#5 Washington opened postseason play 3-0, knocking off Boise State, Texas, and Minnesota to reach Super Regionals. They'll host a postseason nemesis: #12 Alabama.
With just two teams participating, the schedule in Super Regionals is much simpler. Washington and Alabama will play a best-of-three series, with Sunday's gane only being played if Friday and Saturday are split. UW will bat second as the "home" team in games 1 & 3, while Alabama will be the "home" team in game 2.
Game 1: #12 Alabama vs #5 Washington — Friday, 6 p.m., ESPNU
Game 2: #5 Washington vs #12 Alabama — Saturday, 4 p.m., ESPN2
Game 3 (if necessary): #12 Alabama vs #5 Washington — Sunday, 4 p.m., ESPNU
Infield reserved tickets and general admission (but with a seat) are sold out. Standing room only tickets are still available at http://gohuskies.com/signingday/softball/softball/97/
Despite being in both different conferences and completely different parts of the country, Washington-Alabama has plenty of history. The Huskies are currently on a 4-game winning streak in the series, with 2-game sweeps of the Crimson Tide in each of the last two regular seasons (2017 in Tuscaloosa, 2018 in Seattle).
However, Bama has had the recent edge in postsesson play. Alabama knocked UW out of the 2015 tournament in the Tuscaloosa Regional — the last time UW did not host a regional — and swept the 11th-seeded Huskies in the 2016 Super Regional; once again, at Rhoads Stadium in Alabama. Washington's only postseason success in the series was a 2-game Super Regional sweep in Seattle in 2007, led by then-sophomore Danielle Lawrie. That marks one of just two times Alabama has lost a postseason series 2-0.
What to watch for
Each of UW’s current co-aces has stymied the Alabama bats on consecutive days. Taran Alvelo held Bama to 2 runs over 12 2⁄3 innings on the road in 2017, while Gabbie Plain allowed just 3 hits in 9 scoreless innings vs UA in the Husky Classic this year.
When Alabama came to Seattle in March, they weren't able to pose much of a problem to the Huskies. UW jumped all over ace Alexis Osorio, tagging her for 7 runs before she could record an out in the 2nd inning.
Alabama has been a much different team late in the season. 2 weeks before Selection Sunday, Alabama's 13-year streak of hosting the regional round was in jeopardy. An emphatic sweep of Texas A&M on Senior Weekend and a close win over archrival Auburn in the SEC tournament opener secured the hosting bid. Then last weekend, Alabama dominated their regional opponents, outscoring MTSU, Wisconsin, and Oregon State by a combined margin of 23-1.
Crimson Tide 1B/C/DP Bailey Hemphill returned from injury and helped Alabana salvage the final game of a road series at Georgia. UA is 8-1 since Hemphill returned to the lineup, and she has been mashing the ball: 10 for 17 (.588) with 5 HR and 17 RBI. She has not played catcher since returning to action, but she never was the starting catcher in the first place; she just gave Reagan Dykes an occasional day off. Hemphill was one of the only Alabama players to actually have a good tournament when they visited Seattle in March, including a clutch grand slam to help them rally past BYU in the opener.
Although there were multiple very exciting games including a few notable upsets, every host advanced to Super Regionals. #3 UCLA, #9 South Carolina, and #11 LSU were the only 3 hosts to suffer a loss. The Gamecocks were extremely close to being eliminated, needing a 7th-inning rally vs Hofstra just to make the Regional Final, then beating Liberty twice on Sunday to advance.
The winner of the Seattle Super Regional will face the winner of the Norman Super Regional in the first game of the WCWS.
The eight Super Regional matchups, sorted by how the bracket will be formed at the WCWS:
Eugene, OR: (16) Kentucky at (1) Oregon (Thu-Sat)
Tempe, AZ: (9) South Carolina at (8) Arizona State (Fri-Sun)
Seattle, WA: (12) Alabama at (5) Washington (Fri-Sun)
Norman, OK: (13) Arkansas at (4) Oklahoma (Fri-Sun)
Los Angeles, CA: (14) Arizona at (3) UCLA (Thu-Sat)
Tallahassee, FL: (11) LSU at (6) Florida State (Fri-Sun)
Athens, GA: (10) Tennessee at (7) Georgia (Fri-Sun)
Gainesville, FL: (15) Texas A&M at (2) Florida (Thu-Sat)