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Miami RedHawks set to face the Cavaliers in game one of the softball NCAA tournament

The RedHawks will face the Virginia Cavaliers in game one of the NCAA regional round
The RedHawks will face the Virginia Cavaliers in game one of the NCAA regional round

The Miami University RedHawks will face the University of Virginia Cavaliers in the first game of the 2024 NCAA softball tournament at noon in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The RedHawks recently emerged victorious in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) tournament and are currently undefeated in the postseason. Division I softball has them ranked at No. 35 in the nation, with an overall record of 48-7 and a conference record of 26-1.

The No. 30 Cavaliers went 15-9 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play and 32-18 overall. They recently lost to the Clemson University Tigers in the conference tournament.

In last year’s NCAA tournament, the RedHawks lost in game one to the University of Kentucky Wildcats 9-1 in six innings. Overall, Miami went 2-2 in the regional round after winning against the Eastern Illinois University Panthers and with a revenge win against the Wildcats. However, their second loss to the Northwestern University Wildcats ended their postseason.

The past few years, the RedHawks have been able to do well in the regular season and in conference play, but they haven’t seen much success in the national competition. Last year’s tournament marked the third year in a row that Miami has won the MAC tournament and earned a bid to the NCAA tournament, but lost in the regional round.

This year, the RedHawks shattered records on their way to the postseason. They are currently two home runs shy from tying the division I softball record for homeruns in a season with 159. The Oklahoma University Sooners set the record in 2021 with 161.

Senior infielder Karli Spaid is also two home runs away from setting the all-time record for most homeruns in a season. She currently has 36. Laura Espinoza set the record with 37 for the University of Arizona Wildcats in 1995. 

Four RedHawks rank in the top 20 for home runs in the country. Spaid and junior outfielder Jenna Golembiewski sit at No. 1 and No. 2 with 36 and 28 respectively. Fifth-year outfielder Kate Kobayashi sits at No. 7 with 20, and Holly Blaska sits at No. 12 with 19. 

The RedHawks’ hitting prominence contributed to their regular season and conference tournament success. As they enter the NCAA tournament for the fourth year in a row (the tournament was canceled in 2020), they have an opportunity to push far and put Oxford on the map.

The RedHawks and the Cavaliers will meet for the first time in their softball histories at noon today in Knoxville. The University of Tennessee Volunteers and the University of Dayton Flyers will face each other afterwards to determine the next matchups in the region. 


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