Although the University of Alabama softball team would probably never admit it, this was the scenario it was trying to avoid.
When the brackets were announced for the 2018 NCAA Softball Tournament, the Crimson Tide were hoping for two things:
1) To host a regional (which it did);
2) Have a favorable path to the College World Series.
This was anything but that.
Granted, any opponent would be tough at this point, but Alabama knows how tough Washington can be. The Crimson Tide visited Seattle early in the season when the Huskies were atop both major polls at No. 1.
They lost the first meeting 8-0 in five innings and the second 4-1.
No. 12 Alabama isn’t quite the same team and might be the healthiest it has been all season, but beating the Huskies twice in their own stadium is a daunting task. No. 5 Washington is 15-3 at home this season, and all three losses were to Oregon, the tournament’s top-seeded team.
Super Regional details
- Format: Best-of-three.
- When: The games are scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.
- Where: Husky Softball Stadium.
- Weather forecast: Although it could get a little chilly, The Weather Channel forecast is otherwise ideal with no rain expected.
What’s the best way to keep up with the game
Fans have numerous options:
TV: Game 1 is scheduled for ESPNU, Game 2 is scheduled for ESPN2, and Game 3, if necessary, will be back on ESPNU.
Radio: 93.3 FM in Tuscaloosa.
Live stats will be available.
Twitter updates: @AlabamaSB
What you should know
- Alabama (36-18) is coming off an impressive showing at the Tuscaloosa Regional, during which it gave up one run against Middle Tennessee, Wisconsin and Oregon State. The Crimson Tide is the only team to play in a Super Regional every year since the format was introduced in 2005.
- Sophomore center fielder Elissa Brown has moved into the team lead with a .357 batting average. She went 4-for-7 (.571) last weekend. She has stolen 30 bases. Coming off a foot injury, sophomore first baseman Bailey Hemphill hit her 13thhome run and is batting .350 (41 for 117). She leads the Tide in RBI (48) and walks (39).
- Alabama will see a lot of freshman Gabbie Plain (19-4, 1.03 ERA) and junior Taran Alvelo (21-4, 1.16), as the Washington staff has an ERA of 1.13. The Crimson Tide will counter with senior Alexis Osorio (15-9, 2.10) and junior Courtney Gettins (14-4, 2.37).
- Washington (47-8) swept Boise State, Texas and Minnesota in its regional and allowed three runs.
- This will be the fourth postseason meeting between the programs. Washington lost to Alabama in the 2015 Regionals and 2016 Super Regionals, but defeated the Crimson Tide in Super Regionals in 2007 in Seattle.
- The winner of the Seattle Super Regional will advance to play in the double-elimination Women’s College World Series, beginning May 31 in Oklahoma City. With the brackets fixed, the next opponent will be either No. 4 Oklahoma or No. 13 Arkansas. Overall, nine of the 16 remaining teams are from the SEC.