History will be made on Friday morning when No. 13 Mississippi State hosts No. 16 Arizona in the first NCAA Softball Super Regional ever played on Mississippi soil.
The Bulldogs won the Tallahassee Regional by surviving four consecutive elimination games in just over 25 hours. The Bulldogs won consecutive games against No. 2 Florida State, marking the first time a No. 1 or No. 2 national seed has been eliminated in the regional round.
“We’re just super excited and really honored to host this weekend and host the first ever Super Regional in Starkville for our softball program,” head coach Samantha Ricketts said. “It’s really been a long time coming for this team, this program and our alumni. The excitement that we’ve seen from them all week long – and really all season long, they’ve been our biggest supporters. This team has bought into what we are selling which was to make history for this program and to be the first to attend a Super Regional. For that to come to fruition over the weekend, I’m just so excited for them to experience what postseason softball is all about. We’re looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, Arizona a No. 3 seed in the Columbia Regional, took down No. 15 national seed Missouri to reach the Super Regionals for the eighth consecutive season. The Wildcats have made an NCAA-record 35 consecutive tournament fields in their history.
Despite its history, Arizona actually brings less NCAA Tournament experience to the table this year than Mississippi State. The Bulldogs’ roster has combined for 137 career games of NCAA Tournament experience, but Arizona’s roster features just 97 games of NCAA Tournament experience.
Mia Davidson, Montana Davidson and Arizona’s Hannah Martinez were all on the teams’ rosters when they met in the 2019 Tuscon Regional, but only Mia Davidson played. Arizona’s Bailey Thompson played three of her six career tournament games with Seattle University, and two of those came against MSU in 2019.
Mississippi State has expanded the outfield decking at Nusz Park, and the outfield parking lot has been converted into a standing room only plaza. All reserved seating tickets have been sold out. Remaining standing room only passes for the weekend went on sale at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday and will remain on sale while supplies last.
“We’re looking forward to a great crowd. Everyone here at Mississippi State has really been working hard and long hours to make this happen,” Ricketts added. “We’re so excited to see what’s going on in the outfield and all around to accommodate as many people as we can for this weekend’s games. [Our alumni] have been back for alumni weekends and unofficial alumni weekends. We’ll have a big crowd for them again. They really have been a big part of building this program, trusting these coaches and buying into what Mississippi State softball is all about. I think they’ve really laid the foundation for this group.”
Radio broadcasts will be available for all three games of the series on HailState.com and the Hail State app. The coverage can be heard over the air on two affiliate stations: WFCA 107.9 FM in French Camp and WMOX 1010 AM in Meridian.