2022 NCAA Softball Tournament bracket revealed: Predictions, schedule, top storylines to watch

Kelly Maxwell (28) pitches as the Oklahoma Sooners face the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in the Big 12 Softball Championship at USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Osu Ou 2

Kelly Maxwell (28) pitches as the Oklahoma Sooners face the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in the Big 12 Softball Championship at USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Osu Ou 2

The 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament bracket has officially been released and the Road to Oklahoma City and the Women’s College World Series has begun. 

It’s officially time to check out one of the most interesting sporting events of the year. The 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament is finally here and that means 64 teams with national championship ambitions will get the chance to prove they’re worthy of contending for a title.

Of course, not all of those teams will get a shot at playing for a championship. Of the 64 teams in the tournament, only 16 will get a shot to advance from the Regionals to the Super Regionals. After that, just eight teams will head on to the Women’s College World Series.

So, a number of teams may never get a shot at competing for it all. But a handful of elite teams will.

Here are the 16 teams that are set to host regionals for this year’s tournament:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Florida State
  3. Virginia Tech
  4. Arkansas
  5. UCLA
  6. Alabama
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Arizona State
  9. Northwestern
  10. Clemson
  11. Tennessee
  12. Duke
  13. Washington
  14. Florida
  15. Missouri
  16. UCF

Take a look at the full bracket for the tournament:

2022 NCAA Softball Tournament schedule

The 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament will get started on Friday, May 20. The Regionals (basically the first round of the tournament) will wrap up on Sunday, May 22. After that, the Super Regionals will take place from Thursday, May 26 and then come to a conclusion on Sunday, May 29.

Once the Super Regionals are finished, eight teams will head to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series. Those eight teams will face off in OKC and the Women’s College World Series will take place from Thursday, June 2 and run through Friday, June 10 if necessary. It is possible for the Women’s College World Series to be completed on Thursday, June 9, depending on the championship series.

Who has the toughest path to the 2022 Women’s College World Series?

It’s absolutely safe to say that whichever team comes out of the Orlando Regional won’t have much fun facing off against the Oklahoma Sooners. Anyone that faces Oklahoma is going to have an incredibly difficult time getting a win.

Looking elsewhere, it certainly won’t be easy for anyone in the Clemson Region. Having the Clemson Tigers, Auburn Tigers, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, and UNCW Seahawks all in one Regional seems a bit arduous, to be completely honest.

The Stillwater Regional will probably be pretty fun for onlookers who aren’t associated with any program involved. Both the Oklahoma State Cowgirls and the Nebraska Cornhuskers seem like fascinating teams to watch and that regional could be thrilling.

Who are the interesting teams to watch out for in the 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament?

There are a number of fascinating programs that are worth keeping an eye on during the NCAA Softball Tournament, but let’s focus on a couple of under the radar, underdogs for the Regionals as the tournament gets started.

Make sure to check in on the Tallahassee Regional to check out what Mia Davidson and the Mississippi State Bulldogs are able to do. While the Bulldogs have been incredibly inconsistent at times this season, Davidson is one of the best home run hitters NCAA Softball has ever seen. If she’s playing well and the Bulldogs are performing at their full potential, things might be interesting.

Sticking with the Magnolia State for a moment, be sure to tune in to see how the Ole Miss Rebels fare out in Los Angeles. Unlike their rival, the Rebels don’t exactly hit a ton of home runs, but they do have a number of pretty reliable pitchers that can help step in to deal with a number of situations. Ole Miss hit a hot streak at the end of the year and could be a threat to the UCLA Bruins.

Which 16 teams make it to the Super Regionals?

With the way the NCAA Softball Tournament operates, a grand total of 16 teams will get the chance to advance on to the Super Regionals. That means just one of the four teams in each regional will get to continue playing.

With all things considered, it’d be fair to expect these teams to advance past the Regionals and into the Super Regionals:

  • Oklahoma
  • Florida State
  • Virginia Tech
  • Arkansas
  • UCLA
  • Alabama
  • Nebraska
  • LSU
  • Notre Dame
  • Louisiana
  • Tennessee
  • Duke
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Missouri
  • Michigan

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