The road to Oklahoma City and the 2018 Women’s College World Series begins with regionals, as 64 teams across the country compete in 16 mini tournaments
All the regional games will be broadcast on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network or ESPN3. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch all of the games live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and ESPN3. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or SEC Network live on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app. Info on how to watch the games on ESPN3 is below.
DirecTV Now: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages, while ESPNU and the SEC Network are in the “Just Right”, “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” bundles. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or SEC Network live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app. Info on how to watch the games on ESPN3 is below.
WatchESPN: Games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and ESPN3 can all be watched on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. Games on ESPN3 can be watched for free without cable if you have a participating internet service provider (ISP), while the ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and SEC Network games require you to sign in to a cable TV provider. If you don’t have a participating ISP or cable TV provider, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or DirecTV Now credentials to sign in and watch any of the games on the ESPN platforms.
This year’s tournament feels decidedly wide open.
At the top is Oregon. Led by a pair of aces in Megan Kleist and Miranda Elish, the Ducks won an absolutely stacked Pac-12 and earned the tournament’s No. 1 seed. After advancing to the college world series four times in the last six years, they’re now looking to secure the first national championship in school history.
Speaking of the aforementioned stacked Pac-12, the conference is sending seven teams to regionals, and several of those are capable of raising a national championships trophy in June. No. 3 seed UCLA have both the Pac-12 Player of the Year in Rachel Garcia and the Pac-12 batting champ in Aaliyah Jordan, both of whom are among the 10 finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year. No. 5 seed Washington spent a large portion of the season ranked No. 1 in the country before faltering down the stretch against the Ducks and Bruins. No. 8 seed Arizona State has a superstar sophomore pitcher in Giselle “G” Juarez and have been steadily climbing the national rankings over the last couple of months.
Of course, no conversation about national title favorites is complete without Oklahoma or Florida. The Sooners are looking to become the first team in 28 years (UCLA) to win three national championships in a row, and as long as they have Paige Parker terrorizing opposing hitters, that’s certainly an attainable goal. The Gators, meanwhile, joined UCLA and Oklahoma as the only three teams to win 50 games this year, and they have a handful of seniors who played significant roles when the team won a national title in 2015.
That’s six legitimate title contenders, and then you still have teams like Tennessee, Florida State, Georgia, Arizona, South Carolina and LSU who are certainly capable of making deep runs. It’s going to be a fun tournament, and the regionals are just the tip of the iceberg.