LAFAYETTE (KATC) — While the team names won’t keep you up at night, Louisiana softball has a tougher path to the Women’s College World Series than many realize.
Friday, the Ragin’ Cajuns begin tournament play in Oxford, MS against Southeast Missouri. If they win, the odds are they’ll play Ole Miss. If they lose, than probably Tennessee Chattanooga. By name, this isn’t the toughest region, but the numbers disagree.
169 combined wins between the Oxford region teams makes it the winningest region in this year’s field. Louisiana (50-4) plays SEMO (45-16.) The two’s 95 combined wins is the most any teams will have in this regional round. The only other match-ups that also feature 90-or-more wins this weekend are hypothetical ones between Lipscomb and Alabama (93) Florida State and South Florida (91) and James Madison and Michigan (90.)
5 regions feature all-four teams inside the RPI top-100. Oxford is joined by the Austin, Gainsville, Knoxville, and Minneapolis regions in having four top-100 teams according to the Rating Power Index.
4 regions feature two top-20 teams. Louisiana (17) and Ole Miss (18) are ranked inside the RPI top-20. Only three other regions also have two top-20 teams, Tallahassee with Florida State and South Carolina, Baton Rouge with LSU and Texas Tech, and Ann Arbor with Michigan and James Madison.
1 region checks off both top-20 and top-100 boxes, Oxford.
While the Minneapolis region easy claims the region of death with all four teams inside the RPI top-50 and a combined average RPI of 25.25, the Oxford region easy claims the title of sneaky-tough.