- Geno Smith went to complete 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards, moving past Marc Bulger (8,153) to set the school record for career yards passing (8,191). He also has thrown for 734 yards and nine touchdowns. All while only throwing nine incompletions in two weeks. Yes, the same number of incompletions as touchdowns. Just like RG3 last year. Continue reading
- West Virginia became the fifth team in 15 years to score 65 or more points in consecutive games. They put up 70 on Clemson in last year’s Orange Bowl and beat Marshall 69-34 Saturday.
- Missouri’s Marcus Murphy had quite a day in the Tigers’ rout of Southeastern Louisiana. Murphy became the first Tiger ever with two punt returns for score in the same game when he took punts back for 70 and 72 yards. He finished the game with 180 yards on five punt returns, breaking the school record of 156 previously held by NFL Hall of Famer Roger Wehrli set Oct. 21, 1967.
- Missouri scored two defensive touchdowns in the first quarter. The last time Tigers had two defensive scores in a game was 2006 at Texas Tech.
- Notre Dame scored 50 points against Navy on Saturday. it’s the most points the Fighting Irish have scored in a season-opener since scoring 52 against Purdue in 1983. It’s the fourth-most since 1920/
- Tavarres King recorded his sixth career reception of 50+ yards to score for Georgia. Since King’s freshman year in 2009, only two SEC receivers have more catches of 50+ yards: Cobi Hamilton (Arkansas) and Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina), with eight each.
- Ryan Nassib set new Syracuse records for single-game pass yards (470), passes (65) and completions (44) against Northwestern. The previous pass yards record was held by Marvin Graves, set in 1992.
- Northwestern allowed 28 points in the 2nd half at Syracuse, blowing a 35-13 lead before coming back to win in the final minute. In 2011, Northwestern allowed the most 2nd half points in the Big Ten. Syracuse allowed 21 second half points in the game. Last year, Cuse allowed 172 2nd half points, 2nd most in the Big East.
- Urban Meyer led the Buckeyes to 56 points in his Ohio State head coaching debut. It was the 2nd-most points by any Ohio State head coach in their first game on the sidelines in school history. John Wilce’s team put up 58 in 1913 against Ohio Wesleyan.
- Urban Meyer is now 4-0 in his debuts as head coach at a new school, winning by an average of just under 23 points. The 56 points scored and the 46-point margin of victory Saturday against Miami (OH) are also Meyer’s highs in a debut at a new school.
- Penn State hadn’t lost a season-opener since 2001, when they lost to Miami (FL). They haven’t lost a season-opener to a non-BCS AQ conference team (current BCS AQ) since 1967, lost at Navy. Until Saturday, that is, when they lost to Ohio.
- Despite scoring 62 points, North Carolina finished three points shy of tying the school record and had its best output since beating Ohio 62-0 under Mack Brown in September 1995. It was also the Tar Heels’ first shutout since beating Duke 38-0 to close the 1999 season.
- UTSA picked up it’s first FBS victory, with a comeback win against fellow FBS newbie South Alabama.
- Cal Lost to Nevada for only the second time at home in 25 tries and first since 1903.
- Florida won it’s 23rd consecutive opener. That’s second nationally behind Nebraska’s 27 consecutive opening wins.
- With it’s win over Tulsa, Iowa State has won nine of it’s last 10 openers.
- Chase Rettig threw for 441 yards against Miami, the sixth-highest single-game total in school history and most since Glenn Foley threw for 448 yards in 1993.
- Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez had been known for his running. Saturday, he showed America he can also pass. Martinez threw for a career-high 354 yards and rushed for only 10 as the Huskers won their 27th consecutive opener.
- Wisconsin won it’s 17th consecutive home game, tied with LSU for longest streak.
- With his third quarter touchdown run, Montee Ball has now scored a touchdown in each of his last 21 games, dating back to 2010.
- Jim McElwain became the first Colorado State coach to win his debut in 42 years Saturday when the Rams rallied past their arch rival for a 22-17 win over the Colorado Buffaloes.
- New Mexico scored 66 points in its opener against Southern. That puts the Lobos almost halfway to their total of 144 points scored all last season. The Lobos scored 38 points in the second quarter, as many as they totaled in the final six games last season.
- Dustin Hopkins, who is on pace to shatter both the school and Atlantic Coast Conference scoring records, added field goals of 28 and 30 yards and extended his string of successful consecutive point after kicks to 139. Hopkins now has 341 career points, 53 shy of the league and school records.
- Pittsburgh’s loss to Youngstown State was the school’s first in 11 all-time games against FCS opponents. It was the Panthers’ third meeting all-time against the Penguins. In the previous two meetings, Pitt outscored Youngstown State 79-3.
- The Penguins, a Football Championship Subdivision program, beat a Bowl Championship Series team for the first time in school history.
- Andre Ellington ran for 228 yards in Clemson’s win against Auburn. Ellington is the only the third ACC player since 2004 with multiple 200-yard rushing games. Seven ACC _teams_ don’t even have multiple 200-yd rushing games by an individual in that period.
- Clemson wins consecutive meetings with Auburn for the first time since 1950-51. From 1952 until 2010, they played each other 14 times. Auburn was 14-0. Since then, Clemson is 2-0.
- Clemson now has a win against an SEC team in 9 of the last 11 seasons.
- The 84 points that Oklahoma State scored Saturday vs Savannah State is the most by an FBS team since Oct. 1991 when Fresno State dropped 94 on the New Mexico Lobos.
- Oklahoma State’s 84 points were the most by any full-fledged FBS member since 2000. Western Kentucky scored 87 points against West Virginia Tech in 2007, but the Hilltoppers were reclassifying from FCS to FBS.
- Oklahoma State had no problem scoring against Savannah State, becoming the first team since the turn of the century to top 80 points in its opener.
- Oklahoma State’s 84 points are their most in a season-opener… since 19116.
- After being tied with Missouri State at nine in the third quarter, Kansas State scored 42 consecutive points to win 51-9.
- Indiana ended a nine-game losing streak — winning for the first time since beating South Carolina State 38-21 on Sept. 17, 2011.
- Texas State got its first won as an FBS member, when they whalloped a rebuilding Houston squad, 30-13.
- Alabama ran for 232 yards on 42 carries Saturday against Michigan. The Tide are now 40-0 since the start of the 2008 season when they run for at least 150 yards.
- The 27-point loss for the Wolverines is the worst loss in a season-opener in the 133 years of Michigan football.
- With its loss to Rutgers, Tulane lost its 11th consecutive game dating to last year, its longest losing streak since dropping 16 in a row from 1961-63.
- Arizona, which needed overtime to defeat Toledo, amassed 624 yards to Toledo’s 358 but had two touchdowns called back by penalties, turned the ball over three times and missed the two short field goals.
- Washington scored its first defensive touchdown since Quinton Richardson returned an interception for a score against UCLA two seasons ago.
- Ryan Aplin became Arkansas State’s career leader in total offense with 9,075 yards, surpassing Corey Leonard (2006-09) and also became the leader in yards passing with 7,721, to pass Cleo Lemon (1997-2000). Unfortunately, his team lost to Oregon 57-34. The Ducks led 29-0 after the first quarter and 50-3 halfway through the second period.
Alabama – As they make their 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, the Tide will be looking to get to its fourth consecutive College World Series. Like many top teams, Alabama set itself up with a strong schedule, but that did not manage to hinder them for continuing their success, winning 30 of their first 31 games, including the first 17. Continue reading
>Alabama vs. Michigan State
A share of its first conference championship in 20 years and a school record for wins apparently wasn’t good enough for Michigan State (11-1) earn the program’s first BCS invitation, finishing behind fellow Big Ten champions Ohio State and Wisconsin. So who better to play to see if you belong up there than last year’s national champ, right?
Kirk Cousins comes in with some gaudy stats but will have some challenges in this game. While he has thrown for 2,705 yards and 20 touchdowns. But five of his nine interceptions have come in the last four games. Leading receiver B.J. Cunningham is out after breaking his foot in practice Dec. 18. Cunningham led the team with 50 receptions for 611 yards and nine touchdowns. Michigan State does have other options, though. Mark Dell caught 49 passes for 761 yards, and Keshawn Martin added 29 catches.
Running back Edwin Baker ranked third in the Big Ten with 1,187 yards, rushed for 6.1 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns.
Alabama will counter with wide receiver and second-team All-American Julio Jones, who set school records with 75 receptions and 1,084 yards this season. Jones caught seven of Greg McElroy’s 19 touchdown passes. McElroy has thrown for 2,767 yards.
However, last season’s Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, who missed two games due to injury, has been held to less than 100 yards in eight straight contests after eclipsing that mark nine times in 2009. He has rushed for just over 800 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.
Prediction: Alabama 24-21
>For the next month or so, I will be previewing every D 1-A college football team. They will be in alphabetical order. Crazy? Yes, I know, but I figure why not? And who is first???
Air Force – The Falcons are coming off of an 8-5 season, which saw them upset No. 25 Houston 47-20 in the Armed Forces Bowl. The bowl game was the third in a row for the Falcons, a first since 1990-1992 and the first time it had gone to the same bowl in three consecutive years. Third-year coach Troy Calhoun, who brings a 25-14 record into the 2010 season, became the first coach in school history to take the Falcons to bowl games in his first three years at the helm.
Offense - The Falcons’ skill positions are full of experienced, talented players. Air Force returns 100 percent of its rushing, passing, kickoff return, punt return and total offense yards from 2009, along with 90.4 percent of its receiving yards. The team also returns 100 percent of its scoring and 98.3 percent of its all-purpose yards from a year ago.
The Falcons bring back five starters from last year’s squad, led by senior fullback Jared Tew. Tew led the team with 970 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Both of his backfield teammates, quarterback Tim Jefferson and running back Asher Clark, return as well.
Jefferson will be overcoming off-season knee surgery after a season that saw him pass for 848 yards and five touchdowns and rushing for 254 yards and four touchdowns. He will be pushed by fellow junior Connor Dietz. Dietz brings some experience as well, as he played until he broke his hand with five games left in the season, therefore knocking him out for the season. His 369 rushing yards were fourth most on the team last year.
As has been the Falcons’ forte, the passing game comes a distant second in the offense. Despite that, Air Force brings back their top two receivers, Kevin Fogler and Jonathan Warzeka. Fogler returns after 25 balls for 567 yards and five touchdowns. The team’s second-leading wideout, Warzeka, returns after catching 18 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown.
One area of concern will be the offensive line, as they graduated all of their starters from the 2009 season. Only A.J. Wallerstein returns with starting experience, after starting the first game last season against Nicholls State.
Defense - The secondary will be the defense’s strength. Senior cornerback Reggie Rembert, along with junior corner Anthony Wright, Jr., and safety Jon Davis return to lead the group. Rembert was a first-team all-conference performer last season. He had 43 total tackles, three interceptions, forced two fumbles and had two fumble recoveries. He also became the school’s all-time leader in kickoff returns and kickoff return yards.
Wright recorded the third-most interceptions in a single season in school history with seven, including a school-record-tying three vs. Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl. Wright also scored
two touchdowns on interceptions returns and another on a punt return while earning second-team all-conference honors. Davis added 56 tackles, three interceptions, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Davis also scored a touchdown on an interception return.
The linebacker and defensive line corps, however, will be a major question mark for the Falcons. The defensive line will be bolstered by the lone returning starter, senior Rick Ricketts, who finished fourth on the team in tackles with 57. He also was third in tackles for loss with 6.5 for 39 yards and second in sacks with 4 for 28 yards.
The linebacker corps returns Andre Morris, Jr., at outside linebacker. Morris was third on the
team in tackles with 65 and had 6.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. He’ll be joined by sophomore Wale Lawal, Jr., who played 11 games as a rookie last year. Seniors Patrick Hennessey and Ken Lamendola had their junior years shortened by injury and missed all of spring practice. If they’re able to return, the Falcons will have an experienced group. Lamendola had a 100-plus tackle sophomore season and Hennessey was in a starting role before injuries.
Schedule - The Falcons start out with four of their first five opponents coming off of bowl appearances. The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a visit to Oklahoma to take on an Oklahoma squad going through some major personnel shuffling. The team closes with four of its last six on the road and has to face TCU and Utah back to back at the end of October.
Akron – Rob Ianello takes over for J.D. Brookhart, who was relieved of his duties after a 3-9 season. The Zips have not had a winning record since 2005. Ianello comes over from Notre Dame, where he was the wide receivers coach since 2005. In January of 2009, he was named the Assistant Head Coach for the Offense, as well as retaining his duties as the wide receivers coach. Under his guidance, six of the nine best individual receiving seasons in Notre Dame history have occurred. In the past five seasons, four Irish receivers have caught more than 60 passes in a season, while five players have eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards.
Offense - Patrick Nicely returns after starting the last seven games for the Zips, as does his backup Matt Rodgers, who started three games. Despite his 54.1% completion percentage, if the Zips are going to be successful, Nicely is going to have to improve on his touchdown:interception ratio, which was 1:1 after he threw six touchdowns and six interceptions.
Akron returns four of their five top rushers from last year. Those four combined for 826 of the team’s 1,726 rushing yards during the 2009 season. Rodgers is the returning leader as he rushed for 226 yards on 40 carries. Broderick Alexander and Alex Allen also return after rushing for 217 and 216 yards, respectively. Allen led the five with five rushing touchdowns.
To ease the pressure on the quarterbacks and running backs, the Zips return three starters on the offensive line from last year. Corey Woods, Mike Ward and Jake Anderson each return after starting all 12 games last year at LT, LG and RT, respectively.
Despite all of the experience coming back in the offensive backfield, only one major contributor returns in the wide receiving core. Luckily for the Zips, that contributor is last year’s top receiver, Jeremy LaFrance. The junior college transfer made quite an impression in his debut season at the D-1 level after grabbing 43 passes for 520 yards and two touchdowns. In fact La France is the only returning player who caught a touchdown last season.
Defense - If one was to say that Brain Wagner was the star on the defensive side of the ball, there would surely be no one to argue that fact. Wagner, a middle linebacker, had such a huge impact as a freshman last year that The Sporting News named him a First-Team Freshman All-American. What led him to earn such a great honor? 132 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two interceptions, one sack, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. His 132 tackles were almost double of the next Zip, Mike Thomas, who had 71 tackles.
Luckily for Akron, it seems as if Wagner and Thomas make up only half of what is probably the strongest position on the defensive side of the ball, the linebackers. Along with Wagner and Thomas, Sean Fobbs also returns at the RUSH LB spot, also starting all 12 games, as the aforementioned two did as well. Akron also returns two players, Will Fleming and DeAngelo Williams, who started a combined seven games at the strongside linebacker position.
The defensive line will be bolstered by the return of DT Almondo Sewell, DT Dan Marcoux, DT James Harvey and DE Hasan Hazime. Sewell started all 12 games at DT and led all linemen with 53 tackles. Hazime started the last eight games at defensive end and was tied for the team lead with three sacks, as well as figuring in on 49 tackles and forcing one fumble. Harvey started 10 games, the first four at defensive end and the next six at nose tackle. In 11 total games, he was involved in 23 tackles and four tackles for loss. Marcoux started six games and chipped in with 15 tackles.
The Akron secondary won’t be as tough as the rest of the defense, however, as they only return three players that started any games last season. Manny Waller started 11 games at one CB spot, finishing with three interceptions, six pass break-ups and 47 tackles. Kevin Davis and Marvese Byrd are the other two, but each started only one game last year. The secondary will rely on younger players, including four redshirt freshmen and five sophomores.
Recruiting - The Zips brought in 23 signees in the Class of 2010, including Parade All-American RB Erick Howard. Howard, Scout.com’s 24th best running back, ran for over 6,000 yards in his career and scored 79 touchdowns. For good measure, the Ohio two-time Offensive Player of the Year also tallied 208 tackles as a linebacker. He is one of at least four running backs brought in to push the already successful stable of young runners.
Schedule - The Zips host six games, highlighted by a season-opening visit from Syracuse. After the first two games of the year, both at home, Akron plays four of its next five on the road, including games at Indiana and Kentucky. The team does end the season with two home games against Miami (OH) and Buffalo.
Alabama - To say last year was a success would be quite the understatement. Going 14-0, winning a national championship and having the Heisman Trophy winner was quite an achievement for Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide. What’s scary is that they bring most of their offensive stars back for more.
Offense - Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram returns for his junior season after rushing for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns. With more experience, the scary part is he can only get better. His backup, Trent Richardson, also returns. Richardson would be an All-Conference player if he played on any team, but he is “stuck” playing behind the Heisman Trophy winner. Despite this, he still managed to rush for 751 yards and eight touchdowns.
Quarterback Greg McElroy returns for his senior year after completing 61 percent of his passes. He threw for 2,508 yards and 17 touchdowns, while only throwing four interceptions.
To McElroy’s disposal, he will have five of last year’s top six receivers back for more. Last year eight ‘Bama receivers caught 10 or more passes, with four catching more than 25. Last year’s top receiver, Julio Jones, returns to build on a legacy that has seen him become one of the better wideouts in recent Alabama memory. His 43 catches, 596 yards and four touchdowns were all team highs.
Defense - The ‘Bama defense will have quite a different look this year, as only one, Mark Barron, of their top seven tacklers returns. In his first year as a starter, Barron led the team with seven interceptions for 125 yards and a touchdown, while also being a part of 76 tackles.
DE Marcell Dareus led the team with 6.5 sacks despite starting in only four of the 14 games he played in. The team will also look to linebacker Dont’a Hightower to provide some pressure on the quarterback and he showed that in the spring as he registered 11 tackles and three sacks in two scrimmages.
Recruiting - The Tide brings in an impressive recruiting class of 29, which was ranked as the fourth-best by scout.com and fifth-best by rivals.com. The class included six defensive backs, four offensive linemen, defensive linemen and linebackers each, three wide receivers, two running backs and tights ends apiece, and one quarterback, athlete, kicker and punter.
One recruit happened to be the one of the top two quarterbacks, according to scout.com, Phillip Sims. You may recognize him by name, but he is not the son of Hall of Fame and former Giant quarterback Phil Simms. Sims threw for 10,725 yards and 119 touchdowns, both of which are Virginia career records.
Schedule - Alabama opens up with two home games, vs. San Jose State and Penn State, in early September. After starting with the two home games, the Tide plays five of their next seven games on the road, including potential tough road games against Tennessee and LSU back-to-back. The two home games in that stretch are against Florida, which will finally be without Tim Tebow and Mississippi. The team closes out the regular season against Mississippi State, Georgia State and Auburn, all at home.
Arizona - The Wildcats are coming off of their second consecutive bowl appearance under Mike Stoops, who is entering his seventh year as Head Coach at Arizona. The team ended the season at 8-5 after a Holiday Bowl loss to Nebraska. Their 6-3 Pac-10 record tied them for second in the conference.
Offense - The Wildcat offense looks to be dynamic yet again, after averaging just over 27 points per game last year. The 2010 squad returns all but two of their spread formation starters. The team returns four players that started at receiver, three who started at running back and four offensive line starters, amongst others. One big loss for the ‘Cats will be Delashaum Dean, who was the team’s fourth-leading receiver.
Nick Foles, the team’s starting quarterback returns for his junior season. Foles returns after a sophomore campaign which saw him complete 63 percent of his passes for nearly 2,500 yards and 19 touchdowns.
The team’s top two rushers, Keola Antonin and Nic Grisby, return for their junior and senior campaigns after sharing the load rushing-wise for the ‘Cats last season. Antolin rushed for a team-high 637 yards and added four touchdowns, while Grisby rushed for 567 yards and a team-leading five touchdowns. As a team, Arizona rushed for over 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Outside of Dean, the Wildcats return receivers in Juron Criner, David Douglas and David Roberts. Criner led the team with 582 yards and nine touchdowns last year. Roberts ended up with 410 yards and one touchdown, while Douglas added 320 yards and one TD grab as well.
Defense - The Wildcat defense has always been considered the team’s strength under Stoops’ direction. If they are to continue that success this year, they will need to do so using two new linemen, three linebackers and two players in the secondary. The team will have to look for many of their junior college transfers and incoming freshmen to help them out.
Senior defensive ends Brooks Reed and Reid Elmore return to lead the defensive line. Elmore was second in the league last year with 10.5, while Reed will be looking to stay healthy and build on a sophomore campaign where he put up similar numbers to Elmore’s last year.
Cornerback Trevin Wade returns as the team’s leading tackler after bringing down 71 opponents and adding a team-leading five interceptions, one of which he brought back for a touchdown.
Sophomores Jake Fischer and R.J. Young, senior C.J.Parish, and redshirt freshmen
Trevor Erno and Cordarius Golston come back to lead the linebackers. The only problem is that the three that have seen playing time combined for only 16 tackles last year.
Recruiting - Altho it may seem that defense would be more of a need in the recruiting class, the 24-man class is pretty even, as 13 are defensive players and 11 offensive. The class consists of six defensive linemen, five receivers, five offensive linemen, four defensive backs, three linebackers and a quarterback. The two who might play the biggest roles are safety Marquis Flowers and wide receiver Dexter Ransom, a junior college transfer. Flowers picked Arizona over UCLA, USC and ASU, amongst others, after recording 46 tackles, two INT’s, rushing for 1,247 yards and 16 TD. Ransom missed the last four games of the 2009 season after tearing an ACL, but figures to be at full strength upon arrival to UA. He caught 19 passes for 412 yards and seven touchdowns in limited duty.
Schedule - After starting the season with a road game at Toledo, the ‘Cats spend the next four games in the confines of Arizona Stadium, including a stretch of Iowa, Cal and Oregon State in three consecutive weeks. The Cats also get Washington, USC and ASU at home, while having to travel to Stanford, UCLA, Oregon and Washington State. How strong Arizona is should be determined for sure at the end of the season as their last six games are vs. Washington, at UCLA, at Stanford, vs. USC, at Oregon and vs. ASU.
>So last week I previewed some of the Regionals in the NCAA Softball Tournament. Well, 16 teams advanced to the Super Regionals portion and I am going to do a quick preview of those. This is a head-to-head best two-of-three series. The winner goes to The College World Series.
Super-Regional # 1 : Alabama vs. Hawaii
Alabama: The top-seeded Crimson Tide, behind the bat of freshman Courtney Conley and the arm of junior Kelsi Dunne, the No. 1 seeded Alabama softball team claimed the NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Regional Championship Sunday afternoon, defeating Lipscomb 6-0.
With the win the Crimson Tide improves to 51-9 and ties the school record with its 27th straight victory. The regional title is the sixth in a row and eighth overall for Alabama.
Dunne (29-4) earned her second win of the weekend on the strength of a 14-strikeout, two-hit shutout. The win is the 16th in a row for the right-hander. She had 10 strikeouts in the first game against Lipscomb, while only allowing five hits in that game.
The team wasn’t really challenged, cruising past Alcorn State 9-0 before beating Lipscomb twice, 5-2 and 6-0. Kayla Braud led the team with a homer and four RBI on the weekend, while Conley added three RBI of her own.
Hawaii - It is the second time in school history that the ‘Bows have advanced to the Super Regionals. Hawaii is the only school in the WAC to make it to the “sweet sixteen” in softball.
Kelly Majam hit her 29th home run in the Regional-clinching win. Traci Yoshikawa, Melissa Gonzalez, Jenna Rodriguez, and Katie Grimes added homers in the 7-1 win over Texas Tech. As a team, the ‘Bows had six players hit .300 or over for the Regionals, outscoring their opponents 23-6 with eight home runs and 23 RBI. The team has combined to hit 149 home runs as a whole, having two players, Gonzalez (25) and Majam (29) with over 25 home runs, as well as five players with over 50 RBI, led by Gonzalez’s 60.
Missouri – For the first time in the history of the program, the Missouri softball team will play host to the NCAA Super Regional round. The Tigers advance to the Super Regional for the third consecutive season after winning the Columbia Regional on Sunday. Mizzou used a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Creighton on Friday before defeating Illinois 3-1 on Saturday, setting up a 4-2 victory over the Illini again on Sunday to clinch the title. Missouri looks to return to the Women’s College World Series for the second straight year.
The Tigers used a balanced effort offensively over the weekend, as Catherine Lee, Nicole Hudson and Ashley Fleming each had thee RBI on the weekend. Rhea Taylor raised her stolen base total to 45, which is third on the all-time season list, and her 62 runs scored are second, behind her record of 64 set in her freshman year, 2008.
Although the offense was balanced, the star of the weekend was pitcher Kristin Nottleman, who improved her record to 22-7 on the season with her three wins during the Regional. She had 14 strikeouts over the three games, including 11 in the two games against Illinois.
Missouri is 2-1 against Oregon, winning last year in the San Diego Classic, 8-7 in eight innings.
Oregon – The No. 20-ranked University of Oregon softball team (36-19) battled back for a dramatic 4-3, eighth-inning victory over the NCAA tournament’s eighth overall seed Georgia Tech (51-11) Sunday afternoon at Mewborn Field to earn its first Super Regional trip since 1989.
The team was 12-15 against NCAA Tournament teams, including wins over seeded teams Arizona, Washington, California and Arizona State.
Sam Pappas is the main threat for the Ducks, as she leads the team in HR (11), RBI (48) and stolen bases (11), while having the second highest batting average at .389. Allie Burger leads the team in the postseason with a .545 average, while Kaylan Howard leads the team with one home run and five RBI.
Jessica Moore leads the team with a 16-7 record and a 1.87 ERA. She ahs struck out 232 batters this year while walking only 66. Moore has pitched 18 1/3 innings in three postseason games, striking out 16. In the postseason, Mikayla Endicott has struck out four of the five batters she has faced.
Super-Regional # 3: UCLA vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
UCLA – The Bruins are hosting their third Super-Regional in a row. Last year they were upset by an unseeded Missouri team in three games.
Arizona State: The Regional Championship was the fifth consecutive for the 13th-seeded Sun Devils. They managed to make it through the Regional without dropping a game, dispatching Boston University and an underrated Long Island University team twice.
If the Devils’ schedule didn’t prepare them for postseason play, I don’t know what can. They faced 17 tournament teams, including 11 nonconference foes.
The team has always been known as one to pack an offensive punch and that has continued to be the case this year. Of their regular starters, all of them except one are hitting above .300 and three have double-digit home runs, as well as four who have over 40 RBI. Katelyn Boyd is the table-setter, as she leads the team in average (.414), hits (70), home runs (15), RBI (49) and stolen bases (27). Lesley Rogers is a perfect 22-of-22 on the basepaths.
Hilary Bach is the ace of the staff, having compiled a 25-7 record in 37 appearances. She picked up two wins on the weekend, while Megan Elliott pitched a gem in the first game against LIU, only giving up four hits in over five innings.
ASU is 2-1 against Florida, with their last meeting being a loss last year, 8-2.
Florida – The fourth-seeded University of Florida softball team used a 13-3, five-inning victory over FIU on Sunday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in front of 1,503 fans to advance to its fourth straight NCAA Super Regional appearance. With the three Regional wins, Florida improved its all-time record to 16-15 in NCAA Regional action and 29-21 overall in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators finished the season 10-1 against in-state rivals, defeating all three Florida teams in the Gainesville Regional. Florida is hosting Super Regionals for the third time in program history
Part 2, the other side of the bracket will try to be up before I leave for Cleveland Thursday afternoon.