LSU Softball entered the SEC Tournament with a post-season outlook that was much lower than it has been in recent years. Ranked 21st nationally and the 6th seed in the tournament, LSU needed to bolster it’s resume for the selection committee with some big wins, and would have to face some of the toughest matchups in the field, including host team Tennessee and defending champion Auburn. But thanks to some timely hitting and the return from injury of Carley Hoover, LSU was able to push all the way to the tournament final, falling to the conference tournament’s other surprise story, Ole Miss.
While the 5-1 defeat in the final game wasn’t very enjoyable to watch, LSU still had plenty to be proud of after the weekend, and their efforts were handsomely rewarded on Sunday Night. Quite unexpectedly, LSU Softball was rewarded with a home regional as the #13 overall seed in the tournament. It’s the third year in a row LSU has been a national seed (unlike baseball, the softball tournament committee seeds all hosts 1-16) and they’ll face the toughest local opponents possible as McNeese St and blood-rival USL will make the trip to Tiger Park, along with Fairfield from the MAAC to round out the field.
McNeese and UL-L will face each other in the session opener at 3pm on Friday, followed by LSU v Fairfield. The regional round follows the same double-elimination format used on the baseball side. Should LSU make it through the weekend, they’ll face the survivor of the Tallahassee regional, where UGA and FSU will battle it out.
Should LSU make a deep post season run, it is highly likely they’ll run into at least 1 other SEC team. The conference made history on Sunday as all 13 softball teams in the SEC made the NCAA tournament, the first time any conference has accomplished that feat. The SEC also earned 8 of the 16 National seeds, including Florida with the #1 overall seed.
The entire NCAA softball tournament will be aired on some flavor of ESPN/WatchESPN/SECNetwork.