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NCAA Regional Digest: Friday, May 21

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(This post will be updated throughout the day)

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Norman Regional

Results: Wichita State 9, Texas A&M 7; No. 1 Oklahoma 19, Morgan State 0 (5 inn.)

Player of the Day: Madison Perrigan, C, Wichita State

With apologies to the bevy of big numbers in the other game in Norman, particularly those from veteran standout Nicole Mendes with seven RBIs, Wichita State’s Perrigan came through with a monster performance of her own in the slightly more competitive opener against Texas A&M. The senior hit two home runs, joining teammate Addison Barnard with at least 20 this season — the only teammates who don’t play for Oklahoma who have at least 20 home runs this season. The second of those blasts, which capped a five-run, two-out binge in the fifth inning, proved crucial insurance against a late Texas A&M rally. 

Pitcher of the Day:  Giselle Juarez, Oklahoma

Everyone knew this was going to be a regional with a lot of offense. Well, Juarez was the only pitcher in either game who worked more than an inning without giving up a run. But at 38 total pitches in three-plus innings, she wasn’t taxed. 

Highlight: Sure, there is a “wince factor” to the score in Oklahoma’s 19-0 win against Morgan State. But two things are true of the MEAC champions. First, they were going to be substantial underdogs in any regional. Second, they earned their way into the field like every other team. So they earned the chance to take their shot against the best team in the country. The Sooners could have gone for the postseason single-game scoring record (21 runs) but pinch hit for many of their starters the final time through the order. Before, that, Jocelyn Alo hit home run No. 28 and the Sooners did break an NCAA postseason record with eight doubles. 

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. Wichita State (ESPN2, 4 p.m. ET)

Game 4: Morgan State vs. Texas A&M (ESPN3, 6:30 p.m. ET)

Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner (ESPN3, 9 p.m. ET)


Los Angeles

Fresno State, 3 vs. Minnesota, 0 ; Long Beach State, 0 at No. 2 UCLA, 8 (5 innings)

Player of the Day: Briana Perez

The UCLA shortstop went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI in their first round victory over LBSU

Pitcher of the Day: Hailey Dolcini, Fresno State

The Bulldog ace dealt in the opening game of the Los Angeles Regional shutting out the Minnesota offense in a complete-game two-hit victory. The Mountain West Pitcher of the Year struck out 13 batters.

Highlight: In game one of the series, Minnesota’s Amber Fiser and Dolcini battled back and forth in a good ole fashioned pitcher’s duel. With both sides scoreless through five innings, the contest lived up to its billing. Fiser, the 2019 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, threw an efficient 112 pitches striking out seven in the opener but still gave up 11 hits on the evening. Interim head coach, Jodie Cox, picked up her first win as skipper of the Bulldogs who last qualified for the NCAA tournament back in 2017

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Fresno State vs. UCLA – 4:30 p.m. ET – ESPN Family of Networks
Minnesota vs. Long Beach State – 7 p.m. – ET ESPN Family of Networks
Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner – 9:30 p.m. ET – ESPN Family of Networks


Tuscaloosa Regional

Results: Clemson 8, Troy 0 (5 inn.); No. 3 Alabama 8, Alabama State 0 (6 inn.)

Player of the Day: Valerie Cagle, P/UT, Clemson. 

The freshman hit two home runs and struck out 10 of the 17 batters she faced in the circle to secure the first NCAA win in the program’s young history. Cagle allowed one hit through four innings to earn the win (27-5). It marked the ninth time this season Cagle has homered and earned the win in the same game.

Pitcher of the Day: Lexi Kilfoyl, Alabama

The sophomore was downright dominant in her first NCAA start. Kilfoyl struck out 15 of the 17 batters she faced and combined with Krystal Goodman to throw the fifth no-hitter in Alabama’s postseason history. Kilfoyl didn’t walk a single batter in 5.1 innings of work. It was Kilfoyl’s second appearance in the circle since returning from an injury. 

Quick hitters: Alabama graduate senior Bailey Hemphill hit a walk-off two-run home run to extend her career program record to 62 home runs… Alabama has won 14 straight games this season and 41 straight games in regional play dating back to 2007… All eight of Clemson’s runs came via the long ball. The Tigers hit four home runs – two by Cagle and one each from Alia Logoleo and Marissa Guimbarda.

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 3 Alabama vs. Clemson (Noon ET, ESPN3)

Game 4: Troy vs. Alabama State (2:30 ET, ESPN3)

Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 (5 p.m. ET, ESPN3)


Gainesville Regional

Results: No. 4 Florida 1, USF 0; South Alabama 2, Baylor 0 

Player of the Day: Hannah Adams, IF, Florida. 

The senior lived up to her “Clutch” nickname again for the Gators. Adams belted a walk-off double to center field in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Cheyenne Lindsey with the game-winning run against USF ace Georgina Corrick.

Pitcher of the Day: Olivia Lackie, South Alabama

The freshman threw a complete-game two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts to lead South Alabama to the win over Baylor. Lackie improved to 19-10 while throwing 162 pitches and stranding nine runners on base.

Highlight: Florida recorded yet another walk-off win in a season filled with them. It was their defense that saved the day and set the stage for Adams to work her magic. Florida pulled Elizabeth Hightower in the seventh inning with a no-hitter still intact after USF put two runners on base with one out. Katie Chronister entered, and the Bulls got their first hit up the middle. But Cheyenne Lindsey threw the runner out at home, aided by catcher Julia Cottrill’s great tag. Cottrill then had the awareness to throw the runner out at third for the game-ending double play. Hightower gave up no hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 6.1 innings.

“I don’t think I’ve ever pulled a pitcher out of a game with a no-hitter,” Florida head coach Tim Walton said. 

“To have the wherewithal to get up and throw somebody out at third? That’s an easy forget-about-that-person … and we didn’t,” Walton said. “And we even had backups everywhere. I was really impressed with how our team finished that play.”

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 4 Florida vs. South Alabama (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Game 4: USF vs. Baylor (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3)


Stillwater Regional

Results: No. 5 Oklahoma St. 10, Campbell 0 (5 inn.); Mississippi St. 3, Boston U. 1

Player of the Day: Sydney Pennington, 3B, Oklahoma State

Pennington likes these home regionals. Two years ago, with the Cowgirls hosting a regional for the first time since 1998, she hit a home run that helped propel her team to the regional final. Friday, the local product hit a home run and drove in four runs in a rout of Campbell. Nor was this just any home run in a rout. Pennington’s 35th career home run matched the program record. Playing in front of home fans, she she even stole just her second base of the season. 

Pitcher of the Day: Annie Willis, Mississippi State

A pitching resurgence sparked Mississippi State’s late success this season. It also kept them on the right side of the bracket in Stillwater. Willis kept the Bulldogs in the game long enough to scratch together the runs necessary to hand Boston University’s Ali DuBois her first loss of the season. Willis pitched a smart game against a quality lineup that nevertheless doesn’t have much power. She didn’t give them free runners via walks and was able to scatter eight hits before turning things over to hard-throwing closer Alyssa Loza for the final frame. 

Highlight: You may have heard by now that Oklahoma State coach Kenny Gajewski likes to compare shortstop Kiley Naomi to Bo Jackson, partly for her tendency to do things that just get you up out of your seat. Well, Naomi didn’t race up any walls or break a bat over her knee, but she lived up to the description on the first pitch Oklahoma State batters saw in the tournament. 

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State (ESPN3, 2 p.m. ET)

Game 4: Campbell vs. Boston University (ESPN3, 4:30 p.m. ET)

Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner (ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET)


Fayetteville Regional

Results: No. 6 Arkansas 8 Manhattan 0 (5 innings); South Dakota State 7 Stanford 1

Player of the Day: Chloe Halvorson, South Dakota State

With two home runs against Stanford, Halvorson put an offensive show at the plate for the Jackrabbits. The second year freshman went 2-for-4 with 5 RBIs against Stanford.

Mary Haff (24-6) dominatated in the circle, tossing her fifth complete game shutout of the season. The redshirt junior allowed just two hits and one walk with five strikeouts in a run-rule win over Manhattan.

Highlight: The Jackrabbits picked up their first postseason win over Stanford

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

South Dakota State (43-6) vs. Arkansas (41-9), 1 p.m.

Stanford (31-21) vs. Manhattan, 3:30 p.m. [elimination game]


Baton Rouge Regional

Results: No. 7 LSU 10, McNeese State 2 (6 inn.); Louisiana 1, George Washington 0 (11 inn.)

Player of the Day: Amanda Doyle, IF, LSU

The senior belted two home runs to spark LSU’s run-rule victory over McNeese State. Doyle hit a two-run home run to right field in the first inning and a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth. Doyle has 32 career home runs, which is tied for fifth in school history. Doyle finished 2 for 4 with three runs and four RBIs.

Pitcher of the Day: Sierra Lange, GW

The redshirt junior went the distance for the Colonials in their NCAA debut. Lange gave up eight hits and one unearned run in 10.2 innings. She was aided by a strong defense behind her, striking out one and walking one.  

Highlight: The Louisiana-George Washington was by far one of the best of the day, filled with great pitching, impressive defense and controversial calls. Karly Heath’s pinch-hit RBI double in the 11th finally broke the scoreless tie and allowed the Ragin’ Cajuns to walk off with the win. The winning run was in place after an attempted tag out of Louisiana’s Sophie Piskos jolted the ball from the GW defender’s glove. Louisiana pitchers Kandra Lamb and Summer Ellyson combined to allow just two hits while striking out 14 and issuing no walks. GW was making the program’s NCAA debut and made a strong impression even while dealing with adversity. Two-time Atlantic-10 Player of the Year Jenna Cone went down with an injury in the top of the first inning while stepping on first base. But the team hung tough and battled for 10 more innings to nearly get the win.

“Really proud of our group,” GW Head Coach Shane Winkler said. “They fought all game long. Obviously, Louisiana knew they had a fight on their hands. That’s all you can ask for is a game like that, an opportunity to compete on this level. I think we opened up some eyes.”

Saturday’s schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 7 LSU vs. Louisiana (3 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Game 4: George Washington vs. McNeese State (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN3)


Columbia Regional

Results: Northern Iowa 8, Iowa State 0 (5 inn.), No. 8 Missouri 8, UIC 0 (6 inn.)

Player of the Day: Sammey Bunch, SS, Northern Iowa

She waited all season for the big stage and made the most of it when the curtain went up. Bunch reached base in all three of her plate appearances against Iowa State, and her third-inning home run put the Panthers in position for the run-rule win — the result less surprising than its comprehensive nature. Bunch entered the regional sixth in the nation in total bases, Iowa State’s Sami Williams one of the five players ahead of her. 

Pitcher of the Day: Jordan Weber, Missouri

Northern Iowa’s Kaiyln Packard set the bar high by throwing a five-inning one-hitter against Iowa State. But Missouri’s Weber did her one better by throwing six-inning one-hitter to beat UIC. Only a bloop single that grazed the glove of retreating shortstop Jenna Laird stood between Weber and a postseason no-hitter. 

Highlight: As if to emphasize just how prolific Missouri’s offense has been this season, Brooke Wilmes opened the regional with the home run that set a new team record for home runs in a season (83). And this team did it in five fewer games than the 2005 team played to set the mark. 

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: Northern Iowa vs. (ESPN3, 2 p.m. ET)

Game 4: Iowa State vs. (ESPN3, 4:30 p.m. ET)

Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner (ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET)


Knoxville Regional

Results: JMU 4, Liberty 3 (10 inn.); No. 9 Tennessee 8, Eastern Kentucky 1

Player of the Day: Sara Jubas, IF, JMU

The redshirt junior provided the clutch hits for the Dukes, which scored twice in the fourth and twice in the 10th inning to outlast its fellow Commonwealth of Virginia opponent. Jubas led off the fourth inning with a triple and scored on a wild pitch for the first run of the game. She lined a go-ahead two-run double in the 10th inning for a 4-2 lead. Jubas was 2 for 5 with a double, triple, one run scored and two RBIs.

Pitcher of the Day: Odicci Alexander, JMU. 

The redshirt senior recorded a program-record 19 strikeouts in going the distance for 10 innings. Alexander remained undefeated (13-0) while allowing three runs on six hits and walking three. Alexander topped the previous program record for strikeouts set by Megan Good, who fanned 17 batters in a nine-inning victory over Towson in 2019.

“She went out there and she was on a mission,” JMU head coach Loren LaPorte said. “She wanted to have control the entire time and she did just that. I honestly felt like she got better as the game went on. Her stuff started moving a little bit more. She was able to mix spots and she did a great job.”

Quick hitters: Tennessee junior Ashley Rogers gave up four hits and one earned run while striking out six in the complete-game win over Eastern Kentucky. UT’s Amanda Ayala was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Ivy Davis hit a three-run home run. … JMU (35-1) extended its winning streak to a nation-leading 25 straight games. …  Liberty’s Karlie Keeney was strong in relief, giving up one earned run on two hits in 6.2 innings.

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 9 Tennessee vs. JMU (Noon ET, ESPNU)

Game 4: Liberty vs. Eastern Kentucky (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner (5 p.m. ET, ESPN3) 


Tallahassee Regional

Results: UCF 5 Auburn 4; No. 10 Florida State 6 Kennesaw State 2

Player of the Day: Kaley Mudge

The FSU leadoff hitter went 3-for-4 and scored two runs for the Seminoles in their opening game win over Kennesaw State. Mudge lead off the bottom of the first inning with a double and followed her hot streak with two more singles on the day.

Pitcher of the Day: Alea White, UCF

She’s UCF’s all-time winningest pitcher for a reason. Alea White entered the game in relief in the with one out in the fourth inning to thwart a mid-game Auburn rally. White tossed 3.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits and no wins.

Highlight: The Knights turn a double play with the bases juiced to end the game.

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

UCF vs. Florida State – 12:00 p.m. ET (Broadcast TBD)
Auburn vs. Kennesaw State – 2:30 p.m. ET (Broadcast TBD)
Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner – 5:00 p.m. ET (Broadcast TBD)


Tucson Regional

Results: Ole Miss  5 Villanova 1; No. 11 Arizona 7 UMBC 0

Player of the Day: Sharlize Palacios, Arizona

The went 3-for-4 with a homerun and 4RBI in round one of the Tucson regional. Palacios went up swinging in the fifth smacking an opposite field two-run bomb in the fifth.

Pitcher of the Day: Anna Borgen, Ole Miss

Anna Borgen picked up the win in the circle for the Rebels, holding the Wildcats to three hits and one earned run, striking out three along the way in six innings of work.

Highlight: Jessie Harper blaster her 90th home run of the season bringing her season total to 14. Harper is just six homers shy of tying Lauren Chamberlains record set back in 2015.

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 11 Arizona v. Ole Miss 5 PM ET (SEC Network)
Game: 4: Villanova v. UMBC 7:30 PM ET (ESPN3)
Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner 10:00 PM ET (ESPN3)

Austin Regional

Results: No. 12 Texas 12, Saint Francis 0 (5 inn.); Texas State 5, Oregon 1

Player of the Day: Janae Jefferson, 2B, Texas 

She doubled on the second pitch that Texas saw in the bottom of the first inning and the rout was on. She scored in that first inning, drove in a run in the third inning and scored again in the fourth inning. Add it up and she had three hits, scored two runs, drove in two runs and stole a base. That’s a normal day at the office for the program’s all-time leader in hits. 

Pitcher of the Day: Meagan King, Texas State

No, not Meghan King, the Florida State pitcher who made a name for herself in the postseason. Texas State coach Ricci Woodard said the plan all along was to have freshman Jessica Mullins face “nine or 10” batters before going to King, the fourth-year pitcher who made more than half of her 2021 appearances in relief. It worked out well. King took over after an Oregon home run in the second inning, got help with Alyssa Brito flew out on a 3-0 count with two outs and two runners in scoring position, and cruised the rest of the way. King didn’t pitch in either of the games Texas State and Texas played this season (1-0 and 5-4 wins for the Longhorns). 

Highlight: It’s not a surprise that Texas State, fueled by a Hailey MacKay home run, won on the same day that Texas A&M and Baylor lost regional openers. The Bobcats are a more consistent postseason team than a lot of Power 5 schools — in the Lone Star State and beyond. Friday’s win was the program’s fourth since 2016 in a regional. Take just the Power 5 “State” schools. That’s the same number as Ohio State and more than the combined total of Iowa State, Michigan State, NC State, Oregon State and Penn State. (And don’t get us started on Kansas State and Washington State.) 

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 12 Texas vs. Texas State (ESPN2, 2 p.m. ET)

Game 4: Saint Francis vs. Oregon (ESPN3, 4:30 p.m. ET)

Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner (ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET)


Athens Regional

Results: No. 13 Duke 2, UNC-Greensboro 0; Georgia 11, Western Kentucky 3 (6 inn.)

Player of the Day: Lacey Fincher, IF, Georgia. 

The junior hit two home runs – a three-run shot in the first inning and a two-run shot in the fifth – to drive in Georgia’s first five runs of the game. Fincher was 2 for 3 with a walk, three runs scored and five RBIs.

“It’s a joy. You’re just looking for someone to throw it down the middle,” Fincher said. “If it’s not there, it’s no and then yes, yes, yes. There it is.”

Pitching Tandem of the Day: Shelby Walters and Peyton St. George, Duke.

Walters gave up four hits in 5.0 scoreless innings and St. George secured her fifth save of the season with two innings of hitless relief to help Duke beat UNC-Greensboro 2-0.

Quick hitters: Duke’s victory was the first NCAA win in the program’s four-year history. The Blue Devils are making their NCAA debut this season. … Georgia’s Sydney Chambley belted a walk-off grand slam to cap the Dawg’s run-rule win over WKU. … Because Duke didn’t get selected as a predetermined host, the Blue Devils will be playing Georgia on its home field for a spot in the regional final.

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 13 Duke vs. Georgia (Noon ET, ESPN3)

Game 4: UNC-Greensboro vs. Western Kentucky (2:30 p.m ET, ESPN3)

Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner (5 p.m ET, ESPN3)


Lexington Regional

Results: No. 14 Kentucky 3, Northwestern 2; Notre Dame 3, Miami 2

Player of the Day: Leea Hanks, OF, Notre Dame

The sophomore has developed a sudden taste for the long ball. Hanks’ three-run home run in the fourth inning was the key hit in Notre Dame’s win against Miami. It was just the 12th home run allowed this season by Miami ace Courtney Vierstra. It was also just the fifth home run of the season from Hanks, but it was her fourth this month alone (she had one home run in a freshman season cut short by the pandemic). 

Pitcher of the Day: Autumn Humes, Kentucky

She wasn’t as flawless as she was in last weekend’s shutout of Georgia in the SEC tournament. But on a day when Kentucky’s lineup failed to produce an extra-base hit for just the second time in 53 games, she was more than good enough. Humes allowed three extra-base hits, including an early home run, but she didn’t get herself in trouble by putting runners on base ahead of those hits. She finished with just one walk, matching her fewest in a seven-inning outing since the opening day of the season. She even helped her own cause, reaching base twice and scoring a run. 

“Oddly enough, after the home run was hit, I felt better,” Humes said. “I guess I felt more motivated to go after the hitters and give them my best pitches.”

Highlight: Northwestern catcher Jordyn Rudd was in the middle of things in the day’s opening game. The highlights came in throwing out Lauren Johnson and Kayla Kowalik on stolen base attempts. Those two Wildcats entered the game with 32 stolen bases in 37 attempts. The controversial moment came when she was called for interference on a play at the plate when Kentucky scored its second run of the game. Northwestern coach Kate Drohan appeared to question the call, and Rudd appeared to give the runner a place to slide, but the umpire was unmoved. 

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: No. 14 Kentucky vs. Notre Dame (ESPN3, 12 p.m. ET)

Game 4: Northwestern vs. Miami (ESPN3, 2:30 p.m. ET)

Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner (ESPN3, 5 p.m. ET)


Tempe Regional

Results: Virginia Tech 8 Arizona State 2; BYU 7 SIU 2; BYU 9 Arizona State 8

Player of the Day: Violet Zavodnik, BYU
The freshman outfielder was red hot at the plate in both of BYU’s games on Friday evening. Zavodnik went 5-for-8 with a home run and 4RBIs on the day and dazzled on defense a diving catch in center field.

Pitcher of the Day: Keely Rochard

The ACC Pitcher of the Year upset the No. 15 seed Arizona State allowing just two runs in a complete game victory over an explosive ASU offense. The junior hurler was efficient in the circle, working her rise at different levels to pick up nine strikeouts against the national seed.

Highlight: The Cougars sent home the No. 15 seed Arizona State, to advance to the Regional final on a go ahead single by Violet Zavodnik in the bottom of the sixth inning. Arizona State rallied with a solo shot in the top of the seventh to come within one but eventually but but Arissa Paulson got two groundouts and a strikeout to end the game.

Avoiding elimination in two-straight games, BYU advances to the Tempe Regional Final

“Going out there and playing to win is what we push as a program,” said BYU head coach Gordon Eakin. “I thought our kids did that all day long, we just took the game to the opponent and it was a lot of fun.”

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 6: Virginia Tech. v. BYU  at 6 PM ET (ESPN3)
Game 7: If necessary* at 10 PM ET (ESPN3)


Seattle Regional

Results: Michigan 2 Seattle U 0; Portland State 0 Washington 3

Player of the Day: Morganne Flores
The Huskies scored in the first inning on Flores’ double after Sis Bates singled stole second. The graduate catcher went 2-for-3 against Portland State and caught Gabbie Plain’s complete game victory. Flores caught the two-hit, eight strikeout victory.

Pitcher of the Day: Meghan Beubien

The Michigan left-hander tossed her second straight complete game no-hitter against Seattle U in the opening game of the Regional. Beaubien struck out 12 batters, six looking, and allowed just three base runners on a HBP, walk and an error.

Highlight: Michigan scored in the bottom of the third inning. Lexie Blair started the rally with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a bunt single. Blair tagged on a fly out to deep left-center to score on a wild pitch for the first run of the game. Senior slugger Taylor Bump added an insurance run in the sixth with a one-out solo shot to right-center field. Bump leads the Wolverines in home runs (11) and has homered in three of the last five game.

Saturday schedule and broadcast information

Game 3: Washington v. Michigan 6 PM ET
Game 4: Seattle U v. Portland State 8:30 PM ET
Game 5: Loser of Game 3 v. Winner of Game 4: 11:00 PM ET ESPN3
 

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