With conference tournaments wrapping up last weekend, now attention turns towards NCAA Softball regionals starting Friday afternoon. The regionals taking place in Gainesville feature four teams from four different conferences.
After a strong start to the regular season, Wisconsin enters the NCAA regionals on a bit of a cold streak. The Badgers lost their last six regular season games entering their conference tournament. In the Big Ten tournament, Wisconsin finally snapped their losing streak with a first round win against Minnesota, but their success didn’t last long as they were bounced in the quarterfinals by Northwestern.
Aside from recent struggles, head coach Yvette Healy likes the effort put forth from her team. She describes Wisconsin softball as an “effort team”.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets enter the NCAA regionals feeling pretty good about themselves. That marks their best regular season record in over ten years dating back to when they went 45-12 back in the 2011 season. After a few seasons of mediocrity, the Yellow Jackets are looking to make a deep tournament run this season.
Part of the reason the Yellow Jackets have had so much success this season is their willingness to play small ball. Georgia Tech isn’t a team that will score a lot of home runs, but they still have a very potent offense because of their ability to play small ball and be aggressive on the base-paths.
The Canisius Golden Griffins enter this NCAA Regional as one of the hottest teams in the field. The Griffins ended their regular season on a nine game winning streak and then went on to cruise to their first MAAC tournament championship since 2009. Canisius is the only team featured in the Gainesville regional that won their conference tournament.
Canisius builds their offense around speed and small ball. Head coach Kim Griffin always tells her team “speed doesn’t slump”, and urges her players to be aggressive while running the bases. This strategy has led the Golden Griffins to record over 100 stolen bases this season.
The host of these NCAA Softball Regionals is none other than the Florida Gators. Florida has had a very solid season, finishing up with a very modest record of 43-16. Their performance this season has also been good enough for them to enter NCAA regionals ranked as the number 14 team in the nation.
The Gators will begin their quest for their first NCAA title since 2015 with their first regionals matchup set for Friday at 4:30pm versus Canisius College.