A preview of this weekend’s NCAA Division I softball tournament’s Regional round

May 15, 2024
The national tournament starts with Friday's Regional round.
A preview of this weekend’s NCAA Division I softball tournament’s Regional round
Source: UCLASoftball/X

The GIST: The national tournament’s 16 four-team, double-elimination Regionals don’t start until Friday — but we’ll miss you that day, and the first step toward the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) is simply too important not to preview.

  • ESPN has a full viewing schedule here (don’t you love it when mainstream media is hyped for NCAA softball?), but when it comes to which Regionals should top your watchlist, The GIST, as always, has you covered.

Los Angeles, CA: Host No. 6–seed UCLA has something to prove after stunningly being ousted in the first-round last year — especially because their Regional includes San Diego State, the squad who advanced over them in 2023.

  • And while Virginia Tech is the only LA contender who didn’t win their conference, as the nation’s No. 17 team, the Hokies simply can’t be overlooked. City of Stars, indeed.

Athens, GA: In another Regional with three conference champs, host No. 11 Georgia has their work cut out for them: The once-hot Bulldogs have been trending downwards since mid-April, and infamous upset specialists Liberty and Charlotte would love to spoil their party.

Columbia, MO: This Regional’s contenders underwent a serious vibe shift during conference tourneys: Indiana’s miracle run to the Big Ten final launched them into the national bracket, while Missouri’s performance in the cutthroat SEC (which, BTW, saw all 13 member schools qualify for the natty) landed them Regional hosting rights as the No. 7 seed.

  • On the flip side, 2023 WCWS contender Washington, who’s been a Top-10 mainstay all season, lost hosting rights after a brutal showing in the Pac-12 tourney. Throw in Summit League champ Omaha, and you have one of the most unpredictable Regionals. LFG.

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