Postseason Update No. 1
The Chicago Bandits 2018 draft class performed well throughout the regional round of the NCAA Tournament as Paige Lowary (Oklahoma), Aleshia Ocasio (Florida) and Gwen Svekis and DJ Sanders (Oregon) progressed into super regionals. Jessie Scroggins and Baylor were eliminated by nationally needed Texas A&M.
Here’s a look at each individual effort from the regional round as the road to the Women’s College World Series continues Wednesday.
Paige Lowary — First round, No. 1 overall
Paige Lowary and Oklahoma thrashed their three opponents in the Norman Regional, outscoring them by a combined 24-0 tally. The Sooners marched past Boston (9-0), Tulsa (8-0) and Missouri (7-0) en route to a berth in supers for the ninth consecutive season. Lowary excelled in the circle in all three contests and allowed zero runs and just three hits in 9.2 innings of work while striking out four.
The left-hander, who became the Bandits’ first No. 1 overall pick since 2007, came through with a stellar performance in Oklahoma’s second game against Tulsa. Lowary tossed six shutout innings, surrendering a single hit in a dominant outing. The Dallas Center, Iowa, product needed just 56 pitches to work through the six frames.
The Sooners (53-3) have lost just once since Feb. 24 and will face Arkansas in the best-of-three super regional round.
Gwen Svekis — First round, No. 3 overall
Gwen Svekis and top-seeded Oregon marched into super regionals with a dominant three-game stretch against Albany (4-0) and Drake (5-0, 3-0). Svekis caught all three shutouts and batted cleanup for the Ducks. She reached base three times, all via walks.
Oregon (50-7) will look to extend its stay in the postseason with a super regional battle against Kentucky.
Aleshia Ocasio — Second round, No. 10 overall
Aleshia Ocasio quickly emerged as one of the stars of the regional round with the two-way standout producing on both sides of the plate. In the circle, Ocasio delivered a no-hitter against Ohio State to clinch a spot in super regionals. Overall, she pitched 9.2 innings without allowing a hit.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 21, 2018
At the plate, Ocasio helped boost the Gators’ offensive totals with a pair of hits, three RBI and three runs across the three regional games. Two of her RBI came in the game in which she tossed the no-hitter.
Florida (53-8) advanced to its sixth consecutive super regional and will face Texas A&M.
Jessie Scroggins — Third round, No. 15 overall
Jessie Scroggins’ Baylor ball club fought off a pair of elimination games against Prairie View A&M and McNeese before falling to Texas A&M in the regional title matchup.
Although the Bears’ season came to an end in regionals, Scroggins showcased her offensive prowess across all four games, batting an astounding .600 with a pair of doubles and four RBI. The outfielder went 3-for-3 and drew a walk in a 6-0 win over McNeese.
Scroggins concluded her senior campaign in Waco, Texas, in impressive fashion, recording a .470 clip at the plate with a .500 on-base percentage.
DJ Sanders — Fourth round, No. 21 overall
Oregon shortstop DJ Sanders reached base in all three games and helped propel the Ducks to super regionals.
The Louisiana-Lafayette transfer went 1-for-1 with two walks and one RBI in Oregon’s first game of the postseason, a 4-0 win over Albany.
Sanders, who batted third in all three games ahead of Svekis, will look to further the Ducks’ run in the NCAA Tournament against Kentucky.
Kristen Brown, a graduate assistant at Florida, joined Ocasio in the Gators’ trip to supers.
Emily Carosone, a volunteer assistant at Auburn, saw the Tigers upset by Jacksonville State in an elimination game.
Sashel Palacios and Arizona State advanced to the super regional round with three straight wins over New Mexico State and Mississippi (twice). Palacios, who signed her first professional contract with the Bandits on Nov. 21, 2017, is a graduate assistant for the Sun Devils.
Stacy May-Johnson and Eastern Kentucky claimed an NISC regional championship by winning four of five games against Towson and Toledo. The Colonels needed a pair of come-from-behind victories against Towson to advance to the NISC Championship round against UC Riverside. May-Johnson works as an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky.
Abby Ramirez’s Northwestern Wildcats were eliminated a regional championship battle against host Georgia. Ramirez, a graduate student manager for the Wildcats, works alongside former former Bandits Michelle Gascoigne (assistant coach) and Andrea Filler (director of operations) at Northwestern.
While Ramirez and Northwestern were eliminated by Georgia, Bulldogs assistant coach and NPF veteran pitcher Rachele Fico moved on to the super regional round with wins over Harvard and the Wildcats (twice). Fico is set to begin her first season in Chicago after signing as a free agent March 15, 2018.
Sammy Marshall and Saint Leo University advanced to the Division II World Series against Chico State after besting Alabama-Huntsville in a best-of-three super regional. The veteran outfielder serves as an assistant on the Lions’ coaching staff.
The four-time Cowles Cup champion Chicago Bandits will be back at The Ballpark at Rosemont for the 2018 season. For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to reserve your season tickets, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
About Chicago Bandits
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch league. Entering their 14th season as a franchise, the Bandits have provided the Chicago area with high-level softball talent and entertainment en route to capturing six regular season titles and four Cowles Cup championships, the most recent coming during the 2016 campaign. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, one of the premier softball facilities in the nation. The Ballpark at Rosemont is the only stadium in the country built exclusively for a women’s professional softball team. The Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch softball players to further their careers at the professional level and has included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Tammy Williams and Stacy May-Johnson.