The final eight teams decided for Women’s College World Series

Megan Grams, Sports Editor

The road to the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) was not an easy feat, challenging even the highest nationally-ranked teams to truly earn their spot as one of the final eight teams. The Super Regionals were packed full of extra innings, walk-offs, pitching duels, and slug-fests from the remaining 16 teams fighting to extend their season. Super Regionals was also full of several surprising performances, ranging from the lowest ranked teams all the way to the highest ranked team.

The most surprising of these performances was nationally-ranked No. 1 Oregon suffering a loss in game one to Kentucky 9-6. The Ducks had committed four errors in the opening game, which is very uncharacteristic. However, they had bounced back efficiently, winning back-to-back games. The stunning performance in the circle from Crown Point native,  Miranda Elish quieted the Wildcats’ offense and pitched a gem in both the second and third games.  The Ducks’ bats picked up significantly with their backs against the walls in the deciding third game. There were three home runs, one being a grand slam hit by Senior, DJ Sanders. The Ducks ended the game, run-ruling the Wildcats 11-1, clinching their tickets to Oklahoma City.
Elish delivers a pitch against Kentucky at Super Regionals.

In Gainesville, the Florida Gators hosted Texas A&M’s Aggies. This three game series was packed full of entertainment, especially in the batter’s box. The first game ended on a solemn note, the Gators walking off the game on a bases-loaded walk, 5-4. The Aggies had kept their season alive the second game defeating the Gators for the first time in program history. Although this entire series had kept softball fans at the edges of their seats, the third game was packed full of the dramatics. The Gators began the seventh inning leading 2-1, but the Aggies took the lead on Tori Vidales’ two-run home run. The bottom of the seventh had started quickly, the Aggies were close to the WCWS, they only had one more out. However, much like the first game a pair of walks brought up the freshman, Jordan Mathews. Things were looking good, as the count was brought to 0-2, with the season on the line, the freshman provided with a 3-run home run, clinching the Gators a spot in the WCWS.

Florida Gators
Matthews watches the ball as it goes over the fence.

Among these two teams six other teams join Oregon and Florida in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Sooners are returning to the WCWS with hopes to three-peat a National Championship, the only team to do this are the UCLA Bruins. Florida State, Georgia, Arizona State, Washington, and UCLA are also returning to Oklahoma City. The WCWS starts Thursday, May 31.


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