2019 NCAA softball tournament: James Madison ousts Michigan to cement super regionals field
All weekend long, unseeded teams threatened to upset a host and steal a ticket to the super regionals of the 2019 NCAA softball tournament.
On Monday, James Madison did it.
The Dukes beat 15th-seeded Michigan twice in the rain-delayed Ann Arbor Regional to become the first unseeded team to advance to super regionals since 2016. Seven times Sunday, seeds were pushed to the brink but prevailed.
The Dukes, the Colonial Athletic Association champions, joined a 16-team field that includes six SEC teams, three teams from the Pac-12 and Big 12, two from the Big Ten and one from the ACC.
The super regionals, in which the field is whittled to eight, open Thursday. The Women's College World Series starts May 30 in Oklahoma City. A national champion will be crowned June 4 or 5.
Ann Arbor Regional: James Madison advances
For three games, Megan Good and Meghan Beaubien were locked in a pitching battle in Ann Arbor. It was the bat of Good that provided the spark in James Madison's 2-1, series-clinching victory.
In the fourth inning of a scoreless tie, Good led off with a homer to center on the 11th pitch of her at-bat. It was Good's 16th homer of the year.
The Dukes tacked on another run in the fifth, which turned out to be the winner when Michigan's Alex Sobczak homered in the bottom of the seventh to close to within one. Fittingly, Good got the strikeout to seal it.
James Madison had forced a winner-take-all game earlier Monday with a 3-0 win.
All told for the series, Good went 25⅔ innings and gave up 17 hits and two earned runs while striking out 19. Beaubien pitched 24 innings, gave up 16 hits and four earned runs while striking out 20.
It's the second trip to supers for James Madison (51-8), which will take on second-seeded UCLA in Los Angeles.
Game 1: James Madison 5, DePaul 2
Game 2: (15) Michigan 8, Saint Francis (Pa.) 0 (6 innings)
Game 3: (15) Michigan 1, James Madison 0 (12 innings)
Game 4: DePaul 3, Saint Francis 1 (Saint Francis eliminated)
Game 5: James Madison 3, DePaul 0 (DePaul eliminated)
Game 6: James Madison 3, Michigan 0
Game 7: James Madison 2, Michigan 1 (Michigan eliminated)
James Madison advances to super regionals
Minneapolis Regional: No. 7 Minnesota advances
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota waited 21 rain-soaked hours to play for the Minneapolis Regional title, then needed less than 10 minutes Monday to tally all the runs required to advance.
Natalie DenHartog's three-run homer in the top of the first got things going, and Amber Fiser pitched the Gophers past Georgia 8-1 for the regional title. Minnesota (44-12) will host LSU (43-17) in a super regional this weekend. Fiser, a junior right-hander, pitched every inning in the regional, allowing two runs in 22 innings with 27 strikeouts as the Gophers swept three games, twice beating the Bulldogs.
"For her to finish this game and this weekend with a championship with her on the mound, it's how it's supposed to be," Minnesota coach Jamie Trachsel said. "She's been the horse that we've ridden all year. Every time she has the ball she's given us a chance to win, and this weekend is no different."
Rain Saturday night and all day Sunday forced Georgia and Drake to wait more than 35 hours to resume their suspended elimination game. Georgia completed a 7-4 victory Monday morning to advance to face the Gophers.
Minnesota managed five runs and one extra-base hit in its first two victories before its hitters broke through Monday. DenHartog drove a 2-2 pitch from Georgia starter Kylie Bass for her 17th homer, the ball striking a light pole beyond the fence in right-center. She added a double to left-center in a four-run third, also on a 2-2 pitch, and later scored.
"I'm a power hitter," DenHartog said. "What I do is try to hit the ball really hard, no matter where it is, no matter what the count is. No matter what, I'm going to be hacking. I was just trying to stay back, trying to see it well, and pound whatever she gives me."
Minnesota has never hosted a super regional; the Gophers lost to Oregon in Eugene in 2014 in their only other super regional appearance.
-- Pat Borzi
Game 1: Georgia 6, Drake 4 (8 innings)
Game 2: (7) Minnesota 3, North Dakota State 0
Game 3: (7) Minnesota 2, Georgia 1 (8 innings)
Game 4: Drake 8, North Dakota State 0 (North Dakota State eliminated)
Game 5: Georgia (41-18) vs. Drake (43-15), suspended
Game 5: Georgia 7, Drake 4
Game 6: (7) Minnesota 8, Georgia 1 (Georgia eliminated)
Minnesota advances to super regionals
Norman Regional: No. 1 Oklahoma advances
Oklahoma lost its 41-game winning streak but won a spot in super regionals.
After dropping their first game on Sunday to Wisconsin 2-1, the Sooners rallied to win the second 2-0.
Giselle Juarez (25-1), who lost her first game of the season in the opener, came back in the second game with a four-hit shutout. She struck out eight.
Raegan Rogers scored the first run of the game on a pop foul from Sydney Romero in the third inning. Grace Green homered in the fourth.
The top-seeded Sooners, who have won two of the past three national titles, were dominant in their first two games in the Norman Regional. First they beat UMBC 12-0 on a combined perfect game. Then the Sooners beat Wisconsin 4-0 on Saturday on a no-hitter from Juarez.
Next up for the Sooners (52-3) is Northwestern.
Game 1: Wisconsin 4, Notre Dame 2
Game 2: (1) Oklahoma 12, UMBC 0
Game 3: (1) Oklahoma 4, Wisconsin 0
Game 4: Notre Dame 2, UMBC 0 (UMBC eliminated)
Game 5: Wisconsin 5, Notre Dame 4 (Notre Dame eliminated)
Game 6: Wisconsin 2, (1) Oklahoma 1
Game 7: (1) Oklahoma 2, Wisconsin 0 (Wisconsin eliminated)
Oklahoma advances to super regionals
Los Angeles Regional: No. 2 UCLA advances
With a spot in the super regionals on the line, UCLA took Easton Field against Missouri on Sunday afternoon and fell flat in a 5-1 loss. The Bruins made up for that misstep in a big way in the win-or-go-home game, trouncing the Tigers 13-1 in five innings.
Bubba Nickles went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and scored two runs, and Rachel Garcia gave up one run on two hits and struck out four. UCLA scored three in the first, two in the second, three in the third and five in the fourth.
It was a far cry from the opener, when UCLA managed just five hits off the Tigers.
The Bruins will be making their sixth consecutive super regionals appearance and 11th overall. They will take on James Madison, which upset Michigan in the Ann Arbor Regional.
Game 1: Missouri 7, vs. Cal State Fullerton 4
Game 2: (2) UCLA 6, vs. Weber State 0
Game 3: (2) UCLA 9, Missouri 1
Game 4: Weber State 7, Cal State Fullerton 3 (Cal State Fullerton eliminated)
Game 5: Missouri 7, Weber State 0 (Weber State eliminated)
Game 6: Missouri 5, UCLA 1
Game 7: UCLA 13, Missouri 1 (Missouri eliminated)
UCLA advances to super regionals
Seattle Regional: No. 3 Washington advances
Gabbie Plain threw a no-hitter to clinch Washington's spot in the Seattle super regional with an 8-0 win over Mississippi State on Sunday night. Plain, who struck out 10, faced the minimum, erasing the only walk she had given up on a double play in the second inning. It was the sixth no-hitter in Huskies postseason history.
It was Plain's fourth career no-hitter and third this season. The sophomore from Australia threw a five-inning perfect game last season and had back-to-back no-hitters in March.
Plain had plenty of run support. Morganne Flores hit a two-run homer and Emma Helm added a three-run shot in the fifth inning as the Huskies broke the game open.
No. 3 seed Washington (48-7) will host Kentucky in the super regional.
Game 1: Mississippi State 5, Seattle 3
Game 2: (3) Washington 2, Fordham 0
Game 3: (3) Washington 6, Mississippi State 1
Game 4: Seattle 1, Fordham 0 (8 innings) (Fordham eliminated)
Game 5: Mississippi State 7, Seattle 3 (Seattle eliminated)
Game 6: (3) Washington 8, Mississippi State 0 (Mississippi State eliminated)
Washington advances to super regionals
Tallahassee Regional: No. 4 Florida State advances
Defending champion Florida State rolled into its Sunday final against South Carolina, but the Seminoles were rocked by South Carolina before pulling off a 7-6 win.
The bats came out in force again and the Seminoles put up five quick runs. But ace Meghan King struggled early, walking five batters and giving up three runs before giving way to Kathryn Sandercock. The freshman gave up two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth, and South Carolina had a 6-5 lead.
Florida State, however, dug deep. Elizabeth Mason led off the sixth with a double, the Seminoles' 18th extra-base hit of the regional, and Dani Morgan followed with a walk. Freshman Makinzy Herzog, who hit a grand slam Saturday, delivered a two-run single to put the Seminoles on top.
King returned to the circle to secure the victory, and Florida State punched its ticket to supers for the eighth time in program history.
FSU will host Oklahoma State in the Tallahassee Super Regional next weekend. Oklahoma State has a 5-2 head-to-head advantage in NCAA tournament games, but the teams most recently met in 2009 regional play.
Game 1: South Florida 3, South Carolina 2
Game 2: (4) Florida State 8, Bethune-Cookman 0 (5 innings)
Game 3: (4) Florida State 12, South Florida 1
Game 4: South Carolina 10, vs. Bethune-Cookman 0 (5 innings)
Game 5: South Carolina 2, South Florida 1 (10 innings) (South Florida eliminated)
Game 6: (4) Florida State 7, South Carolina 6 (South Carolina eliminated)
Florida State advances to super regionals
Gainesville Regional: No. 5 Florida advances
Florida ace Kelly Barnhill continued her dominance as fifth-seeded Florida reached its seventh straight super regional with a 5-0 win over Boise State in the Gainesville Regional.
Barnhill, who has been one of the sharpest pitchers in college softball over the past two weeks, struck out six Broncos over six scoreless innings Sunday.
In six games since the start of the SEC tournament, Barnhill has a 0.19 ERA and 38 strikeouts, giving up one run, 11 hits and 11 walks in 36 innings.
Amanda Lorenz went 3-for-4 for the Gators, who face Knoxville Regional champion Tennessee in the next round.
Florida scored twice in the first inning on a wild pitch and a Sophia Reynoso RBI fielder's choice, then added one run in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Since 2013, Florida has outscored its opponents 141-5 in regional games.
Game 1: Boise State 9, Stanford 1
Game 2: (5) Florida 3, BU 0
Game 3: (5) Florida 8, Boise State 0
Game 4: Stanford 13, BU 2 (5 innings) (BU eliminated)
Game 5: Boise State 2, Stanford 0 (Stanford eliminated)
Game 6: (5) Florida 5, vs. Boise State 0 (Boise State eliminated)
Florida advances to super regionals
Tucson Regional: No. 6 Arizona advances
Arizona's Jessie Harper entered Sunday's regional final against Auburn trailing Mississippi State's Mia Davidson by just one home run in the battle for the national lead. She finished the day with three homers to lift the Wildcats to a 12-3 rout of Auburn, securing Arizona's spot in its own super regional.
Harper's two-run homer in the third inning tied Davidson for most in Division I this season with 26. She added a solo shot in the sixth and a two-run homer in the seventh, becoming just the fifth player to hit three homers in an NCAA tournament game. Harper, who now has 28 homers this season, finished with five hits and five RBIs.
Arizona broke open a 3-3 game with six runs in the fourth inning, capped by Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza's three-run homer. The Wildcats (45-12) will face Ole Miss in the super regionals.
Game 1: Auburn 10, Colorado State 5
Game 2: (6) Arizona 5, Harvard 1
Game 3: (6) Arizona 2, Auburn 1
Game 4: Colorado State 6, Harvard 0 (Harvard eliminated)
Game 5: Auburn 8, Colorado State 0 (Colorado State eliminated)
Game 6: (6) Arizona 12, vs. Auburn 3 (Auburn eliminated)
Arizona advances to super regional
Tuscaloosa Regional: No. 8 Alabama advances
After trailing by five runs, Alabama advanced to super regionals with a wild 9-8 win over Arizona State. The win is the Crimson Tide's 40th straight in NCAA regionals.
Bailey Hemphill hit a grand slam -- her 23rd home run of the year --- in the fifth inning to tie the game at 5-5.
After Arizona State tied it at 8-8 in the bottom of the sixth, Alabama scored the eventual winner when Merris Schroder walked, stole second and scored on KB Sides' base hit to left.
Hemphill finished with five RBIs to increase her career total to 75, fourth-most in Alabama history.
Alabama is the only program to advance to every super regional since the format began in 2005. The Crimson Tide will welcome Texas to Tuscaloosa.
Game 1: Arizona State 4, Lipscomb 3
Game 2: (8) Alabama 8, Alabama State 2
Game 3: Arizona State (34-18) vs. (8) Alabama (53-7), 2 p.m.
Game 4: Lipscomb 14, Alabama State 0 (5 innings) (Alabama State eliminated)
Game 5: Arizona State 10, Lipscomb 1 (6 innings) (Lipscomb eliminated)
Game 6: Alabama 9, Arizona State 8 (Arizona State eliminated)
Alabama advances to super regionals
Austin Regional: No. 9 Texas advances
When it's win or go home, Miranda Elish would prefer to stay and play. Elish, the ace who followed coach Mike White from Oregon to Texas, threw complete games in four elimination games in two days -- and won them all -- after the Longhorns dropped their Austin Regional opener. She beat Texas A&M, Sam Houston State and Houston twice, including Sunday night's 7-0 shutout in Game 7.
Elish, who threw 441 pitches during the regional, had a precarious 1-0 lead on Kaitlyn Washington's solo homer in the fifth, but the Longhorns erupted for six runs in the top of the seventh, including a two-run double from Elish. Elish struck out three of the four batters she faced in the seventh to send the Longhorns to the super regionals for the first time since 2013.
Houston threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Brooke Vannoy just missed a home run, ripping a two-out double high off the wall in left. But Vannoy, the tying run, was stranded at second when Elish struck out American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Sarah Barker.
Texas (45-15) heads to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 8 seed Alabama in the super regionals.
Game 1: Houston 3, Texas A&M 1
Game 2: Sam Houston State 2,Texas 1
Game 3: Houston 5, Sam Houston State 0
Game 4: 9) Texas 3, Texas A&M 2 (8 innings) (Texas A&M eliminated)
Game 5: (9) Texas 3, Sam Houston State 0 (Sam Houston State eliminated)
Game 6: (9) Texas 5, Houston 2
Game 7: (9) Texas 7, Houston 0 (Houston eliminated)
Texas advances to super regionals
Baton Rouge Regional: No. 10 LSU advances
LSU was down a run in the second inning of its win-or-go-home game Sunday night against Texas Tech. Star senior Amanda Sanchez was 0-for-her-first-12 in the tournament. Things changed in a hurry.
Sanchez hit a home run to pull LSU even, and the Tigers rolled to a 5-1 win to clinch a spot in the super regionals, where they'll take on Minnesota, the winner of the rain-delayed Minneapolis Regional.
It's the fifth straight trip to the super regionals and eighth overall for LSU.
LSU (43-17) tacked on a run in the third and three in the fifth on a Shelbi Sunseri three-run homer.
Maribeth Gorsuch, who relieved Sunseri in the second, went 5⅔ innings to get the win.
Game 1: Texas Tech 3, Louisiana Tech 0
Game 2: (10) LSU 2, Monmouth 0
Game 3: (10) LSU 5, Texas Tech 4
Game 4: Louisiana Tech 1, Monmouth 0 (Monmouth eliminated)
Game 5: Texas Tech 3, Louisiana Tech 1 (Louisiana Tech eliminated)
Game 6: Texas Tech 5, (10) LSU 4
Game 7: (10) LSU 5, Texas Tech 1 (Texas Tech eliminated)
LSU advances to super regionals
Oxford Regional: No. 11 Ole Miss advances
Ole Miss was down a run and down to its final three outs Sunday in a winner-take-all game against Louisiana.
After Mikayla Allee led off the seventh with a double, the Rebels got their biggest win of the season by playing small ball.
Kylan Becker moved pinch runner Katelin Cooper to third with a dribbler to second. Then Becker stole second. Autumn Gillespie executed a squeeze bunt to score Cooper. Horton brought home Becker with a chopper to short for the 5-4 victory.
Brittany Finney got the win for Ole Miss, going six innings and giving up two runs.
The Rebels, who advanced to the second super regional in program history, had forced a Game 7 with a 5-1 victory earlier Sunday.
Ole Miss next plays Arizona in the Tucson Super Regional.
Game 1: Louisiana 3, Southeast Missouri State 2
Game 2: (11) Ole Miss 12, Chattanooga 0 (5 innings)
Game 3: Louisiana 2, vs. (11) Ole Miss 0
Game 4: Southeast Missouri State 2, Chattanooga 1 (Chattanooga eliminated)
Game 5: (11) Ole Miss 10, SE Missouri State 0 (5 innings) (SE Missouri State eliminated)
Game 6: (11) Ole Miss 5, Louisiana 1
Game 7: (11) Ole Miss 5, Louisiana 4 (Louisiana eliminated) (52-5)
Ole Miss advances to super regionals
Knoxville Regional: No. 12 Tennessee advances
Ashley Morgan hit a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning to lead 12th-seeded Tennessee to the super regionals with a 2-0 win over North Carolina in Game 7.
After losing 1-0 earlier Sunday afternoon, the Lady Vols finally scored when Morgan lined Brittany Pickett's 0-2 offering into the right-center field gap to break a scoreless tie.
Caylan Arnold pitched six strong innings for Tennessee, which will face No. 5 seed Florida next round.
Arnold struck out six batters, but it was Matty Moss who closed out the game after Arnold allowed a leadoff double in the top of the seventh. Moss faced the game-tying run three times, and all three times she got the out.
Tennessee scored 20 runs in its first two regional games but was held scoreless for the first 11 innings Sunday.
In Game 6, UNC's Pickett threw seven shutout innings, and Kristina Burkhardt's sixth-inning home run off Ashley Rogers proved to be the game's only run.
Game 1: Ohio State 1, North Carolina 0
Game 2: (12) Tennessee 8, Longwood 0 (6 innings)
Game 3: (12) Tennessee 12, Ohio State 4
Game 4: North Carolina 3, Longwood 1 (Longwood eliminated)
Game 5: North Carolina 5, Ohio State 3 (Ohio State eliminated)
Game 6: North Carolina 1, Tennessee 0
Game 7: (12) Tennessee 2, North Carolina 0 (North Carolina eliminated)
Tennessee advances to super regionals
Stillwater Regional: No. 13 Oklahoma State advances
The first time Oklahoma State and Tulsa played one another over the weekend, the Cowgirls' 13-10 victory was an explosion of home runs. Their meeting Saturday night was the opposite. Oklahoma State punched its ticket to the super regionals with a 2-1 win over the Golden Hurricanes.
It's just the second time in program history that Oklahoma State has advanced to the super regionals. The first came in 2011, and the Cowgirls advanced to the Women's College World Series that year.
Oklahoma State senior pitcher Samantha Show threw a four-hit complete game and relied on her defense in Saturday's win. Oklahoma State drew first blood in the third inning with an RBI double from Madi Sue Montgomery. A Sydney Springfield RBI single in the fourth plated the other Cowgirls run.
Oklahoma State will take on defending champion Florida State in Tallahassee in the super regionals.
Game 1: Tulsa 5, Arkansas 0
Game 2: (13) Oklahoma State 3, BYU 1
Game 3: (13) Oklahoma State 13, Tulsa 10
Game 4: BYU 6, Arkansas 3 (Arkansas eliminated)
Game 5: Tulsa 6, BYU 4 (BYU eliminated)
Game 6: (13) Oklahoma State 2, Tulsa 1 (Tulsa eliminated)
Oklahoma State advances to super regionals
Lexington Regional: No. 14 Kentucky advances
Kentucky steamrolled Virginia Tech 11-1 to advance to super regionals for the seventh time in program history. The Wildcats went unblemished in the Lexington Regional, outscoring opponents 26-4.
It took Kentucky a couple of innings to get going, but a three-run third helped put the Wildcats over the hump. Jenny Schaper sent a solo shot over the fence and Alex Martens doubled up the middle to bring in two more runs.
From there, Kentucky poured it on, knocking in five runs in the fifth and putting the game out of reach with three in the sixth.
Autumn Humes pitched a complete-game five-hitter for the Wildcats.
Kentucky will take on Washington in the Seattle super regional.
Game 1: Virginia Tech 6, Illinois 2
Game 2: (14) Kentucky 7, Toledo 2
Game 3: (14) Kentucky 8, Virginia Tech 1
Game 4: Illinois 2, Toledo 0 (Toledo eliminated)
Game 5: Virginia Tech 5, Illinois 1 (6 innings) (Illinois eliminated)
Game 6: (14) Kentucky 11, Virginia Tech 1 (Virginia Tech eliminated)
Kentucky advances to super regionals
Evanston Regional: No. 16 Northwestern advances
Northwestern ended a 10-year super regional drought with a 4-3 win over Louisville on Sunday night.
Danielle Williams went the distance, giving up four hits and striking out six. The Big Ten freshman of the year picked up her third win of the postseason. All told, she pitched 23 innings and gave up five runs on 10 hits while striking out 32. She threw 340 pitches over the three days.
The Wildcats advanced to the super regionals for the fifth time in program history but the first since 2008. They'll visit Norman to take on top-seeded Oklahoma.
Game 1: Louisville 9, Southern Illinois 5
Game 2: (16) Northwestern 15, Detroit Mercy 1
Game 3: 16) Northwestern 2, Louisville (34-21) 1
Game 4: Southern Illinois 2, Detroit Mercy 1 (Detroit Mercy eliminated)
Game 5: (16) Northwestern 8, Southern Illinois 1 (Southern Illinois eliminated)
Game 6: (16) Northwestern 7, Louisville 0
Game 7: (16) Northwestern 4, Louisville 3 (Louisville eliminated)
Northwestern advances to super regionals