SEC Softball Tournament: Experts pick every game and the tournament winner
The SEC Softball Tournament gets underway Tuesday in Gainesville, Florida, at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Nine teams are ranked in the USA TODAY/NFCA coaches poll: No. 4 Arkansas, No. 5 Alabama, No. 12 Florida, No. 13 Tennessee, No. 14 Kentucky, No. 17 Auburn, No. 18 Georgia, No. 20 LSU and No. 24 Missouri.
Experts who cover SEC softball for the USA TODAY Network are have picked every game in the tournament, from beginning to end, with matchups after the first rounds predicted based on who they have advancing.
Here's how they see it playing out:
Brett Greenberg, Tuscaloosa News
Texas A&M 6, South Carolina 5: The Aggies have three wins against the top two seeds in the tournament, two against the Crimson Tide. Texas A&M is the team no one is talking about.
Mississippi State 8, LSU 4: These two wrapped up the regular season just a few days ago. I like the Bulldogs with the upset here after avoiding the sweep.
Missouri 5, Auburn 2: Missouri has power throughout the lineup and eight seniors on the roster. The Tiger's veteran leadership will win them a few games in Gainesville.
Florida 6, Texas A&M 1: Florida is a weird team to figure out, but the Gators are at home. They will take care of business in front of the home crowd.
Ole Miss 9, Georgia 8: Both teams finished 15-15 in SEC play and are separated by one loss overall this year. I'll take the Rebels in a pick-em.
Tennessee 8, Mississippi State 4: The Volunteers have quietly picked up some big-time wins over the season and have one of most experienced teams in the field.
Alabama 5, Missouri 1: Montana Fouts does enough in this game, but the Crimson Tide need the bats to wake up in a big way.
Florida 7, Kentucky 4: The Gators win at home again. This won’t be the final game for the Gators in their own stadium.
Arkansas 9, Ole Miss 2: Arkansas has one of the best offenses in the conference and is hitting on all cylinders at the right time.
Alabama 5, Tennessee 2: Alabama is the better overall team and sends Tennessee home in the semifinal round for the second consecutive year.
Arkansas 8, Florida 3: The Razorbacks give the Gators another home loss after sweeping Florida in Gainesville earlier this season.
Arkansas 6, Alabama 2: The Razorbacks won the SEC regular-season title after winning a share of it a year ago. Arkansas' record-breaking offense will continue to carry it well past the SEC tournament final.
Keep up with the action:The SEC Softball tournament field is set. Here are the matchups and game times
Cora Hall, Knox News
Texas A&M 6, South Carolina 2: South Carolina has struggled all season against SEC opponents and that’s not going to get any easier this week.
LSU 7, Mississippi State 2: LSU just missed out on a sweep of MSU to end the season, losing the last game after six unanswered runs. The Tigers won’t be overlooking MSU and will have some extra motivation in the rematch.
Missouri 5, Auburn 1: Missouri had a good showing against Alabama, narrowly losing the third game Sunday on a controversial call. Missouri will be hungry for a win, and Auburn struggled to get bats going against Tennessee last weekend.
Texas A&M 5, Florida 3: The Aggies are capable of pulling off upsets, and their SEC record doesn’t necessarily reflect how good they are. I’m calling a host upset.
Ole Miss 6, Georgia 4: Ole Miss just won the series against the Bulldogs last weekend, and I like them in the rematch.
Tennessee 6, LSU 3: Tennessee is a consistent offensive threat and is coming off a strong weekend against Auburn. The Lady Vols should win their first matchup.
Missouri 4, Alabama 2: Another interesting rematch from the last weekend of SEC play. Alabama is in a slump and Missouri will be out for blood after a controversial home-run call on Sunday.
Kentucky 9, Texas A&M 3: Kentucky’s bats are hot, scoring 46 runs in the last two SEC series. Texas A&M’s run will end in the quarterfinals.
Arkansas 8, Ole Miss 2: Arkansas is the team to beat, and I don’t think the Rebels will be the team to do it.
Tennessee 7, Missouri 3: The Lady Vols took down Missouri at the beginning of the season, and with their pitching staff at full strength they can do it again.
Arkansas 6 Kentucky 2: The Razorbacks have gone 9-1 since winning the series against Kentucky, and they shouldn’t have a problem beating them again.
Arkansas 5, Tennessee 2: The Lady Vols were able to steal a game in the series in the regular season, but the Razorbacks are in postseason form and I don’t think Tennessee will be able to overcome the challenge.
Ainslie Lee, Gainesville Sun
Texas A&M 6, South Carolina 2: South Carolina’s pitching staff won’t be able to combat Texas A&M’s offense, which tallied 21 hits against Arkansas last weekend.
LSU 7, Mississippi State 3: LSU’s pitching staff gave Mississippi State’s lineup a problem last weekend and the Tigers will capitalize on that again.
Missouri 5, Auburn 2: As long as there isn’t a flubbed call on a home run, Missouri wins this battle of the Tigers thanks to its pitching tandem in Jordan Weber and Laurin Krings.
Florida 4, Texas A&M 0: After an underwhelming regular-season finale, Tim Walton gets the Gators to rebound against the Aggies as Florida’s bats find rhythm against Texas A&M’s bullpen.
Georgia 5, Ole Miss 4: The Bulldogs and Rebels get into another shootout, but Georgia’s lineup passes the bat, just as it did in game one of last weekend’s series.
Tennessee 5, LSU 3: The Volunteers’ bullpen has enough talent to stifle the Tigers, whose error-ridden fielding brings major concerns.
Alabama 4, Missouri 2: In Alabama-Missouri fashion, this one is close. But whether Montana Fouts or Lexi Kilfoyl, the Crimson Tide gives the Tigers’ lineup a headache.
Florida 7, Kentucky 1: If the Gators’ pitching staff can keep the ball in the yard and limit walks, Florida can lean on its home-field advantage to generate offense and ease by Kentucky.
Arkansas 9, Georgia 2: Georgia’s pitching staff has given up 54 home runs – and that’s far too many when going against a Razorbacks lineup that’s sent 100 pitches out of the park.
Alabama 5, Tennessee 1: Tennessee’s lineup is good, but Alabama’s pitching is better (and deeper).
Arkansas 3, Florida 2: The margin of error against Arkansas is too slim for the Gators, who can only lean on their home-field advantage for so long.
Arkansas 6, Alabama 3: Arkansas’s explosive lineup lifts it over Alabama, which will struggle through a fatigued bullpen.
Christina Long, Southwest Times Record
Texas A&M 8, South Carolina 6: The Aggies and Gamecocks are evenly matched, but Texas A&M will advance with superior pitching.
LSU 8, Mississippi State 5: LSU won the series against Mississippi State to end the regular season. The Tigers will use momentum and experience to advance.
Auburn 5, Missouri 3: Auburn’s strong pitching will limit a middling Missouri offense and pull off an upset.
Florida 9, Texas A&M 3: Florida won two of three vs. Texas A&M in the regular season with one shutout loss, but the Gators will overwhelm the Aggies to advance.
Georgia 7, Ole Miss 6: Georgia’s regular season ended with a series loss to Ole Miss. The Bulldogs will be motivated to get their revenge and advance in a close game.
Tennessee 7, LSU 5: LSU has superior bats, but a rested Tennessee will get the win.
Alabama 6, Auburn 4: Alabama’s pitching will lock down Auburn for a Crimson Tide win in the Iron Bowl of softball.
Florida 7, Kentucky 6: Florida’s run will continue thanks to its excellent pitching staff.
Arkansas 8, Georgia 6: Arkansas’ dominant pitching and powerful hitters will get the top seed into the next round.
Alabama 5, Tennessee 3: Tennessee’s offense won’t have an answer for Alabama’s pitching in the semifinals.
Arkansas 6, Florida 5: Two top pitching staffs and offenses will clash, but Arkansas will come away with its fourth win over Florida this season.
Arkansas 7, Alabama 5: Arkansas’ advantage over Alabama comes in its pair of elite pitchers. That, combined with explosive offense, will give the Razorbacks their first-ever SEC Tournament title.