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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | May 30, 2022

Preview and prediction for Rogers State and Cal State Dominguez Hills in the 2022 DII softball championship

2022 DII softball championship: day four recap

Just two teams remain in the hunt for the 2022 DII softball national championship. Rogers State and Cal State Dominguez Hills will square off from Denver. First pitch of the best-of-three series is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Monday, May 30.

Complete schedule:

Rogers State and Cal State Dominguez Hills will vie for the championship. Both teams are looking to make program history, each in the first championship series of their respective program's histories.

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The matchup

No. 5 Rogers State (56-10)

How it got here: Defeated Southern Indiana 7-2; defeated CSUDH 10-2; eliminated UT Tyler 9-3

Rogers State Tale of the tape
Batting average .276
Runs scored 352
Home runs 70
   
ERA 1.46
WHIP 0.93
Strikeouts 451/446.1 IP

Player to watch: Abbey Rogers — The Hillcats catcher is feeling it. She homered in all three games in Denver, each of which were big wins. Rogers is slashing .322/.409/.651 on the season.

What to watch: The Hillcats had one of the best pitching staffs, statistically speaking, in Denver. While the whole staff has been solid in 2022, Andrea Morales didn't need much help — she tossed three complete games in Rogers State's first three wins of the finals. She's been the ace all season long and showed why on the biggest stage.

They key is to get to Morales. To beat Rogers State, especially in the thin air of Colorado, you are going to need to score and score big. The Hillcats have swept their way to the championship series by outscoring their opponents 26-7. This offense can explode at any moment with some big pop from top to bottom.

No. 8 Cal State Dominguez Hills (45-22)

How it got here: Defeated UT Tyler 5-1; lost to Rogers State 10-2; eliminated Seton Hill 9-6; defeated North Georgia 8-6; eliminated North Georgia 7-5

CSUDH Tale of the tape
Batting average .300
Runs scored 315
Home runs 31
   
ERA 2.57
WHIP 1.24
Strikeouts 375/471.2 IP

Player to watch: Raquel Jaime — Catcher Maiya Lopez has also performed well, but Jaime has had at least two hits in every game in Denver, including a 4-for-4 performance against North Georgia. Hitting near the top of the lineup, she's been pivotal in the Toros surprise run.

What to watch: The better question is what not to watch? For the second straight tournament the West Region is represented in the championship series, and for the second year in a row, most of the county is saying: who?

The Toros — although pegged as the sleeper team to watch out West before the tournament began right here on NCAA.com — just keep surprising everyone in winning fashion. Taking down No. 1 UT Tyler in the opener, and holding that offense to just one run, was mind blowing. After falling to Rogers State, the Toros came back and put up nine runs on the pitching staff with the lowest ERA in Denver, eliminating Seton Hill from the tournament. Sweeping a very good North Georgia team to stay alive... well, this is simply something special we are watching. 

The storyline is pretty simple. No. 8 seeds have had quite a bit of success in recent history. No. 8 Southern Indiana won it all in 2018 and No. 8 Young Harris made it to the semifinals in 2019. So, when will it turn midnight for this year's Cinderella, or does the glass slipper fit?

Prediction for the 2022 DII softball championship

Winner: Rogers State — You can say the Hillcats are firing on all cylinders right now, but clearly so are the Toros, so throw that out the window. Both of these teams can score runs but both have taken completely opposite roads to get here: Rogers State is perfect, whereas the Toros looked elimination in the face three times and kept rolling.  What it comes down to then is pitching, and Andrea Morales has been downright impressive. Rogers State is also the No. 5 team in DII in fielding percentage. You pair that defense with this staff's ERA and WHIP and it's tough to get anything going against the Hillcats.

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