. The Ducks put runners on first and second after the home run, but could not add to their tally.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Wolfpack started the inning with a lead off home run from Sara Lippard to left center field. Cheridan Hawkins settled down after giving up the run to strike out the side. Hawkins pitched the final two innings giving up just that one home run for her only hit, but she recorded all six outs as strike outs.
Karissa Hovinga started the game for Oregon in the circle. She finished the game pitching five innings, giving up two runs, two hits, two walks, and striking out five.
Oregon advanced to the 2015 Women’s College World Series making it the third time in the last four seasons the have advanced to the WCWS. It is Oregon’s fourth appearance overall in the WCWS.
#6 Alabama Versus #11 Oklahoma – Tuscaloosa Super Regional Game 2
A two run shot from Alabama’s Jadyn Spencer was the difference for Alabama in their 2-0 win over Oklahoma. A pivotal game three will be played later on Saturday evening.
Alabama started the game with a single from Demi Turner and a walk to Haylie McCleney. After a ground out put runners on the corners, the Tide went down in order for the final two outs to keep the game scoreless.
The top of the third was where Alabama took the lead. A two out walk drawn by McCleney set up Jadyn Spencer for her at bat where she hit a two run blast to left field for a 2-0 lead.
Oklahoma was struggling to get on with their first runner reaching in the fourth after Shelby Pendley was hit by a pitch. The Sooners were able to fare better in the bottom of the fifth.
Paige Parker opened with a walk and a sacrifice bunt put her pinch runner, Whitney Ellis on second. Tori Nirschl walked while Nicole Pendley struck out to for the second out of the inning. Callie Parsons was able to single up the middle to load the bases, but a critical strike out by Alexis Osorio on a rise ball upstairs sent Lauren Chamberlain and the Sooners to the bench without a run.
In the bottom of the seventh, Oklahoma put a runner on base and was able to move her up to second, but failed to do anything else as they lost 2-0.
Game three will take place on Saturday night with an approximate start at 8:15 PM Eastern Time. The winner advance to the 2015 Women’s College World Series.
#11 Oklahoma Versus #6 Alabama – Tuscaloosa Super Regional Game 3
Alabama is back into the Women’s College World Series thanks to a grand slam from Marisa Runyon in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Tide won a wild back and forth affair 5-3 on Saturday night.
Oklahoma threatened to score in the top of the first. A lead off walk by Lauren Chamberlain was followed two batters later by a bunt single from Erin Miller. The bases were loaded with two outs after a walk to Paige Parker, but the Sooners flied out to end the inning.
The Crimson Tide started the bottom of the first with a lead off single by Demi Turner, but a pop out by Haylie McCleney was followed by double play from right field to first base ended the first inning with the score tied at zero.
There was not much action until the fourth inning when Oklahoma was able to put a runner on second following a stolen base. However, a strike out and ground ball ended that opportunity.
The Tide struck first in the bottom of the fourth. A one out double from McCleney and intentional walk to Jadyn Spencer put runners on first and second with one out. Chaunsey Bell came up and singled as the ball fell in front of the center fielder. That made it 1-0, but two fly balls to the outfield prevented them from doing more damage.
The Sooners were able to comeback in the top of the fifth. Callie Parsons reached on a fielding error and then came Chamberlain who hit a line driver right over the left field wall to give the Sooners a 2-1 lead.
The Sooners kept the pressure on with Shelby Pendley reaching on a dropped ball at first base and then Miller hit a bunt single right between the pitcher and third to reach base. Kady Self sacrificed Pendley and Miller with a sacrifice bunt and only one out on the board. Paige Parker was intentionally walked to load the bases and Alabama was able to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs.
In the top of the sixth, Chamberlain came up again and hit another bomb to left field. This time it was only a solo shot, but still provided the Sooners a pivotal insurance run.
In the bottom half of the sixth Spencer was able to get on base with a single to left and Bell was able to draw a walk in a long eight pitch at bat, but Leona Lafaele popped out to second. Danae Hays was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
With the bases loaded, Marisa Runyon came up and swung on the first pitch and drove it to right field for a grand slam to give Alabama a 5-3 lead after six innings.
The Sooners were down to their final chance in the top of the seventh, but went down in order.
Alabama has advanced to the Women’s College World Series for the tenth time in program history. They won the National Title in 2012 and this will be their fourth WCWS appearance in the last five years.
#10 Missouri Versus #7 UCLA – Los Angeles Super Regional Game 1
UCLA opened their Super Regional with a come from behind win against Missouri. The Bruins won 7-4 thanks to a total of six runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.
Missouri started the game with a single back to the pitcher, before a ground ball got the lead runner at second. Following a stolen base and walk, the Tigers could not put any runs on the board.
UCLA started the bottom of the first with a lead off single from Delaney Spaulding. A ground ball advanced her to second and wild pitch allowed her to move to third base. Ally Carda came up and singled right back up the middle to give the Bruins the early 1-0 lead after the first inning.
Missouri tied up the game in the top of the third with a lead off solo shot from Natalie Fleming to left field. After Taylor Gadbois was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch, Emily Crane singled her to third and was able to move up to second on the throw. Sami Fagan came up and drilled a ball over the right field wall for a three run shot and the Tigers led 4-1 with no outs recorded.
The Tigers were not done with the big hits. Corrin Genovese took a pitch to the opposite field in right for a double and only one out was on the board. Kelsea Roth hit line drive, but Gracie Goulder made a nice diving catch to prevent Genovese from having a chance to score. Carda was able to get a strike out, but the damage was done as Missouri led 4-1 after the top of the third.
The Bruins were able to comeback in the bottom of the third. A two out single by Allexis Bennett and walk drawn by Carda set up Stephany LaRosa to single to left field to bring home Bennett. Maddy Jelenicki was able to clear the bases on a double to left center field that tied the game at four.
The Bruins reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a rocket off the bat of Mysha Sataraka to lead off the frame and give the Bruins a 5-4 lead. The Bruins threatened again in the inning following a bunt and walk. A ground out moved the runners to second and third while a walk to Carda loaded the bases with two outs. Paige Lowary was taken out of the circle following the walk in favor of Tori Finucane.
Finucane started her pitching with a walk to LaRosa that brought home a run and gave UCLA a 6-4 lead. She was able to get a ground out to end the inning with the Tigers down only two runs.
Missouri had a chance to respond in the top of the fifth. A two out rally put runners on first and second, but Carda struck out Roth to end the threat.
UCLA started the bottom of the fifth with Gabrielle Maurice reaching on a throwing error by Missouri’s Sami Fagan and a bunt single by Sataraka. Goulder then hit a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up to second and third with only one out. The bases were loaded following a walk to Kylee Perez.
After a ground out, Finucane walked Bennett bring home another run and make it a 7-4 UCLA lead. A pop out ended the inning, but the task was made difficult with another run added to the board.
The Bruins had a chance to add more runs on the board with the bases loaded and two outs, but a ground out to first base kept Missouri in striking distance.
The Tigers got a pair of two out singles from Fagan and Amanda Sanchez to provide some nervy final moments. A ground ball by Genovese to first base ended the game.
UCLA and Missouri will be back on Sunday to finish the Super Regional with a game time of 3 PM Eastern Time. A win by UCLA will send them to the Women’s College World Series while a win by Missouri will mean a third game will by played. If that third game is necessary, game time will be at approximately 6 PM Eastern Time.