UL Softball Meets Arizona In Third Postseason – VIDEO
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajun softball team, the #6-overall national seed, will play host to the 11th-seeded Arizona Wildcats in a best-of-three game NCAA Super Regional series this weekend at Lamson Park.
Louisiana, who will be hosting a Super Regional for the first time in program history, won the Lafayette, La, NCAA Softball Regional last weekend, defeating the Texas Longhorns, 10-1, on Championship Sunday, while Arizona won the Tucson, Arizona Regional, downing the LSU Tigers, 13-5, in the final game.
The Cajuns, who won the regular season Sun Belt Conference championship, as well as the postseason Sun Belt Conference Tournament, is 47-8-1 on the season, including wins in 39 of their last 42 games, while the Wildcats, out of the Pac 12, will come into the series with an overall record of 44-14.
Louisiana, who has qualified for the postseason in 24 of the last 25 years, will be appearing in their third-consecutive Super Regional series, one of only seven programs in the country that have accomplished that feat.
Arizona has a pretty impressive history to brag about in their own right, with eight national titles to their credit.
Arizona leads the all-time series, 19-3, between the two schools, but Louisiana is 2-2 in the postseason against the Wildcats.
The first two times the two teams squared off in the postseason was in the 1993 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, when Arizona defeated then-USL, 2-1, in 10 innings, before coach Yvette Girouard’s squad came back to defeat the Wildcats the second time they met, 1-0, behind the shutout effort of Kyla Hall, en route to a third place finish, the highest finish in school history.
In would be eleven years before the two programs would meet in the postseason again, this time in the 2004 Tucson, Arizona Regional, the last year of eight-team regionals, one in which three programs who qualified for the 2003 Women’s College World Series, were participating, including Louisiana, Arizona, and Oklahoma.
Following wins over South Carolina and Temple, Louisiana fell to Arizona in the winners bracket, 4-0, as Alicia Hollowell struck out eight and held the Cajuns to one hit, sending UL to the elimination bracket.
After a win over Northwestern, as well as an Arizona loss to Oklahoma, to two teams met again in the elimination bracket.
In that game, Brooke Mitchell tossed a complete-game shutout, while Danyele Gomez homered twice, and Holly Tankersley once, as the Cajuns eliminated the Wildcats in the desert, 5-0.
Unfortunately for Louisiana, they finished one win short of the Women’s College World Series. After crushing Oklahoma, 15-0, to force an “if necessary” game, the Sooners moved on with 12-4.
Even with the disappointing loss to Oklahoma, the Cajuns showed once again how they were indeed a force on the national stage.
What made that regional, that year, so great, and yet so disappointing too, is that Louisiana played most of the year without two starters, in Jill Robertson and Tiffany Grayson, who suffered injuries. As good as the Cajuns were that year, they could have been even better.
Nonetheless, all four postseason match-ups between the two programs have been memorable, so there’s no reason to expect anything else this weekend.
The first game of the series is scheduled for Friday night at 8 pm, with game two slated for Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock.
If necessary, a third game would be played approximately 45 minutes following the completion of game two.
Senior second baseman Natalie Fernandez says this year’s team is a special bunch, and that it will be really exciting this weekend, as the program hosts it’s first-ever Super Regional:
View more information the Lafayette, La. Super Regional.
View the complete NCAA Tournament bracket.