Last season, it looked like the College Softball Championship trophy would come back east to Florida.
Florida was ranked No. 1 most of the season and had only three losses coming into postseason play.
It looked as though the Gators would take the trophy back across the Mississippi River to Florida. However, Danielle Lawrie and the Washington Huskies had other ideas.
The Huskies needed only two games of the three-game series to eliminate the Gators and win the school's first Softball National Championship.
Who will take home the hardware this year? The brackets were announced and play starts today. Here are the predictions:
Alabama is the overall No. 1 seed and hosts Alcorn State, Lipscomb, and UAB. The only team that may put up a fight is Lipscomb, but Alabama will prevail and win the region.
Stanford hosts No. 16 Hawaii as well as Texas Tech and UC Davis. Hawaii leads the country in home runs hit this season and will win the region.
Missouri plays host to Creighton, DePaul, and Illinois. This is an evenly-matched regional with Missouri having the 10th-ranked RPI, Illinois the 19th ranked, and DePaul the 20th. Illinois will fight and win the regional.
Georgia Tech has quietly become one of the top teams in the country and will host Oregon, Auburn, and Jacksonville State. While Oregon and Auburn have a chance, Tech will win.
UCLA has an easy run, facing St. Mary's (CA,) Fresno State, and San Diego State. They have almost already punched their ticket to the Super Regionals.
LSU faces Texas A&M, Louisiana-Lafayette, and McNeese State. Texas A&M is a tough team and Lafayette is a natural rivalry, but LSU will win.
Massachusetts gets to host No. 13 Arizona State, Boston University, and Long Island. The travel will hurt ASU and UMass will win this regional.
Florida is another team that has an easy road to the Supers, hosting UCF, FIU, and Bethune-Cookman.
Washington gets to host this year, as they have added lights. The three teams they face—North Dakota State, Nebraska, and North Carolina—will have trouble because of the travel. Washington wins.
Maryland gets to host No. 14 Oklahoma, Fordham, and Syracuse. Fordham has a great pitcher and Oklahoma has a great team. In the end, Oklahoma will prevail.
Ohio State hosts No. 11 California, Bucknell, and Kentucky. Ohio State and Cal will face off for the title, but Ohio State moves on.
Georgia hosts Florida State, Radford, and Elon. The only semi-tough team is Florida State—The Dogs will win.
Texas hosts Iona, East Carolina, and BYU. BYU and East Carolina will put up a fight, but Texas's freshman pitcher is too much.
Arizona will host Oklahoma State, Hofstra, and Cornell. Arizona has the experience, but has two injured pitchers, so Oklahoma State will win this regional.
Tennessee plays host to Ball State, Virginia, and Louisville. Both Virginia and Louisville are tough, but Tennessee's top of the order is too much speed to handle.
Michigan hosts their ninth straight regional, facing Notre Dame, Illinois State, and Wright State. Notre Dame has a chance to knock off the Wolverines, but Michigan will win the regional.
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 16 Hawaii, Winner: Alabama
Illinois vs. No. 8 Georgia Tech, Winner: Georgia Tech
No. 5 UCLA vs. No. 12 LSU, Winner: UCLA
UMass vs. No. 4 Florida, Winner: Florida
No. 3 Washington vs. No. 14 Oklahoma, Winner : Washington
Ohio State vs. No. 6 Georgia, Winner: Ohio State
No. 7 Texas vs. Oklahoma State, Winner: Texas
No. 15 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Michigan, Winner: Michigan
Women's College World Series
The trophy will come back East this year. Washington is strong, but they only have one pitcher. If a team can hit Lawrie, they will win the game.
Alabama and Michigan are the teams to beat in this tournament.
Alabama is coming in on a 24-game winning streak. They are firing on all cylinders. Pitchers Kelsi Dunne and Charlotte Morgan have kept opposing teams off their game.
Kayla Braud and Cassie Reilly-Boccia are the lead-off hitters for Alabama and know how to start a game and get things going for their teams.
Michigan is coming in winning 25 of their last 26 games. They have mercied their opponents in 18 games this season. With the one-two punch at pitcher of Jordan Taylor and Nikki Nemitz, they are a tough team to face.
Their two-through-seven hitters have the potential to send it out of the park, while eight, nine, and one have speed at the plate.
Alabama and Michigan will face off for the National Championship. It is fitting, as they are No. 1 and No. 2 in the country.
Both teams have all the weapons needed to win a National Championship; however, Michigan has one extra weapon: experience. Both teams were at the WCWS last year, but this is Michigan's 10th appearance.
That experience in the WCWS will boost them above Alabama to win their second National Championship.
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