Outstanding Regional Performances
While all but one of the top national seeds won their respective regionals, there were several noteworthy performances from the opposing teams that might be overlooked, but simply can’t go unnoticed. How the “Davids” fought the “Goliaths” and lost, but put up astounding fights.
In her first post-season Regional appearance, freshman Chenise Delce led Tulsa to a 5-0 shutout of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Going the distance, Delce produced nine strikeouts, giving up just five hits, two walks, and no runs. Collectively, in both of the Golden Hurricane’s contests against No. 13 seed Oklahoma State, Delce threw eight innings, giving up eight hits and four earned runs.
While the Cowgirls did end up eliminating Tulsa, what was most impressive about Delce’s performances this past weekend was her demeanor. She remained unfazed in the face of adversity and stepped up for her team in the circle and in the box. With a recent NFCA Second-Team All-Central Region honor, it is clear that there are big things coming for this stellar freshman in the next three years.
This past weekend marked several “firsts” for the Boise State Broncos. Talk about an offense coming out of the gates swinging! In just their second NCAA post-season appearance, the Broncos set the tone with a definitive 9-1 win against the Stanford Cardinal to collect their first ever NCAA regional win. The Broncos offense combined for 10 hits with Rebekah Cervantes, Morgan Lamb, and Jessica McKay each recording two hits. In the circle, junior Kelsey Broadus held the Cardinal offense to one unearned run on six hits and two walks.
While the Broncos were run-ruled by regional host Florida early Saturday morning, they bounced back to once again defeat, and eliminate the Cardinal in a 2-0 shutout effort from Broadus. This led the Broncos to their first appearance in a regional final where they fell 5-0 to the Gators. However, with all but the four seniors returning next season, things are looking up for the Broncos and head coach Maggie Livreri who is in just her first season at the helm.
While the Wildcats dropped their regional opener to No. 2 seed UCLA and were ultimately eliminated by Missouri in the Los Angeles regional, the highlight of their regional appearance came when they defeated Cal State Fullerton 7-3. Behind three-hit game performances from Ashlyn Visser and Sydney White, the Wildcats exploded for 13 hits throughout the game, facing three of the Titans pitchers over seven innings.
Defensively, they allowed just three earned runs against the Titans who were coming off of their fourth consecutive Big West Championship. The win against Fullerton marked the first time a Big Sky team has won a regional game in the conference’s history. After winning the regular season Big Sky conference for the past four seasons, the success of the Wildcats comes as no surprise. With seven of their eight Big Sky conference selection players returning, we just might see Weber State in the post-season again next year.
With every national seed having won their respective Regionals by the time that James Madison was set to play No. 15 Michigan, they were certainly the underdog. After losing a 12-inning, 1-0 heartbreaker to Regional host Michigan in the second round of the regional, Megan Good proved why she is one of the top 10 Finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year.
Always an offensive and defensive threat, Good showed her grit time and time again during this regional. In the final two games of the regional, Good had a homerun, threw 14 innings, giving up just one earned run while yielding 10 hits to lead her team to victory and to Super Regionals. The Dukes, the only non-national seed to come out of regionals, will take on No. 2 seed UCLA in Los Angeles this weekend.