Women’s College World Series berth 2015 between Georgia and Michigan Thursday 9 pm May 21 on ESPN2

A young Michigan squad, led by two Georgia gals, hosts a senior and junior laden Georgia Bulldogs brutal attack this weekend for a slot in the 2015 Women’s College World Series.  The SEC has dominated the NCAA Softball Tournament again this season with half of the remaining teams.  The format is the same as it is for the men.

Michigan a perennial softball power, like Georgia, is one of only 4 Big Ten softball teams in the NCAA Tournament.  Northwestern was knocked-off by Kentucky, and also lost to Notre Dame – whom Kentucky also knocked-off.  This leaves only Michigan from the Big Ten Conference, as Minnesota and Nebraska both lost, too.

The SEC by comparison had 11 teams, and 8 advanced to Super Regionals, including Georgia.  There are 293 softball teams and the field for this year’s NCAA Tournament was 64 teams.  South Carolina, Mississippi State and Texas A&M are the only SEC teams to lose.

# 1 seed Florida faces Kentucky for that berth.

# 4 Auburn faces # 13 Louisiana – Lafayette.

# 5 LSU faces # 12 Arizona.

# 6 Alabama faces # 11 Oklahoma.

# 8 seed vols faces # 9 FSU.

# 10 Missouri faces # 7 UCLA.

And, # 14 seed Georgia faces # 3 seed Michigan.

The only other of the 8 Super Regionals is # 3 Oregon facing unseeded NC State, as there were no SEC teams in that Regional.  7 SEC teams can advance to the 2015 Women’s College World Series. 1 SEC team will be eliminated by another SEC team.

Georgia has never won the Women’s College World Series.  The men’s yes.

Michigan has won the Women’s College World Series in 2005, but not with such a young roster.

Blue and Maize Michigan Wolverines are coached by Carol Hutchins in her 31st year at the helm there and is already inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame in 2006, after earlier coaching at Ferris State after her playing days as Michigan State Shortstop.  1426-469-4 overall.

Future NFCA Hall of Famer Lu Harris-Champer, who played her collegiate ball at Western Illinois, is now in her 15th season as our head coach.  An accomplished head coach in both the pros and college level, she has it going on with her 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth this season.  Her husband is Jerry Champer, Associate Head Coach UGA Swimming and Diving Team who have won 6 National Championships.

Alex Hugo 2nd sacker from Kansas and Chelsea Wilkinson pitcher from North Carolina are All-America players already, and this Georgia squad is quite deep.

Michigan has its own top pitcher from McDonough Georgia right hander Megan Betsa.  Sierra Lawrence of Snellville plays Outfield for Michigan.  Although we recruit very well from Michigan there are no Michigan gals on our team.  Michigan is paced by All Americas at Shortstop Sierra Romero and as left handed pitcher Haylie Wagner.

Michigan is # 3 and Georgia is # 14 in the latest USA Today National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association Division 1 Poll.

https://nfca.org/index.php/component/nfca/?top25=1&list=1&year=2015&pdiv=div1

We have been to 2 previous Women’s College World Series in 2009 and the following year in 2010.  This team is better.  We were The SEC Tournament Champions last season.  Lu also has 2 SEC Championships.

NCAA Women’s Softball RPI shows Michigan # 5 RPI and Georgia # 17 RPI.

http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/softball/d1

Michigan has the 2nd best ERA nationally at 1.47

http://www.ncaa.com/stats/softball/d1

Michigan is also # 3 nationally in home runs per game at 1.88 and # 3 at Scoring at 8.27 runs per game, and # 3 at Slugging Percentage at .633

http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings?sport_code=WSB&division=1

Michigan has beat Alabama twice this season, and has lost twice to Florida.  We are 1-3 vs Alabama and 0-2 against Florida as well.

We are # 13 in Scoring and steal a ton of bases.   And, while Michigan is # 16 in batting average, Georgia is # 15.

We are # 15 ERA and Michigan today # 2.

Michigan is a very accomplished fielding team.

Alex Hugo and Sierra Romero both have 21 home runs.

Sydni Emanuel        bats .429

Cortni Emanuel       .411

Alex Hugo            .403

Paige Wilson         .368

Niaja Griffin        .352

Anna Swafford        .342

Tina Iosefa          .338

Samantha LaZear      .330

By comparison, Michigan has 7 batters hitting over .321.

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/mich/sports/w-softbl/auto_pdf/2014-15/stats/season_stats.pdf

Georgia has 4 seniors and 7 juniors.

The 2 teams play again Friday at 6 pm and if necessary right afterwards at 9pm all on ESPN2, also available online or for your mobile app.

It has been a fun season, of that there is no question.  How many SEC teams advance to the Women’s College World Series, and will Georgia for the 3rd time ?  This is our best team.

5-18-2015

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