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Mitchell Northam | NCAA.com | May 22, 2019

2019 NCAA Softball tournament: Full Super Regional preview, breakdown

This will get you excited for this year's WCWS

The college softball season is winding down. Only 16 teams remain in the NCAA softball tournament as we head to the Super Regionals. Eight teams are vying for spots in the Women's College World Series.

Play in the super regionals begins on Thursday, May 23. To preview those, we broke down the numbers in each match-up and identified each team's best hitter and best pitcher.

2019 BRACKET: Oklahoma claims No. 1 seed in regionals | View the 2019 bracket

2019 NCAA Softball tournament: Super Regional preview, breakdown

Norman

No. 1 Oklahoma   No. 16 Northwestern
1.10 ERA 1.83
.359 Batting Average .271
7.75 Runs Per Game 5.41
Giselle Juarez
1.15 ERA, 218 Ks
Best Pitcher Danielle Williams
1.38 ERA, 310 Ks
Sydney Romero
18 HRs, 79 hits, .429 avg
Best Hitter Jordyn Rudd
7 HRs, 57 hits, .339 avg

DI SOFTBALL: Scoreboard | Rankings | Bracket

Oklahoma has the top offense and defense in the nation when measuring by earned run average and batting average. In regional play, the Sooners blew out UMBC and then finally eliminated Wisconsin after the Badgers first ended OU's winning streak. Northwestern initially fell into the losers bracket at its regional, but then climbed out of it to claim the title with three straight wins. With Danielle Willams and Giselle Juarez, this could be a pitcher's duel.

Seattle

No. 3 Washington   No. 14 Kentucky
1.48 ERA 3.94
.302 Batting Average .311
5.55 Runs Per Game 6.57
Gabbie Plain
1.21 ERA, 218 Ks
Best Pitcher Grace Baalman
3.49 ERA, 100 Ks
Morganne Flores
21 HRs, 57 hits, .352 avg
Best Hitter Abbey Cheek
20 HRs, 64 hits, .441 avg

SCHEDULE: Dates and times for the 2019 Women's College World Series 

Washington rolled through regional play, outscoring opponents 16-1 over three games. Kentucky breezed through its regional too, outscoring opponents 26-4 over three games. With Abby Cheek and Morganne Flores, we could see a lot of home runs in this match-up. 

Tuscaloosa

No. 8 Alabama   No. 9 Texas
2.03 ERA 1.60
.290 Batting Average .305
6.34 Runs Per Game 5.08
Montana Fouts
1.20 ERA, 164 Ks
Best Pitcher Miranda Elish
1.68 ERA, 224 Ks
Bailey Hemphill
23 HRs, 63 hits, .373 avg
Best Hitter Janae Jefferson
0 HRs, 74 hits, .398 avg

BY THE NUMBERS: These are the three best pitchers in college softball 

Alabama got through its regional in just three games, but its decisive game against Arizona State was close, with the Crimson Tide winning by a single run. Texas' journey was a bit tougher, as the Longhorns lost to Sam Houston State, then had to take Texas A&M to extra innings, then beat Sam Houston State and Houston to advance. Texas has the better ERA and batting average, but Alabama scores more often.

Tucson 

No. 6 Arizona   No. 11 Ole Miss
1.61 ERA 2.18
.324 Batting Average .277
6.72 Runs Per Game 5.31
Taylor McQuillin
1.54 ERA, 205 Ks
Best Pitcher Molly Jacobsen
1.92 ERA, 162 Ks
Reyna Carranco
5 HRs, 70 hits, .432 avg
Best Hitter Kylan Becker
1 HR, 81 hits, .426 avg

PERFECT: Nicole Newman tosses fifth perfect game of the season for Drake 

Arizona has advanced into the super regionals six straight years, but haven’t gone past this stage since 2010. Will this be the year, or will Ole Miss prevail? The Rebels were tripped up early in their regional by Louisiana, but bounced back to win the crown. Becker is eighth in the country in total hits and the Rebels have three players on their team with eight or more home runs. While Arizona has a stout pitching staff, Ole Miss will be a tough out. The Wildcats might need a big home run from Jessie Harper, who leads the nation in bombs with 28 of them this season.

Gainesville

No. 5 Florida   No. 12 Tennessee
1.78 ERA 2.23
.266 Batting Average .307
4.69 Runs Per Game 5.98
Kelly Barnhill
1.48 ERA, 327 Ks
Best Pitcher Ashley Rogers
1.87 ERA, 198 Ks
Amanda Lorenz
11 HRs, 73 hits, .424 avg
Best Hitter Aubrey Leach
2 HRs, 67 hits, .409 avg

SOFTBALL STORIES: 16 year-old with cerebral palsy joins Pitt | Mo'ne Davis to play at Hampton 

These two SEC rivals have already played once this year, with the Vols taking two-of-three games in a series in Gainesville. In the game that Florida won, on March 10, Barnhill struck out 13 batters in a shutout. This is the final postseason campaign for the senior from Marietta, Georgia, who has terrorized opposing SEC batters for four years, racking up 1,174 strikeouts so far in her career. If she can add to that total in a big way this weekend, it would bode well for the Gators.

Minneapolis

No. 7 Minnesota   No. 10 LSU
1.66 ERA 2.44
.289 Batting Average .307
5.54 Runs Per Game 5.93
Amber Fiser
1.18 ERA, 328 Ks
Best Pitcher Shelbi Sunseri
2.15 ERA, 84 Ks
Natalie DenHartog
17 HRs, 63 hits, .384 avg
Best Hitter Amanda Sanchez
9 HRs, 55 hits, .364 avg

SUPER REGIONALS: The complete guide to 2019's event 

Minnesota has one of college softball’s best pitching staffs, ranking ninth in the country in team ERA with its 1.66 mark. Fiser’s 328 strikeouts rank fourth in the nation, too. But the Tigers won’t be easy to beat, and if a pitch ends up in the wrong spot, an LSU batter might just put it over the fence. The Tigers hit 1.22 home runs per game — which ranks 22nd in the nation — and five LSU batters have hit seven or more dingers this year.

Tallahassee

No. 4 Florida State   No. 13 Oklahoma State
1.91 ERA 2.79
.338 Batting Average .299
7.21 Runs Per Game 6.18
Meghan King
1.42 ERA, 216 Ks
Best Pitcher Samantha Show
2.35 ERA, 100 Ks
Sydney Sherrill
16 HRs, 74 hits, .420 avg
Best Hitter Samantha Show
18 HRs, 57 hits, .339 avg

Samantha Show does it all for Oklahoma State: strikeouts, homers, bat flips and more. The transfer from Texas A&M has established herself as the ace on the Cowgirls’ pitching staff and one of the biggest bats in their lineup. She’s hit safely in 41 of Oklahoma State’s 51 games this season and posted 11 multi-hit games, and she’s also set the Cowgirls’ single-season home run record with 18. As a pitcher, she leads the Cowgirls in earned run average (2.35), innings pitched (167.0), strikeouts (100), starts (27), complete games (18), wins (19) and opponent batting average (.222). Florida State won’t be an easy out, but with Show, Oklahoma State always has a chance. 

Los Angeles

No. 2 UCLA   James Madison
1.39 ERA 1.55
.345 Batting Average .338
7.02 Runs Per Game 7.78
Rachel Garcia
1.02 ERA, 238 Ks
Best Pitcher Megan Good
1.38 ERA, 200 Ks
Bubba Nickles
16 HRs, 75 hits, .408 avg
Best Hitter Kate Gordon
22 HRs, 79 hits, .422 avg

Can James Madison pull off another upset? The Dukes were the only non-seeded team to advance out of the regionals, surviving Ann Arbor by beating DePaul and host No. 15 Michigan. James Madison is one the better all-around teams in college softball this year, ranking fourth in batting average and sixth in ERA. But beating UCLA won’t easy. The Bruins rank second in each of those categories and are armed with talented players all around the diamond. Garcia is one of them, and she can help her team win in several ways. In addition to her pitching prowess, Garcia bats .340 this season with eight home runs and 43 RBIs. 

Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and is now based in Durham, N.C.

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