There are 16 teams still in the running to be crowned the NCAA softball national champion for 2016. Top-ranked and two-time defending champion Florida opens the super regional round Thursday (7 ET, ESPN2) against fellow SEC power Georgia. Here are all the names, numbers, statistics and trends you need to know on the road to the Women's College World Series.
It's great to be eight
The top eight seeds in the NCAA softball tournament breezed through the regional round, winning all 24 games, including 13 by shutout. Since the tournament expanded in 2005, top-eight seeds have accounted for 74 percent of the teams to make it to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, including 36 teams who swept through both the regionals and supers.
Kelsey Stewart of Florida has more career hits (357) than any other player who swung a bat in 2016. Sierra Romero of Michigan has more career home runs (82) than any other active player. Missouri's Taylor Gadbois' 147 stolen bases are the most of any active player. Cheridan Hawkins of Oregon is the active leader in wins with 107. And Megan Good of James Madison has the best ERA (0.97)of any active player. Coincidence that they're all still playing in the super regionals? You make the call.
Three cheers for dominant pitching ...
1. There are seven pitchers in the country with at least 20 wins and three or fewer losses. All seven of those pitchers will be in the super regionals.
2. Twelve of the 16 super regional teams have already pitched a shutout this postseason, with Missouri and Florida each pitching three straight shutouts.
3. The super regional teams combined to pitch 23 of the 37 shutouts in regionals.
And hooray for dominant hitting, too
1. The top four hitting teams in the country -- Oregon, Oklahoma, Michigan and Georgia -- are still alive.
2. The top three home run producing teams -- Louisiana Lafayette, Oregon and Michigan -- are still alive.
The five schools with the most appearances in the super regionals are all in the 2016 super regional field.
Most super regional appearances (including this year):
On top of that, seven of the eight teams from the 2015 Women's College World Series are still alive. Only Tennessee, which was eliminated with two losses to Arizona, is absent.
And one more: the super regional teams have combined to win 26 of 33 Women's College World Series titles.
SEC vs. Pac-12
For the third straight year we are getting two super regionals between the Pac-12 and the SEC. The SEC holds the 3-1 edge over the Pac-12 since 2014.
In the super regional era, current SEC teams have won 12 of the 14 super regionals against current Pac-12 teams when playing at home. The last Pac-12 team to win a road Super against an SEC team was Washington in 2013. The Huskies will look to regain some of that magic this weekend in Tuscaloosa against Alabama.
Where pitching is in
James Madison and LSU have a combined team ERA of 1.49, the lowest of any of the super regionals. The JMU duo of Megan Good and Jailyn Ford have combined for 17 shutouts this season. That's more than LSU has as an entire team (15), and more than any other pitching duo still alive in the tournament.
Lowest Combined Team ERA by Regional
Strength vs. strength in SEC collision
It's a battle of strengths when the Georgia bats face the Florida pitchers in the Gainesville super regional. Georgia has the fourth highest batting average in the country, but the Gators lead the country in ERA. Florida has 17 postseason shutouts since 2013, 11 more than any other school.
Both Georgia and Florida played exactly 61 games this season. Georgia racked up 561 hits in those games, while Florida pitchers allowed just 209.
The Gators and Bulldogs have not played each other this year.
Runs Allowed By Florida Pitchers Since 2014
Super Regionals: 4