Tennessee baseball and Oklahoma softball are at the top of their sports

As the seasons draw to a close, two teams stand at the pinnacle of college baseball and softball, far, far above their rivals.

In baseball, Tennessee is the favorite to win the College World Series after a 53-7 season. In softball, it’s Oklahoma, with an unbelievable 54-2 record.

Tennessee set its impressive record and won the No. 1 ranking while playing in the tough Southeastern Conference, which has nine teams in the tournament, including three other top-16 seeds. Tennessee ended that tough slate with a 25-5 conference record, then went on to win four straight to win the SEC Tournament.

Drew Gilbert hit .385 this season, and Trey Lipscomb had a .737 hitting percentage with 21 homers. But all of Tennessee’s programming can hurt you. Eight players have hit double-digit home runs this season despite only 150-200 at-bats for most of them. The team’s slugging percentage was .604, the best in Division I, and it ranked fourth in on-base average.

But as great as the hitters are, the main problem for opponents is that Tennessee is extremely difficult to play against. The top five starters posted ERAs of 1.67 to 2.61 and allowed batting averages of 0.159 to 0.213. Staff led Division I with a 2.35 ERA, and no other team was below 3.00.

Three players are slated for the first round of the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft: Gilbert; Jordan Beck, another outfielder; and pitcher Blade Tidwell, although he missed much of the season due to injury.

But despite the dominance of the Volunteers this season, they cannot be considered a safe bet. The College World Series are notoriously difficult to win. While the double-elimination preliminaries tend not to be that difficult for the top seeds, the best-of-three “super regional” that follows is usually against a tough opponent. And the actual eight-team World Series normally requires wins over multiple top-five or top-10 teams to clinch the title.

As a result, the best seeds have consistently fallen over the years. Indeed, Miami in 1999 was the last No. 1 to win. In the 21 tournaments since then, three No. 2s and three No. 3s have won, but the eight seeds have only won 10 times, compared to 11 teams that did not make the top eight.

And Tennessee is hardly a traditionally dominant college baseball powerhouse. Although the Volunteers made the College World Series last season, finishing tied for seventh, they had an SEC losing record every season from 2006 to 2019. Their best World Series finish was runner-up in 1951 .HAS

So, although they are favored by punters, they are not extremely short priced. They currently sit just 5-2 (next are No. 3 Oregon State at 9-1 and No. 2 Stanford and No. 4 Virginia Tech at 12-1).

To counter that story, Tennessee will first need to win a group that includes Georgia Tech, Campbell and Alabama State, starting Friday at home, then potentially beat 16th-place Georgia Southern next week to make the World Series in Omaha starting. of June 17. he is likely to face a gauntlet of strong teams which could include most or all of the other favorites.

College softball also has a dominant team this season. On the contrary, it hits its rivals even more.

Oklahoma set a staggering 54-2 record, including a 17-1 Big 12 regular season and five straight NCAA Tournament wins, to advance to the eight-team World Series in Oklahoma City starting Thursday.

Its two losses came to Texas in the regular season and Oklahoma State in the SEC Tournament by scores of 4-2 and 4-3. On the other hand, his wins include many scores like 21-0, 19-0 and 15-1. Those margins would undoubtedly be much larger were it not for softball’s leniency rule, which stops a game after five innings if a team is ahead by at least eight runs.

What’s discouraging to potential opponents is that, in all likelihood, they’ll have to beat the Sooners twice to eliminate them. In the earlier rounds, Texas A&M pulled off a narrow, 3-2 loss to Oklahoma. The rematch ended, 20-0.

Oklahoma is led by consecutive college player of the year Jocelyn Alo, who has hit more career home runs than any other player in Division I history. She has 29 homers this year and is hitting .497 (the two second in the country) and hits 1.163. She’s not the only threat: Tiare Jennings has 24 homers and Grace Lyons 21. The team is batting .369, the best in the country.

And good luck fighting them. Hope Trautwein is 18-1 with a 0.40 national average. How can such an impressive number be displayed? In short, simply pitch 104⅓ innings while allowing only six runs.

Jordy Bahl, the national rookie of the year, is 21-1 with a 0.95 ERA. Do you think the third starter will give you a chance to win? Nicole May is 15-0, with a 0.99 ERA

And history is much more favorable to the seeds of the Women’s College World Series. No. 1 has won four of the last 10 years, including last season’s No. 1: who else but Oklahoma?

But in this World Series, Oklahoma lost its opener to unranked James Madison 4-3 in eight innings: a beacon of hope for those with nightmares about Trautwein’s fastballs and Alo bombs.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: