Knowing your opponent: third-seeded Florida SouthWestern Buccaneers

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Butler second baseman Emily Adler catches a force out against Zoe Busby of Three Rivers (Mo.) during the Grizzlies' 12-4 second-round victory Wednesday at the NJCAA National Tournament in Yuma, Arizona.

The Grizzlies did it again on Wednesday night by run-rule and now they move into the final eight teams of the tournament. Their reward? Florida SouthWestern, a team that has been No. 1 for most of the season.

Here's a breakdown of the match-up:

How they got here

No. 2 Butler 12, No. 10 Three Rivers 4 (5 innings)

A deficit? No problem for Butler. The Grizzlies gave up two runs in the top of the first inning but dropped a six-spot in the bottom of the second inning to put the game already out of reach. Butler only needed five innings as they scored four in the bottom of the fifth to complete the run-rule. Emily Adler had three RBIs while going 2-for-4. Ari Cordova went 2-for-3 for 2 RBIs. Maddie Redman picked up the win, moving her to 26-0 on the season. 

No. 3 Florida SouthWestern 14, No. 6 Seminole State (Okla.) 13

FSW battled back from a 7-run deficit to beat Seminole State on Wednesday night. They scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to stun the Belles. They trailed 11-4 heading into the bottom of the fourth before the comeback began. Taylor Jensen went 4-for-4 for four RBIs and a home run. Owen Bowers went 4-for-5 for four RBIs as well. 

How to watch

You can either get to Yuma or you can view on the NJCAA Network, a pay-per-view service provided by the NJCAA. You can purchase a day pass for $10 or purchase the entire tournament for $25. There are applications for your Roku and AppleTV. Through testing, the Roku has not updated their schedule and is not a reliable choice. 

Best way to watch would be via your computer or phone, despite there not being an app for your mobile devices. 

No. 3 Florida SouthWestern Buccaneers

Location: Fort Myers, Florida

Enrollment: 16,556 (2021)

Record: 46-4 (19-0 Region 8)

Coach: Robert Iamurri, sixth season (295-37)

Last tournament appearance: 2018, went 2-2 and finished sixth.

Leading hitter: Feline Poot, a freshman, is easily the Buccaneers best player at the plate this season. In 157 at bats, she's batting .048 with a slugging percentage of .828 and 17 stolen bases to go with it. She has 17 home runs and 58 RBIs on the year. She was also selected as first-team All-FCSAA. 

Leading pitcher: Alyssa O'Donnell is 21-1 this season in 123⅔ innings pitched for the Bucs. She has 107 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.81. Like her teammate, she was named first-team All-FSCAA. O'Donnell went only 2⅓ innings as she gave up six hits and six earned runs before being removed in the 14-13 win over Seminole State on Wednesday.

Previous meetings

2018: Butler eliminated Florida SouthWestern in the 2018 D1 Softball Championships, 4-2. Butler's Maddie Siemer picked up the win, going four innings and only giving up two runs and six hits. Brianna Robinson went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to lead Butler. 

2016: When Butler was in the first leg of their back-to-back national title runs, Butler disposed of FSW in their first ever meeting. Though, the game took 15 innings for Butler to find the 5-4 win. Butler's Megan Wurts scored from second base on an overthrow in the 15th inning. Current Butler assistant coach Morgan Bohanan was on first base when Wurts scored.  Butler would go on to win their first national title three days later.

Make your reservations

Who: No. 2 Butler (49-2) vs. No. 3 Florida SouthWestern (46-4)

When: Thursday, May 27 at 2 p.m. CST

Where: Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex — Yuma, Arizona

At stake: Winner advances to the semifinals where they can finish no worse than fourth. 

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.