The Oregon Ducks (47-7, 21-3) have Softball’s biggest target on their backs as they enter postseason play as the Nation’s top seed. The Eugene Regional is a double-elimination tournament and will feature four teams at Jane Sanders Stadium: The Oregon Ducks, The Albany Great Danes, The Drake Bulldogs, and the BYU Cougars.
On Thursday, Drake will take on BYU, then Albany will play against Oregon.
On Friday, the winners from Thursday will face off at 3 PM, followed by an elimination game between Thursday’s losers at 5:30 PM. In the evening, the winner of the elimination game and the loser of the earlier game will play at 8PM.
Which brings us to Saturday, the final day of the regional. An undefeated team will play the last remaining team, which will have one loss. Two games would be necessary if the undefeated team were to lose Saturday’s first match-up.
But enough about confusing schedules, let’s get to the scouting report.
- The Great Danes won their seventh America East conference championship (against Binghamton University) making them back-to-back AE champions.
- Head coach Chris Cannata won the America East Coach of the Year award.
- Senior Chelsea Henige won Pitcher of the Week on April 3rd and has a batting average of .366.
- The team as a whole has a batting average of .266.
- Sarah Petzold earned AE Player of the Week on March 13th. Shes also batted in 35 runners, has 30 runs of her own, and possesses a BA of .291.
- Celeste Verdolivo has 81 strikeouts in 121.1 innings.
- Oregon will be by far the best team that Albany has faced all season.
- Albany has an RPI of 141, has scored 229 runs, and has allowed 125 runs.
- Although the Ducks and the Cougars have not faced each other this season, both competed in the Kajikawa Classic in February. Oregon looked
much more impressive,winning all six of their games, while BYU went a lackluster 1-4.
- The Cougars and the Ducks have played against 12 of the same teams: Both have wins against Utah, Fresno State, CSUN, New Mexico, and Stanford. Both lost to Tennessee, ASU and Oregon State (though in the last two cases BYU lost single game match-ups where as Oregon would take both series 2-1), but only Oregon would prevail against LSU, Washington, Oklahoma and Georgia.
- BYU swept a doubleheader against the Loyola Marymount Lions to win their 10th straight conference title.
- Cougar’s catcher Libby Sugg and pitcher Autumn Moffat have swept the WCC weekly honors twice this season. Sugg had three all season.
- This will be the Cougars 14th-consecutive NCAA NCAA Regionals appearance.
- BYU has an RPI of 51, has scored 308 runs, and has allowed 190 runs.
- The Drake Bulldogs went 24-1 in conference play
, not including their two winsto claim the MVC Tournament.
- Drake set a program record with 24 wins in a row
. Itwas snapped by Loyola late in the season.
- South Florida, Bryant, Missouri, and Oklahoma State are the four teams that have faced Oregon and Drake this season. Both teams beat South Florida and Bryant, while Drake lost to Missouri and Oklahoma State - two teams that Oregon beat with relative ease.
- Drake has the most impressive pitching staff out of the three potential Oregon opponents. In fact, in all of NCAA Softball only Oregon and Washington have a better team ERA than the Bulldogs 1.19.
- RS Junior Nicole Newman is 21-3 on the season and has a mind-boggling 0.62 ERA.
- Drake makes very bad music and has poor taste in NBA teams.
- The Bulldogs have not made the postseason since 2008.
- Drake has an RPI of 33, has scored 236 runs, and has allowed 88 runs.
The Ladies of the PAC-12 continue to redeem the conference, this time by sending seven of their nine softball teams to the postseason. Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, California, and Washington will all participate in separate Regionals. If each team wins their regional, then we would see a Super Regional match-up between Oregon State and Washington, and Arizona and UCLA- a rivalry that is known as “the” rivalry in softball as the two teams have a combined 20 Championships since 1982.
BYU VS DRAKE- 3 PM PT - THURSDAY - ESPN 3
OREGON VS ALBANY- 5:30 PM PT - THURSDAY - ESPN 3