Upsets galore in NCAA softball regional action
The GIST: There was a bloodbath on the diamond — 64 teams entered the natty, but only 16 survived the weekend. The rollercoaster regional round proved how difficult it is to win in the postseason, even for the most legendary teams. Speaking of…
The upsets: You’re not alone if you can’t pick your jaw up off the floor after watching UCLA become the second straight No. 2 seed to fall in the regionals. The once-bulletproof Bruins’ season ended with a choke in the Pac-12 title game and two low-scoring, one-run losses to teams who never touched the Top 25 — becoming the first time UCLA’s lost three in a row since March 2017. Pain.
- Also rocking the boat were Oregon, who sailed through the Fayetteville regional with two huge wins over host No. 11 Arkansas, and Louisiana, who humbled intrastate rival No. 10 LSU across two stellar Sunday outings. Hey Google, play Drake.
- Are these some of the sports’ worst stumbles, or simply a sign of rising parity between traditional powerhouses and mid-major programs? Time will tell, but Bruins fans probably won’t want to hear it either way.
The close calls: The aforementioned Florida State narrowly avoided a repeat of last year’s shocking ouster, but they weren’t the only ones to advance by the skin of their teeth — No. 5 Alabama barely squeezed past Middle Tennessee while No. 7 Washington needed seven runs to steal the regional dub from McNeese in yesterday’s final inning.
The expected: While 13 seeded teams advanced to next weekend’s Super Regionals, No. 1 Oklahoma did it with dominance, outscoring their regional opponents 38–3 in three consecutive run-rule dubs. The only thing close about these matchups? They put the Sooners one W away from tying the NCAA win streak record (47).