Windy City: Cowgirls get 3-seed in Northwestern regional

Published 8:00 am Monday, May 16, 2022

The McNeese Cowgirls (38-19) are headed to the Northwestern regional in Evanston, Ill. for this week’s NCAA tournament.

Also in the region will be host and No. 9 national seed Northwestern (40-10), second seed Notre Dame (39-10) and fourth seed Oakland, MI (26-15) the Horizon League champion.

McNeese (38-19) is the third seed and opens with Notre Dame Friday at 1 p.m.

Email newsletter signup

The Fighting Irish are ranked 18th in the country.

The regional is double elimination with the winner advancing to the super regional round.

The cross-country trip is new for the Cowgirls, who have played every previous regional in Louisiana or Texas.

“It’s good, the NCAA did a lot of work this year and spread people around, put them in regions they belonged,” McNeese head coach James Landreneau said.

“Anywhere you go this time of year is going to be tough when you are down to 64 teams. For our girls to be able to get on a plane and go play someone they haven’t played against before is pretty exciting.”

Landreneau likes the way the team is playing.

“We have matured over the course of the year and are swinging the bats better than earlier in the season,” he said.

The Cowgirls clinched a berth in the tournament by sweeping three games at the Southland Conference tournament in Hammond. The Cowgirls also won the Southland regular season title by going 15-3 in league play.

At the Southland tournament, the Cowgirls rallied from a 6-0 deficit to beat Southeastern Louisiana 7-6 in eight innings in the semifinal round, then beat the Lions 10-4 in the championship round.

This is the eighth time McNeese has reached the NCAA tournament. Last year McNeese played in the Baton Rouge regional where it went 1-2, losing the opening game to LSU 10-2 before rebounding with a 12-0 win over George Washington. The Cowgirls were then eliminated with a 4-0 loss to UL-Lafayette.

McNeese has won a game in each of its last four NCAA appearances, going 1-2 in each time. The Cowgirls are 5-14 all-time in NCAA play.

The Cowgirls enter the tournament having won 9 of their last 10 games.