One game to monitor this weekend is Game 2 of the Washington and Oklahoma series, which is scheduled to air on ABC.
The game will air on Saturday at 3 pm Eastern time. It marks the first time in history that a college softball game will air on one of the major broadcast networks.
The Huskies-Sooners Super Regional also marks the return of Jessica Mendoza to the softball broadcast booth, as she reunites with Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, and Holly Rowe for the call in Norman.
Kevin Brown and Amanda Scarborough will be in Baton Rouge to call the Florida State/LSU Super Regional; Brown and Scarborough called the Austin Regional last week, including the late-night, winner-take-all Game 7 between Oregon and Texas.
Major news on the broadcast side includes former Arizona great Kenzie Fowler calling her first Super Regional. Fowler will be teamed with veteran play-by-play broadcaster Mark Neely as the pair calls the Virginia Tech/UCLA Super Regional in Los Angeles.
Remaining broadcast pairings for the Super Regional round include:
- Eric Frede and Madison Shipman, Tuscaloosa Super Regional
- Courtney Lyle and Kayla Braud, Gainesville Super Regional
- Tiffany Greene and Erin Miller, Stillwater Super Regional
- Pam Ward and Jenny Dalton-Hill, Fayetteville Super Regional
- Mike Couzens and Carol Bruggeman, Columbia Super Regional
Tournament ratings are in
Alabama’s win over Florida in the SEC Tournament championship game on May 15th was the most-watched softball game of the 2021 season, to-date.
The matchup was also the most-watched SEC Softball Tournament championship game since 2016.
The Crimson Tide’s 4-0 win over the Gators drew 563,000 viewers on ESPN, which is up from 2019’s edition of the SEC Softball Tournament championship game between the Gators and Tide which drew 549,000 viewers.
It is the 3rd-most-watched SEC Softball Tournament championship game since 2015, trailing the 2015 title game between Auburn and Tennessee (887,000) and 2016 matchup between Auburn and LSU (587,000). Keep in mind that the 2015 title game aired on primetime on ESPN.
Elsewhere, the ACC Softball Tournament championship game between Duke and Clemson on May 15th drew 457,000 viewers, which is slightly down from the 2019 ACC Softball Tournament championship game (between Florida State and North Carolina) that drew 480,000 viewers.
The Blue Devils’ 2-0 win over the Tigers was also the 3rd-most-watched ACC title game since 2015, trailing only the 2019 edition and the 2016 title game which pitted Notre Dame against Florida State and drew a 486,000 number.
The Big 12 tournament championship game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State aired on ESPN2 for the first time and drew 369,000 viewers. The game was the fourth time that the two teams have met this season.
These numbers are a good sign that the NCAA Tournament will produce solid viewership numbers after a 1-year absence and avoid a downturn in viewership, as some other sports have suffered during the pandemic.