Softball

NCAA Softball Championships 2014: Updated Bracket, Schedule and Matchups

Oklahoma infielder Lauren Chamberlain, in center with batting helmet, is mobbed by her teammates following her 12th inning home run against Tennessee in the first game of the best of three Women's College World Series NCAA softball championship series in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 3, 2013. Oklahoma won 5-3 in 12 innings.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIMay 19, 2014

The 2014 NCAA softball championship tournament is in full swing, and the College Softball World Series is on the horizon. The World Series portion of the NCAA tournament will take place on May 29 and run through June 3, though the Super Regionals will dictate which teams are in the hunt.

The official NCAA website details what the Super Regionals consist of:

Super Regionals for the NCAA Division I Softball Championship will be held May 22-25 on eight campus sites. At each site, two teams play in a best-of-three tournament format. The winners from each site advance to the NCAA Women’s College World Series.

After the Super Regionals end, the remaining teams will compete for the chance to win the NCAA softball championship.

Fans won't want to miss a single pitch. To ensure you don't, you'll find everything you need to know for the tournament below.

 

Bracket

An updated bracket can be found here, via NCAA.com.

 

Schedule

The remaining schedule for the tournament is provided in the below table.

2014 NCAA Softball Championships Schedule
DateTime (ET)WatchMatchup
May 227 p.m.ESPNMichigan vs. Florida State
May 229 p.m.ESPNNebraska vs. Alabama
May 232 p.m.ESPNULouisiana-Lafayette vs. Michigan
May 234 p.m.ESPNUFlorida State vs. Michigan
May 236 p.m.ESPNUAlabama vs. Nebraska
May 237 p.m.ESPNFlorida State. vs. Michigan (if necessary)
May 239 p.m.ESPNAlabama vs. Nebraska (if necessary)
May 29NoonESPNGame 1 - Teams TBD
May 292:30 p.m. (approx)ESPNGame 2 - Teams TBD
May 297 p.m.ESPN2Game 3 - Teams TBD
May 299:30 p.m. (approx)ESPN2Game 4 - Teams TBD
May 307 p.m.ESPN2Game 5 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
May 309:30 p.m. (approx)ESPN2Game 6 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
May 31NoonESPN2Game 7 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
May 312:30 p.m. (approx)ESPN2Game 8 - Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
May 317 p.m.ESPNGame 9 - Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 6
May 319:30 p.m. (approx)ESPNGame 10 - Winner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 5
June 11 p.m.ESPNGame 11 - Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 9
June 13:30 p.m. (approx)ESPNGame 12 - Winner 6 vs. Winner Game 10
June 17 p.m.ESPNUGame 13 (if necessary) - Rematch Game 11
June 19:30 p.m. (approx)ESPNUGame 14 (if necessary) - Rematch Game 12
June 28 p.m.ESPN2WCWS Finals - Bracket 1 vs. Bracket 2 Winners
June 38 p.m.ESPNWCWS Finals - Bracket 1 vs. Bracket 2 Winners
June 48 p.m.ESPNWCWS Finals (if necessary) - Bracket 1 vs. Bracket 2 Winners
NCAA.org

 

Matchups to Watch

Nebraska vs. No. 2 Alabama

Unseeded Nebraska defeated No. 15 Missouri twice in the regionals to advance to the next round of play, and its success can be attributed to the play of one star—sophomore Hailey Decker.

Decker went 5-for-8 in Sunday's doubleheader against Mizzou, with four of those hits leaving the yard. She also drove in eight and scored five runs. On her extraordinarily successful day, Decker said she didn't have a different approach at the plate, via Graham Hays of ESPN:

I've had good days, I've felt good at the plate, I've seen the ball well. But I've never quite hit like I did this weekend. I don't really know that there was something specific I was focused on.

I didn't put my pants on differently this morning or anything. I just came out and tried to hit line drives.

Alabama has a star of its own in Haylie McCleney, however. In her team's regional matchup in Tuscaloosa, she went 6-for-10 with two walks, five steals and a two-run triple against South Alabama.

Oh yeah, and she made this ridiculous catch against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville:

In a game often dominated by pitching, the play of these two top stars could seriously dictate the outcome of the Super Regionals.

This game figures to be a high-scoring affair. Whichever team can limit the damage each of these star hitters does will have the upper hand.

 

No. 7 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 Tennessee

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma and Tennessee have been in this exact position before, and ESPN's Hays ensures that this sequel won't be as disappointing as others: "The super regional in Norman, Oklahoma, between No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 10 Tennessee should be one of the rarest of things. A sequel worth watching."

The matchup between these two teams is filled with stars, and it will be those stars who steal the show in Oklahoma.

Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley will look to do the heavy lifting for Oklahoma. Check out the video below of Chamberlain launching everything—literally, everything—around the yard:

Chamberlain has a ton of power and can easily take control of the game if Tennessee's staff throws it in her comfort zone. She gets great plate coverage and has a strong, solid swing. That pretty much makes her comfort zone anywhere around the plate, making it difficult for opposing pitchers to find advantages with location. 

The Lady Vols will need to go on with in-depth scouting reports in an effort to keep her in the yard. They also carry over some emotional momentum after sophomore Lexi Overstreet's two-run homer pushed Tennessee past Lipscomb.

The Sooners are the defending national champions, but the Lady Vols are going to be a tough challenge.

 

Baylor vs. Georgia

Georgia ace Chelsea Wilkinson showed her value to the Bulldogs on Sunday. She tossed a five-inning no-hitter and allowed just one baserunner against NC State.

Wilkinson improved to 33-8 on the year following the impressive performance. In fact, her performance was probably the most impressive because of how effective she moved the ball around the plate. She only struck out four batters, per NCAA.com. That means 11 of her outs were recorded by the defense behind her.

Dominance in softball often comes when the pitcher posts high strikeout totals. Pitching to contact is difficult in the sport, but Wilkinson was extremely effective in inducing weak contact and letting her teammates make plays.

Baylor has some tough bats in the lineup, however, so it will be essential for Wilkinson to continue her dominance of the strike zone.

Lady Bears ace Whitney Canion will likely oppose Wilkinson. Canion tossed 305 pitches in a double-header on Sunday to advance her team to the Super Regionals, per Hays, and it will be her will that keeps Baylor in it.

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