Previewing The Oxford Regional: Southeast Missouri St.
The Oxford, Mississippi Regional gets underway on Friday, with four college softball teams vying for a trip to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns, making their 21st-consecutive regional appearance, will be part of a field that also includes the Ole Miss Rebels, the top-seed in the regional, and the #11-overall seed, along with the Southeast Missouri St. Redhawks and the Chattanooga Mocs in the double-elimination event.
Louisiana will take on Southeast Missouri St. in the first game of the regional, on Friday at 3:30 pm, followed by a match-up pitting Ole Miss and Chattanooga at 6 pm.
Today, we preview the Southeast Missouri St. Redhawks:
Making their 2nd NCAA Tournament appearance, Southeast Missouri St., winners of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title, will be making their first NCAA Regional appearance since 1999.
The Redhawks, who enter the regional with an overall record of 45-16, won their conference tournament championship, after going 17-5 in league play during the regular season.
Southeast Missouri St. enters the regional winning 8 of their last 9, and 10 of their last 12.
Simply put, the Redhawks can hit.
They feature four players that have double-digit home runs on the season, including junior infielder Ashley Ellis, who leads the squad in homers (16) and runs batted in (59).
Junior outfielder Rachel Anderson, may be SEMO's best all-around player, and surely one of the top players in the regional. She leads the team in both hitting (.455) and stolen bases (23), while ranking second in homers (13).
Southeast Missouri St. features 6 players who are hitting at least a .295, while out-homering the opposition, 72-38.
Now; will they face better pitching in this regional than they did in the Ohio Valley Conference? Of course. But make no mistake; this team can hit.
They rank 41st in the nation in hitting (.302), 25th in home runs-per-game (1.20), 18th in slugging percentage (.520), 49th in stolen bases (1.46 per game), and 29th in scoring offense (5.80 runs a game).
They're also a team that makes the opposing pitcher throw a lot of pitches, walking 176 times, while striking out 288 times.
Southeast Missouri St. is a dangerous team, and it's due to their offense; one that is capable of putting up runs against anyone.
Pitching-wise, the Redhawks feature one solid, if unspectacular arm.
Senior Haley Thogmartin will enter the regional with a record of 22-6, to go along with a 1.75 ERA.
They aren't deep behind her, but she's a capable pitch-to-contact pitcher, allowing only 148 hits and 34 walks over 167.2 innings pitched.
Due to their lack of pitching depth, SEMO needs to stay in the winners bracket, but Thogmartin gives them a chance in any game.
Southeast Missouri St. brings in an overall team ERA. of 2.62 into the regional, which currently ranks them 50th in the nation.
Mark Redburn, in his 5th year as head coach at SEMO, has done a good job of rebuilding the pprogram, and the future looks bright.
Prior to Redburn’s first season in 2015, the Redhawks finished with only eight Division I wins, a last place conference finish with three wins and an RPI of 265
To be truthful, Southeast Missouri St. probably doesn't have the pitching depth, nor the recent regional experience, to win the Oxford, Regional.
That being said; they're more than capable of beating everyone in the field in any one game, thereby making them a major threat all weekend.
The complete regional schedule is below:
NCAA OXFORD REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 17, 2019
G1: 3:30 p.m. – Southeast Missouri St. vs. Louisiana
G2: 6 p.m. – Chattanooga vs. Ole Miss
Saturday, May 18, 2019
G3: Noon – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
G4: 2:30 p.m. – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
G5: 5 p.m. – Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3
Sunday, May 19, 2019
G6: 2 p.m. – Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
G7: 4:30 p.m. – (if necessary) Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6