Four teams, one slot in the 2015 NCAA Super Regionals. That’s the situation for the 2015 Lafayette Regional in the NCAA Softball Tournament. Host University of Louisiana, Baylor University, Weber State University, and our Mississippi State Bulldogs. Two teams who made the Women’s College World Series last year are in this one regional. You want a regional of death? We might have just found it in Lafayette, Louisiana. Let’s go over these teams, shall we? We will go in seeding order.
1-seed University of Lafayette
The Ragin’ Cajuns have the privilege of hosting their second regional that Mississippi State has participated in. The Cajuns come in with a 39-9 record, and a Sun Belt Championship. With their leading hitter batting a .426 and smacking 29 home runs and 74 RBIs, the Ragin’ Cajuns pose one of the most potent offensive threats in the nation. This will cause problems for some teams that lack in the defensive side of the field. The team, as a whole, has hit 106 homers and has knocked in 362 runs. On the flip side, they have given up only 27 homers and 100 RBIs.
Their leading pitcher, Jordan Wallace, has pitched 134.1 innings with a 1.98 ERA. Her opponents are only hitting .142 on the season. That’s a lot of batters who don’t make a hit at all against her. Her record of 16-5 may not be impressive, but she is the workhorse of the program. She has pitched 15 complete games, and has struck out 199 batters she has faced.
2-seed Baylor University
The Baylor University Lady Bears come into the Lafayette Regional with a 38-15 record. Their leading hitter is batting .417, but their biggest slugging player has hit 16 homers with 41 RBIs. The Lady Bears are batting .319, and have stolen 84-104 bags. The team has hit 42 homers with 235 RBIs. So while they may not score as often as Louisiana, they rely more on you making mistakes against them.
Their 9-7 away record doesn’t bode well for the Lady Bears as the Louisiana atmosphere is a very hostile one. The thickness of the air is definitely a factor also, so maybe Baylor’s style of play can benefit them here. Their workhorse is Heather Steams, who comes into the regional with a 19-11 record and a 2.46 ERA. With 13 complete games under her belt this season, and 182.1 innings pitched, expect the Bulldogs to face Steams in Game 1 of the weekend.
3-seed Mississippi State University
Your Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs are ready for postseason play with a 35-19 record. Our leading batter Katie Anne Bailey with a .351 average. Our biggest homer threat, however, is Caroline Seitz as she has hit 13 dingers on the season with 51 RBIs. As a whole, however, the Bulldogs have hit 51 homers with 288 RBIs. A team batting average of .318 bodes well for the Bulldogs’ chances to hit balls in this regional, thanks to new hitting coach Samantha Ricketts.
Without question, the workhorse of the Mississippi State program is Alexis Silkwood. With a 25-14 record, and a 2.81 ERA, Silkwood will look to limit the opponents’ chances of claiming victory over the Bulldogs. With 22 complete games, and 216.2 innings pitched, Silkwood has also managed to strike out 199 batters and hold opponents to a .234 batting average. It will be interesting to see how Silky does in the 2015 Lafayette Regional.
4-seed Weber State University
Weber State University comes into the Lafayette Regional with a 35-17 record. The Wildcats’ leading hitter is batting .410. Their biggest slugger, however, only has 7 homers on the season. This team is definitely not one to smack it out of the park on you, but just manages to play small-ball with you and produce the runs necessary. As a team, the Wildcats hit .323 with 34 homers and 284 RBIs. Simply a testament to what philosophy of a team that they want to see in the game.
Their leading pitcher is Flint, who comes into the regional with a 11-7 record. She also has a 2.47 ERA, so she will try and limit the runs, if at all possible against these high-powered offenses in the regional. With 9 complete games, and 116 innings pitched, Flint has given up 9 homers and have held opponents to batting only .212 on the year.