The 2023 DI softball bracket has been unveiled and the postseason is upon us, and by the looks at this year’s bracket, it is going to be a WILD one. There are some crazy potential matchups and rematches, question marks, potentials for upsets and more. I guess there is a word for it — storylines. We love a good storyline.
Here are the top 16 storylines to watch in the 2023 DI softball tournament — one for each regional.
1. Who can compete with the Sooners? Can they 3-peat? — Norman Regional
Oh the Oklahoma Sooners. What other storyline is there when you look at this year’s tournament other than this? Who on this planet Earth can compete with the reigning back-to-back champions? We know they are not bulletproof, of course. They are in the midst of a 43-game win streak, but they did lose one game this season. The bats went cold, and Baylor was somehow, someway able to score more runs than them on that one day in February. But, the thing about postseason softball is, you have to beat them twice, and I am not sure anyone can do that. The Sooners will look to three-peat this season behind a loaded lineup and pitching staff with three candidates for USA Softball Player of the Year — Jayda Coleman, Tiare Jennings and Jordy Bahl. And those three are just the start of the kind of depth that team has. Given the Sooners make it out of their regional, they will have a date with likely Clemson or Auburn. Both are really tough teams that should make for a great matchup. But I don’t think there are a lot of people that would wager OU isn’t back in Oklahoma City this year.
2. Who deserved that 16th seed? — Clemson Regional
The Clemson Tigers received the 16th and final top 16 seed to host a regional in this year’s tournament. This wasn’t necessarily a highly debated spot by any means, but by nature of it being the final seed, there is always chatter about a few teams in the mix that COULD have been regional hosts this year. Auburn, was certainly one of them, and Baylor as well. This isn’t to say Clemson didn’t deserve a seed, some might even argue the Tigers should have been higher on the seed list. They are ranked higher than Auburn and the other contenders, but because they received the 16 seed, they are going to be in a tougher regional with tougher competition. And they have BOTH Auburn and a strong, ranked Cal State Fullerton team. Three great teams, all vying for a super regional spot, only to face……… Oklahoma?…