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Softball and the Time for Unreasonable Expectations

It's the postseason, and we want some flags to fly in Tiger Park

This is the only photo of an NCAA softball player in the SB Nation photo bank.
This is the only photo of an NCAA softball player in the SB Nation photo bank.
Bob Levey

We've said many times around these parts that we don't pay enough attention to LSU women's sport. This isn't because we feel the need to have some sort of enforced equity or anything, but simply because are women's teams are really good and are a boatload of fun to watch. Really, if you missed out on the gymnastics team's run to the Super Six, you missed out on maybe the most exciting LSU sporting events of the year.

So here's your second chance. LSU softball begins its march towards the Women's College Series this weekend by hosting a regional at Tiger Park. Here's the short version of What You Need to Know: we're really good, and this regional isn't.

OK, UL-Lafayette is 17th in the RPI and they average over 7 runs per game, which is just insane. But here's the thing, ULL has played nine games against teams in the RPI top 25 and won just one of those, a win over conference rival South Alabama. ULL won once, but lost on three separate occasions.

In fact, look at their performance against top quality opponents:

#8 Michigan (neutral site) 1-3
#16 Texas A&M (neutral site) 4-6
#3 Texas (neutral site) 2-7
at #3 Texas 4-9
at #3 Texas 1-7
at #13 South Alabama 3-7
at #13 South Alabama 4-8
at #13 South Alabama 2-1
#13 South Alabama (neutral site) 0-1

All of a sudden that intimidating offense doesn't look quite as intimidating. This isn't to say the Cajuns are just going to roll over, I'm sure they will be extra motivated to beat their cross state rivals, but this is a team that has struggled to beat teams of LSU's caliber. You have to play the games, but LSU should win this weekend, especially given the double elimination format. One bad game can't kill the team.

Looking ahead, LSU's regional is matched up with Michigan. Michigan is the #8 national seed, and they are a terrific team. They also lost earlier this season to LSU 14-6. This is a team that LSU knows they can beat. The path to Oklahoma City is laid right before this team, they just need to walk the walk.

And therein lies the rub. LSU struggled down the stretch, losing its last three games of the season, all to Georgia, and none particularly close. Two weeks prior, LSU lost two of three to Mizzou who, granted, is pretty awesome. There was a sweep of Alabama wedged in between, which won the Tigers the SEC West title. So it's not all bad news, but there is no room for excuses for this team. Play like you can.

When Rachelle Fico committed to LSU, it was a national story. It was the promise that this program would compete for national titles. And here we are, in her senior year. Fico has been everything she was advertised as, but LSU only has one trip to the WCWS to show for it. This is the last chance to take advantage of the best pitcher to attend LSU since Britni Sneed.

The future is now. It's time to make a run.