Postseason Update No. 2
All four remaining Bandits draftees in the NCAA Tournament moved on to the Women’s College World Series. A handful of coaches saw their teams advance further in the postseason, as well. Here’s a brief look at each individual performance from Week 2 of the postseason.
Paige Lowary — First round, No. 1 overall
Oklahoma advanced to its 12th WCWS after thrashing Arkansas in a pair of games. The back-to-back defending national champions took care of business in Norman, Oklahoma, cruising to 7-2 and 9-0 wins.
Paige Lowary delivered an impressive performance in the circle in the Sooners’ opening game of super regionals. The left-hander tossed six innings of one-run ball while striking out season-high six batters. She allowed just three Razorbacks to reach base to earn her second win in the NCAA Tournament.
Through five postseason games, all wins, Oklahoma has outscored its opponents by a 40-2 margin. The fourth-seeded Sooners will kick off the WCWS with a battle against fifth-seeded Washington at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Oklahoma City. All games throughout the 2018 WCWS will be broadcast via the ESPN family of networks.
Gwen Svekis — First round, No. 3 overall
Gwen Svekis and the top-seeded Oregon Ducks needed a decisive third game to fend off Kentucky in super regionals, but managed to get the job done in the elimination contest to advance to their fourth WCWS in the past five years.
Svekis hit safely in all three matchups against the Wildcats, including a solo home run in Game 1 and a two-RBI triple in Game 3.
Across the three games, the catcher from Davie, Florida, hit .500 with four RBI.
Oregon will face No. 8 Arizona State in their WCWS opener, which begins at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Aleshia Ocasio — Second round, No. 10 overall
Florida moved on to the WCWS after freshman freshman Jordan Matthews delivered a walk-off three-run homer to defeat Texas A&M in an elimination Game 3.
Aleshia Ocasio, a two-way standout for the Gators, appeared in all three contests. After surrendering four earned runs across six innings in a Game 2 loss, Ocasio fought back to earn the win in the do-or-die third game, striking out four batters in two innings of work.
At the plate, Ocasio drew a seventh-inning, bases-loaded walk in Florida’s super regional opener, a come-from-behind win over the Aggies.
The second-seeded Gators are set to face fellow SEC foe and seventh-seeded Georgia in their first game of the WCWS at 6 p.m. Thursday.
DJ Sanders — Fourth round, No. 21 overall
DJ Sanders’ second-inning grand slam in Game 3 against Kentucky powered Oregon to a dominant 11-1 win as she and Svekis advanced to the WCWS.
With Oregon ahead by two, Sanders delivered the blast to give the Ducks an early 6-0 advantage and they never looked back.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 27, 2018
Across the three super regional games, Sanders batted .333 with a pair of extra-base hits and five RBI.
Kristen Brown, a graduate assistant at Florida, joined Ocasio in the Gators’ trip to the WCWS.
Sashel Palacios and Arizona State advanced to the WCWS with consecutive 5-2 wins over South Carolina. The Sun Devils will face the Bandits’ Oregon draftee duo of Svekis and Sanders in their WCWS opener.
Bandits incoming right-hander Rachele Fico, an assistant coach at Georgia, saw the Bulldogs march on to the WCWS with a pair of victories over Tennessee. Georgia is set to battle Ocasio and Florida in its first game of the WCWS.
Eastern Kentucky assistant coach Stacy May-Johnson saw the Colonels’ record-breaking season come to a close with a pair of losses against UC Riverside in the National Invitational Softball Championship. May-Johnson helped guide Eastern Kentucky to 45 wins during the 2018 season.
Sammy Marshall and Saint Leo University were eliminated from the Division II World Series. The sixth-seeded Lions stayed alive with two upset wins over No. 1 seed North Georgia and No. 3 seed Chico State, but eventually fell to Southern Indiana in the school’s first-ever appearance in the DII World Series.
The four-time Cowles Cup champion Chicago Bandits will be back at Parkway Bank Sports Complex 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 Parkway Bank Sports Complex, one of the premier softball facilities in the nation. Parkway Bank Sports Complex 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.