May 23-27, 2019 the NCAA Division II Softball Championship is going down at the Regency Athletic Complex in Denver, Colorado. Eight teams have battled their way to the big stage to find out who will be crowned this year's National Champion. Let's take a look at the teams.
The Cardiac Kids kept their historic season alive with a 2-1 victory in extra innings against top-seeded Saint Anselm College to claim the NCAA Division II East Region title for the fifth time. Senior Julia Seader was once again the hero for LIU Post, finishing 5-for-7 with two singles, one double, one triple, and one key home run during the two games. Seader drove in four runs on the day while reaching base safely in six of eight plate appearances. Junior Allie Laird finished 3-for-6 at the plate with two runs scored, while senior Ashley Melendez added a pair of hits including a home run. Junior Katie Humhej was masterful in game two, striking out five batters and allowing just one run during the eight-inning complete game.
The Mountain Lions keep the mojo going overcoming a six-run deficit to defeat Lincoln Memorial University 12-6 as they captured their first-ever NCA Division II Southeast Super Regional title Friday (May 17) afternoon at Dorothy Neely Field. Morgan Curley, Emily Harris, Grace Botti, and Katelynn Hodges combined for 10 RBI in the series-clinching win.
In a year full of firsts for the Texas A&M-Kingsville softball team, the Javelinas reached yet another program benchmark with a 6-5 defeat of the Cameron Aggies on Friday at Hubert Field in Kingsville, Texas, capturing the program's first-ever South Central Regional Championship. This title punches the Javelinas' ticket to the Division II Softball Championships, which will begin on Thursday in Denver, Colo. The Javelinas will combine power and speed to apply pressure to the opposition along with steady pitching between Breanna Smith and Saidi Castillo.
Grand Valley State
The Grand Valley State softball team is headed back to the Division II College World Series for the fourth time in program history – and the second time in the last four seasons – after they defeated Indianapolis 4-2 in the NCAA Division II Midwest Super Regional Championship game. Senior Allison Lipovsky is having another remarkable season for the Lakers posting a 0.84 ERA with a 31-2 record and 326 strikeouts. She’s backed by two of the top NCAA RBI sluggers Nikoma Holmen and Lydia Goble who each have 62 RBI apiece with double-digit home runs.
The No. 2-ranked University of West Florida softball team scored seven runs over the last two innings in yet another comeback win over No. 4 Florida Tech in the NCAA South Super Regional on Friday, advancing to the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in program history. Look for Teala Howard to be the sparkplug for the offense. Howard is batting .470 with 49 stolen bases on the season with a .500 on-base percentage. The Argonauts have multiple RBI producers to look to on offense with nine players with 20+ RBIs and Rhiannon Sassman leading the pack with 50. Kelsey Sweatt and Grace Gilbert have split the majority of innings but don’t be surprised to see Tori Perkins work into the rotation to offer hitters another look.
The West Chester/Shepherd Super Regional went to a decisive third game after Shepherd took game two in a 7-1 victory. Down to the wire, West Chester hung on to their one-run lead to take the series and advance to the WCWS for the third time in school history. Maegan Kavanagh played a huge role in the series picking up both wins in the circle. The top of the Rams order gets it done with Bri Garber and Annamarie Hartman setting the table and Emily Maseth and Heidi McCollester hitting them in. Maseth and McCollester combine for 131 RBIs on the season.
Trailing Central Oklahoma by one in the bottom of the seventh inning of the super regional, the Augustana softball team remained focused and never flinched. First, it was Shannon Petersen with a single up the middle to tie the game at 6-6, and then it was fellow senior Samantha Eisenreich lacing a single to left-center, scoring Becca Koupal for the game-winning run. The Vikings walked-off with a 7-6 win, earning the Central Region championship and storming the field for their second dog pile in two weeks. This will be their fifth trip to the NCAA DII WCWS. One of the toughest lineups in the country, the Vikings list a .352 team batting average outscoring opponents 428-120 while stealing 130 bases. Coach Greta will utilize the entire pitching staff with Amber Elliot, Olivia Wolters, and Ashley Mickschl who combine for a 1.78 staff ERA and an opponent batting average of .195.
UC San Diego
The No. 14 University of California San Diego softball team punched its ticket to Denver with a dramatic 4-3 walk-off win over No. 9 Concordia Irvine on Friday afternoon. UC San Diego won the best two-of-three series at the West Super Regional in Irvine, claiming its first West Region title since 2012. Ace Robyn Wampler went the distance in the circle for both wins.