2017 NCAA Softball Knoxville Regional Preview

Knoxville Regional / Credit: UT Athletics

2017 NCAA Softball Knoxville Regional Preview

Knoxville Regional / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The No. 8 national seed Tennessee Volunteers begin their quest to return to the Women’s College World Series this week by hosting Ohio State, USC Upstate and Longwood at the NCAA Knoxville Regional from Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21.

For more information on the this week’s regional, please visit the Tennessee NCAA Softball Gameday Information page HERE.

Media & Broadcast Info

Every game of the NCAA Knoxville Regional will be streamed on WatchESPN or broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The opening game of the regional between Ohio State and USC Upstate with be streamed on WatchESPN while Tennessee’s first game against Longwood will feature a national broadcast on ESPN2.

Radio coverage for all Tennessee games will be carried on Sports Radio WNML (FM 99.1 or AM 990) and UTSports.com. Live stats will be available for every game on the Tennessee softball schedule page at UTSports.com HERE.

Game Schedule

View the full NCAA Knoxville Regional schedule below:


Game 1 | Ohio State vs. USC Upstate | 4:30 p.m. ET| TV: WatchESPN

Game 2 | #8 Tennessee vs. Longwood | 7 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN2


Game 3 | Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner | 12 p.m. ET| TV: TBD

Game 4 | Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser | 2:30 p.m. ET | TV: TBD

Game 5 | Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner | 5 p.m. ET | TV: TBD


Game 6 | Game 3 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner | 12 p.m. ET| TV: TBD

Game 7 (If Necessary) |Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser | 2:30 p.m. ET | TV: TBD

Scouting Report

Tennessee Volunteers

No. 8 National Seed | No. 1 Seed in Knoxville Regional

The Vols are making their 14th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and the 15th overall in program history. UT is also hosting a regional for the 13th straight season. The Big Orange are a top-eight seed for the sixth time in program history (2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2015) and are looking to advance to their ninth NCAA Super Regional.

Tennessee enters the NCAA Tournament with a 44-10 overall record and finished in a tie for third in the SEC regular season standings, posting a 16-7 mark in conference play. The Vols had five players earn SEC postseason honors, led by sophomore shortstop Meghan Gregg, who was named the SEC Player of the Year and was also an All-SEC first team selection for the second straight season. Sophomore’s Brooke Vines and Matty Moss were both All-SEC second team picks while Caylan Arnold and Chelsea Seggern were both named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. Arnold was also the league’s Freshman of the Year, becoming the fourth player in program history to earn that honor.

Ohio State Buckeyes

No. 2 Seed in Knoxville Regional

The Buckeyes will make their second consecutive postseason trip to Knoxville after being eliminated by Tennessee in the NCAA Knoxville Regional last year. Ohio State is making its ninth NCAA Regional appearance after posting a 35-16 overall record and a 15-8 mark in Big Ten play, good for a third-place finish. The Buckeyes were the runner-up in the Big Ten Tournament, falling to Minnesota in the championship game.

OSU boasts a powerful lineup that ranks fourth nationally with 1.20 home runs per game. Sophomore infielder Lilli Piper was a unanimous All-Big Ten first team selection and leads the team in most major offensive categories, including batting average (.424), runs (46), hits (73), home runs (17), RBIs (51), slugging (.785) and on-base percentage (.440). Fellow sophomore Emily Clark was also first-team all-conference while Taylor White and Shelby Hursh were named to the second team.

USC Upstate Spartans

No. 3 Seed in Knoxville Regional

The Spartans are making their fifth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance after winning the Atlantic Sun Tournament title for the third straight season. Upstate was also the league’s regular-season champion after posting a 14-4 record in conference play and a 44-11 mark overall.

USC Upstate racked up Atlantic Sun postseason awards with 11 total postseason honors being awarded to players and coaches. Senior pitcher Holly McKinnon was named the league’s unanimous Pitcher of the Year, while Megan Obier was awarded Defensive Player of the Year and Chris Hawkins was tabbed the ASUN Coach of the Year. In addition to the individual award winners, McKinnon was named First Team All-Conference (unanimous) along with Ansley Gilstrap and Ryan Rector. Obier was joined on Second Team All-Conference by Lexi Shubert, Abbie Millete and Brittany Case. Alicia Dorgan earned a unanimous spot on the All-Freshman Team.

The Spartans feature the dominant pitching duo of McKinnon and Shubert, who have combined for 43 of the team’s 44 victories this season, and have ERAs of 1.36 and 1.43, respectively. Upstate’s team ERA of 1.39 ranks seventh nationally.

Longwood Lancers

No. 4 Seed in Knoxville Regional

The Lancers are making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Regionals, with all four of those trips coming over the past five seasons. This is the third time Longwood has been sent to the NCAA Knoxville Regional with previous trips in 2013 and 2015. The Lancers booked their trip to the tournament by winning their third consecutive Big South Tournament Championship, knocking off top-seeded Liberty in the final.

Longwood had seven players earn All-Big South Conference honors, led by first-team selections Elizabeth McCarthy and Kaylynn Batten. McCarthy, a senior pitcher, is the just the second player in program history to earn conference recognition during all four seasons of her career. Other players that earned all-conference accolades include: Jordan Clark (Second Team), Karleigh Donovan (Second Team), Sydney Gay (Second Team), Kasey Carr (Freshman Team) and Kelsey Sweeney (Academic Team).

Fan Information/Stadium Policies

Please be advised that the university’s clear bag policy for all of its athletic venues will be in effect for the NCAA Knoxville Regional and all other events at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. In order to enhance safety and expedite fan entry at Tennessee athletic events, the university is implementing new safety policies for fans bringing bags into all athletic venues.

Only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon, clear, resealable plastic storage bag per person will be permitted. Fans will also be allowed a small clutch purse not to exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. Fans interested in purchasing an approved clear bag may visit the Official Team Store at Neyland Stadium, VolShop locations in the Student Union, 17th & Cumberland Avenue and University Commons; as well as other area retailers.

For more information on the new bag policy and all other stadium policies please visit the NCAA Knoxville Regional Gameday Information page HERE.

What’s Next?

The winner of the NCAA Knoxville Regional will advance to the NCA Super Regionals from May 25-28. Should Tennessee win, they would host the winner of the NCAA College Station Regional next week at Lee Stadium.

-UT Athletics


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