ELOOnline : College Softball 2014 NCAA Tournament Projections
We are four weeks away from Selection Sunday and who will make the NCAA Tournament.
AAC : The next two weekends will go a long way in telling the story of the AAC Regular season title race. Two big series this weekend, first in Orlando, UCF coming off a thrilling series win at Tampa against USF now host Louisville. Junior Mackenzie Audas went 3-0 last week winning on the road at Stetson and beating USF twice including a classic pitchers duel against Sara Nevins and the Bulls on Sunday 2-1 in a pitching rematch from the 2012 regional in Gainesville. Audas would win AAC pitcher of the week honors for the second time joining her teammate Shelby Turnier as two time AAC pitcher of the weeks this season. Audas also is in the conversation with Turnier, and Nevins in the race for AAC pitcher of the Year. The series win over the Bulls which was the first time the two programs met on the field in the regular season since 2006 help put the Knights in a good spot for a return to the NCAA Tournament but also keep them in the AAC Conference title race as the Knights (30-13) (7-2) are one game back in the loss column behind Houston in the standings for first place. The Knights will continue critical stretch in the season as they host Louisville who was the preseason pick to win the AAC started slow in conference but have won six in a row to get to 8-4 in conference and right behind the Knights for first third place. The Knights host Houston the following weekend in potential showdown as the next few weeks will go a long way in deciding UCF postseason fate.
Houston begins a critical two weekend stretch in conference that be toughest part of conference schedule for the Cougars. The Cougars who have number one offense in the conference will face two of the top pitching staffs in the country. The Cougars who are led by star hitter Haley Outon will host Nevins and the Bulls this weekend and follow that by a trip to Orlando the following weekend to renew rivalry with UCF from CUSA.
Other Key series this weekend.
• Alabama vs. Auburn (Wednesday) : First meeting as conference foes for Alabama HC Pat Murphy vs Auburn’s Clint Myers.
• Lipscomb at Stetson (Friday-Saturday) : The A-Sun is looking to have two teams in NCAA Tournament for the first time ever in conference history. USC Upstate figures to be favorites to get a spot from the conference. This series in DeLand could identify the 2nd team as Lipscomb and rpi of 30 travel to Stetson who has critical 4 game stretch with Lipscomb at home then travel to UCF on April 22.
• Texas at Oklahoma (Thursday-Saturday) : No Keilani Ricketts , No Blair Luna. Still major implications in Big 12 conference title race between these long time rivals.
• California at Oregon (Friday-Sunday) : California on the bubble has an opportunity traveling to number 1 rank Oregon.
• Minnesota at Michigan (Friday-Sunday) : Minnesota and Michigan in a Big 10 series showdown.
Here is my first NCAA Tournament Softball projections of the year as I be doing one each week. ( ) means RPI ranking. Some interesting regular season races starting to heat up.
ACC (4): Florida State (8), North Carolina State (26), Notre Dame (25), Virginia Tech (38)
American (4): Houston (31), Louisville (42), UCF (35), USF (44)
Big East: DePaul (41)
Big 12 (4): Baylor (12), Oklahoma (14), Texas (32), Kansas (34)
Big Ten (4): Michigan (18), Minnesota (19), Nebraska (13), Northwestern (28)
Pac-12 (6): Arizona (9), Arizona State (10), California (52), Oregon (6), UCLA (4), Washington (21)
SEC (11): Alabama (1), Auburn (23), Florida (2), Georgia (3), Kentucky (16), LSU (22), Mississippi State (39), Missouri (5), Tennessee (11), Texas A&M (15), South Carolina (36)
A-10: Saint Joseph’s
America East: Albany
A-Sun (2): Lipscomb (30), USC-Upstate (27)
Big Sky: Idaho State
Big South: Coastal Carolina
Big West: Long Beach State (37)
CAA: James Madison (24)
C-USA (3): Florida International (47), Tulsa (20), UAB (33)
MAC: Ball State
MVC: Northern Iowa
MWC: San Diego State (40)
NEC: Central Connecticut State
OVC: Jacksonville State
Southland: McNeese State (29)
Summit: North Dakota State
Sun Belt (2): Louisiana-Lafayette (7), South Alabama (17)
SWAC: Jackson State
WAC: New Mexico State
Last 4 In : FIU (47), California (52), USF (44), Mississippi State (39)
First 4 Out : Stanford (46), Stetson(49), College of Charleston (50), Hofstra (51)
Next 4 Out : Oklahoma State (58), Wisconsin (54), Mercer (43), Georgia Southern (57)
Temas Projections to Host and seed
4- Arizona State
7- Florida State
14- Louisiana – Lafayette
16- NebraskaELOOnline : College Softball 2014 NCAA Tournament Projections by Eric Lopez