The drama around Oklahoma coming out of loser’s bracket in Norman Regional captivated TV audiences. The Sooners two games vs North Dakota State provided two of the four most watched regional games of the weekend with Sooners win over North Dakota State on Sunday being the most watched game of the weekend with 637,000 viewers edging out Florida State-Georgia which had 634,000 viewers according to ShowBuzzDaily.com .
Minnesota HC Jessica Allister Photo Courtesy of GopherSports.com
Patrick Murphy Photo by Jeri A. Gulsby
Minnesota not getting to host became a national story and viewers followed the Gophers all weekend long.
Saturday’s winner bracket game between Minnesota and Alabama on ESPN was watched by 616,000 viewers according to ShowBuzzDaily.com. Sunday’s game on ESPNU was watched by 505,000 viewers which is most watched Softball game on ESPNU.
Below are some of numbers from some of regional games this weekend.
Sunday May 21, 2017
North Dakota State at Oklahoma 637,000 viewers.
Georgia at Florida State on ESPN 634,000 Viewers
Minnesota at Alabama on ESPNU 505,000 Viewers
Wisconsin at Oregon on ESPN2 331,000 viewers
Saturday May 20th
Minnesota at Alabama on ESPN 616,000 viewers
North Dakota State at Oklahoma on ESPN 596,000 viewers
Oklahoma vs Arkansas on ESPN 2 570,000 viewers
ESPN’s Softball Bases Loaded on ESPN2 457,000 vewers
Michigan at Washington on ESPN 448,000 viewers
Wisconsin at Oregon on ESPN 2 373,000 viewers
Oklahoma travels this weekend to take on Auburn in Super Regional. We chatted with radio voice of Auburn Softball Brit Bowen about the matchup as well as the success of SEC Softball and early look on Super Regional Matchup.
On this edition of In the Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson taked Justin Mcleod of Justin’s World about the Women’s College World Series. What were highlights or low lights of the 2016 editioN of the WCWS. Among the topics McLeod discussed with Lopez and Anderson.
How did Oklahoma win the National Title?
Are the Sooners the favorites in 2017?
What is next for Auburn?
What went wrong for UCLA in WCWS?
Whats the future outook for Alabama, Florida State?
Game 3 between the Auburn Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners was the most watched Sports program on Cable Television on Wednesday night. The Sooners 2-1 win over the Tigers was watched by 1,476,000 million viewers Wednesday Night crushing head to head the Copa American Soccer game between Brazil and Haiti (643,000) according to SportsTVRatings.com .
Game 3 was slightly up from Game two when Auburn coming back from 7-0 deficit to win 11-7 in 8 innings garnered 1.43 million viewers which was just slightly edge out by United States win over Costa Rica in Copa America (1.453 million).
Overall the three game series between Auburn and Oklahoma averaged 1.3123 million viewers as Game one between the Sooners and Tigers drew 1.031 million viewers on Monday night. This year’s Women’s College World Series Championship Series viewers is down from last year’s Championship Series between Florida and Michigan which averaged 1.85 million viewers. Keep in mind though this year Championship Series had much more competition compared to last year. Game 3 went up against Game 3 of NBA Finals coverage on Wednesday. Game one went up against Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals. Game Two went up against the United States playing in Copa America.
Also last year Championship Series had Michigan in Championship who is one of the top TV draws in College Softball as shown on Sunday afternoon when the Wolverine’s elimation loss to Florida State had 976,000 viewers which was the most watched Non Championship Series Women’s College World Series game. Below is the numbers of all the Women’s College World Series.
Sunday June 5, 2016 TV Viewers.
Michigan vs Florida State 976,000 on ESPN
Florida State vs Auburn 779,000 on ESPN2
Georgia vs LSU 581,000 on ESPN2
Oklahoma vs LSU 576,000 on ESPN2
Saturday June 4, 2016
LSU vs Alabama 831,000 on ESPN
Oklahoma vs Michigan 732,000 on ESPN2
UCLA vs Florida State 705,000 on ESPN
Auburn vs Georgia 621,000 on ESPN2
Friday June 3, 2016
LSU vs Michigan 719,000 on ESPN2
Alabama vs Oklahoma 602,000 on ESPN2
Thursday’s Auburn Tigers 10-3 win over UCLA was the most watched Women’s College World Series game on Thursday. Keep in mind the primetime games between Alabama versus Oklahoma and LSU versus Michigan were rained out. Auburn versus UCLA had 474,000 viewersaccording to SportsTVRatings.com. Auburn-UCLA is down from last year’s game at same time slot between Auburn and LSU which garnered 562,000 viewers.
The twenty seven innings of Alabama-Oklahoma had 458,000 viewers. Georgia’s win over Florida State garnered 334,000 viewers which significantly down from last year’s Florida- Tennessee game in the same time slot which had 546,000 viewers.
Last year’s Auburn-LSU game was a week earlier on May 28, 2015. LSU-Auburn was the second most watched game at the WCWS last year on Thursday with Alabama-Michigan which was in primetime last year had over 1 million viewers was number one. UCLA last year played the late game against Oregon which garnered 317,000 viewers.
Its worth noting that last year, Opening day of the Women’s College World Series did not go up against the NBA Finals which dominated the television coverage all day on Thursday. The Women’s College World Series did have better viewers then the X-Games which aired on ESPN and drew 317,000 viewers in primetime.
Game two of Arizona-Auburn Super Regionals was the most watched Super Regional game of the week. The Tigers win in Game two over Arizona on ESPN Sunday was seen by 654,000 viewers. It edge out Game two between LSU and James Madison on Saturday which aired on ESPN had 637,000. Both Game three’s of the series were pushed to ESPNU which saw a drop in viewers with Auburn-Arizona Game three garnering only 306,000 viewers while LSU-JMU Game 3 was seen on ESPNU by 153,000. Arizona- Auburn Game Three was the most viewed Super Regional Game that aired on ESPNU.
Sunday ESPN had scheduled MLS game between Orlando City and New York City FC which caused the Auburn-Arizona Game three to be moved to ESPNU. You do have to wonder if ESPN though should reconsider moving Game 3’s to lesser channel in the future.
Game Two between Washington and Alabama had 630,000 viewers on Saturday. The game also aired on ESPN. Game Two between UCLA and Oregon was the most watched Super Regional game that aired on ESPN2 with 408,000 viewers on Sunday.
Below is breakdown of all the TV numbers for every Super Regional Game.
Thursday May 26, 2016
Louisiana Lafayette at Oklahoma (Game 1) 377,000 viewers
Georgia at Florida (Game 1) 336,000 viewers
Friday May 27, 2016
Washington at Alabama ( Game 1) 364,000 viewers
Georgia at Florida (Game 2) 230,000 viewers
Louisiana Lafayette at Oklahoma (Game 2) 198,000 vewers
On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson break down the Super Regionals as well as look ahead to the Women’s College World Series. Among the topics the guys discussed included should Oregon’s Head Coach Mike White brought in Cheridan Hawkins in Game 2 vs UCLA? Also the guys talked about
Georgia- Florida Super Regional
Lonni Alameda bringing FSU back to WCWS
Beth Torina taking LSU to WCWS coming from behind against James Madison
Oklahoma, Michigan, Auburn, UCLA, and Alabama Super Regional wins
You can also listen to our interview with former Michigan All-American and National Champion Jennie Ritter who TV analyst for ESPN and Big Ten Network who broke down Georgia win over Florida, Previewed the WCWS, and talked about the Michigan program.
You can also listen to our interview with former Oklahoma Catcher National Champion Jessica Shults about the Sooners making it to the Women’s College World Series and reflecting on being part of 2013 National Championship team.
ESPN2’s broadcast of the No 1 rank Florida Gators win over the 6th rank Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday afternoon was the most watched Softball game of the season to date. The Gators-Tide game drew 298,000 viewers according to SportsTVRatings.com
The Alabama-Florida telecast which was up from last week’s Florida-LSU game which garnered 250,000 viewers.
The Gators -Alabama game this year numbers were significantly up from last year’s Florida-Alabama game on ESPN2 which garnered 188,000 viewers. Alabama-Florida was easily the most watched Softball game of the weekend.
The game was a big draw in Orlando, as the Alabama-Florida game garnered a 0.5 rating in Orlando which is highest rated regular season college softball regular season game in Orlando since March 27,2010 between Alabama-Florida which garnered 0.6 rating.
ESPNU’s Saturday afternoon game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Missouri Tigers garnered 101,000 viewers. Saturday night’s wild game between UCLA and Oregon won by the Ducks garnered 99,000 viewers. The game started on ESPNews before flipping to ESPNU. Sunday Night’s game on ESPNU featuring Ole Miss against Mississippi State garnered 91,000 viewers. Keep in mind Ole Miss-Mississppi State was up against the Women’s College Basketball Final Four and opening night of Major League Baseball.
Among the competition that College Softball had more viewers then included College Baseball showdown between Florida and Texas AM which garnered 88,000 viewers on ESPNU both on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. This weekend game is highlighted by Kentucky at LSU which has been moved from a 6pm ESPN2 start to 3pm start on ESPN.
ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU Softball Schedule
No. 16 Tennessee at No. 1 Florida
Mississippi Valley State at Texas Southern
Florida at LSU
Texas at Baylor
Alabama at Florida
Tennessee at Missouri
UCLA at Oregon
Ole Miss at Mississippi State
Coastal Carolina at Winthrop
Texas A&M at Tennessee
NC State at Florida State
Kentucky at LSU
Georgia at Missouri
Oklahoma at Baylor
NC State at Florida State
Tennessee at Georgia
Texas at Oklahoma
Georgia at Auburn
Oklahoma at Tennessee
UCLA at Arizona
Notre Dame at North Carolina
UCLA at Arizona
Notre Dame at North Carolina
Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton
Bethune-Cookman at Florida A&M
LSU at Arkansas
Auburn at Tennessee
Arizona at Oregon
UCF at USF
Auburn at Tennessee
Georgia at Alabama
Texas A&M at Auburn
South Carolina at Missouri
SWAC Softball Championship
*Live on ESPN3 at 8:30 p.m.
**Live on ESPN3 on May 14 at 3 p.m.
The SEC has begun to dominate College Softball like they have done in College Football when it comes to National Championships. The SEC has won 8 of the last 10 national titles in college football. Currently the SEC has won 3 ( Alabama 2012, Florida 2014,2015) of the last four Women’s College World Series. In the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll, the SEC has 9 teams ranked in the top 25. Florida was picked by the SEC coaches as the favorites to win the SEC regular season title.
2016 SEC Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll (First-Place votes in parenthesis)
PLACE (Ranking from ESPN.com/USA Poll)
1. # 1
The SEC has tons of talent returning as shown below with the conference announcing the pre-season All-SEC team. Among them is the Gators Kelsey Stewart who was the SEC player of the Year in 2015.
2016 Preseason All-SEC Softball Team
NAME SCHOOL POSITION CLASS HEIGHT HOMETOWN
Emily Carosone Auburn IF Sr. 5-4 Orlando, Fla.
Kasey Cooper Auburn IF Jr. 5-4 Dothan, Ala.
Kelsey Stewart Florida IF Sr. 5-6 Wichita, Kan.
Alex Hugo Georgia IF Sr. 5-8 Olathe, Kan.
Bianka Bell LSU IF Sr. 5-5 Tampa, Fla.
Haylie McCleney Alabama OF Sr. 5-4 Morris, Ala.
Tiffany Howard Auburn OF Sr. 5-5 Pembroke, Ga.
Kirsti Merritt Florida OF Sr. 5-4 Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.
Alaynie Page South Carolina OF Sr. 5-6 Boiling Springs, S.C.
Alexis Osorio Alabama P So. 5-8 Riverside, Calif.
Kelsey Nunley Kentucky P Sr. 5-10 Soddy Daisy, Tenn.
Carley Hoover LSU P So. 6-2 Clemson, S.C.
Aubree Munro Florida C Sr. 5-10 Brea, Calif.
Rainey Gaffin Tennessee DP/UT Sr. 5-10 Thornton, Colo.
On In the Circle Podcast, I along with Victor Anderson spoke to Justin McLeod of Justin’s World about the SEC. Among topics we addressed with Justin about the SEC was the following:
How will the Florida Gators replace National Player of the Year & WCWS MVP Lauren Haeger?
Between Auburn & Alabama who has better chance of getting back to WCWS and possibly knocking off the Gators?
Is LSU the team to beat this year with possibly deepest pitching staff in SEC?
How will the Lady Vols replace Annie Aldrete and Taylor Koenig who transfered to California.
What impact will new Georgia Asst Coach and former LSU All-American pitcher Rachele Fico have on Chelsea Wilkerson and Bulldogs program?
Some key Players to watch in the SEC this season according to Justin McLeod :
Kasey Cooper, Auburn – There is no better evidence of the impact Clint Myers has had on Auburn than Cooper. In two seasons under his tutelage at AU, Cooper has been twice an all-American and owns a career .404 batting average to this point. She’s clubbed thirty-six home runs and driven in 141 runs during that time. Effective at the hot corner, and despite playing in a loaded conference, it’s a surprise to me that she hasn’t added SEC Player of the Year to her laundry list of honors. This could be the year that changes.
Sami Fagan, Missouri – After finding her new home in Columbia, Fagan has thrived. She was selected an all-conference second-teamer a year ago, a season that also included a .368/13/66 slash line. She led the Tigers in nine statistical categories, including runs scored  and total bases . Now a redshirt senior, she could play herself into consideration for a conference Player of the Year nod.
Alaynie Page, South Carolina – Almost overnight, Page went from a sub-.230 career hitter to an all-American. In her junior campaign, she more than doubled her career hits total from the previous two seasons. She went from a mediocre outfielder to an ace in the hole for the Gamecocks. Page’s .436/15/45 slash line earned her first-team all-american honors, as well as a first-team all-conference nod. If she can retain her form from a year ago, she could be a catalyst to SC winning some ballgame.
Sandra Simmons, LSU – Simmons’ trophy case may be light, comparatively, to others in the SEC, but she is one of the most consistent performers and is assuredly a game-changer for Beth Torina’s Tigers. I expect an all-SEC honor for her in her final season and I also classify her as the #2 first baseman in the senior class. Another year of improving offensive statistics could set her up for a selection in the professional draft.
Eric Lopez’s projections for SEC teams in NCAA Tournament – 11 Teams
On this edition of In The Circle podcast, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson preview the upcoming College Softball season in D1 which begins February 11th. Lopez and Anderson are joined by Justin McLeod who overs College Softball, NPF for Justin’s World website.
Among the topics we discussed on this episode include.
Can the Florida Gators be the first team to 3-peat since UCLA (1988-1990)
Can Oregon bring back the National Title to the Pac 12?
Who will challenge Florida State in the ACC?
Is the Big 10 a 2-team race between Michigan and Minnesota?
How will Oklahoma fair in the Big 12 after the graduations of Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley?
Can UCF 3-Peat as AAC Champs?
Which mid-major teams are threats to end up in Oklahoma City?
Who are the top contenders for Player of the Year?
Who are some of the names to keep in mind for the NPF Draft on April 14?