Seed, record, title(s)

No. 1 seed LSU (41-18)

Ranking

No. 18 by USA Today/NFCA Coaches and No. 19 ESPN.com/USA Softball

What the Tigers do well

LSU has leaned on its pitching staff to support an anemic offense at times. The Tigers own a 1.67 team ERA, and opponents are hitting just .195 against LSU’s pitchers. But the Tigers scored 18 runs on 23 hits in their first three games of the SEC tournament.

Player to watch

RHP Carley Hoover: Hoover, plagued by a knee injury during the second half of the season, is the Tigers’ most dominant arm at her best. Before two relief appearances in the SEC tournament, the junior hadn’t pitched in two weeks.

Seed, record, title(s)

No. 2 seed Louisiana-Lafayette (45-6), Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament champion

Ranking

No. 14 by USA Today/NFCA Coaches and tied for No. 14 by ESPN.com/USA Softball

What the Cajuns do well

The Cajuns lost just one conference game, and their offense, which ranks fourth nationally in batting average, had much to do with that. UL-Lafayette leads the nation in home runs per game, but its best pitcher, Alex Stewart, has struck out 138 on the season.

Player to watch

SS DJ Sanders: Sanders, one of 10 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, is both powerful and productive. With a team-best .397 batting average, Sanders leads the nation with 28 home runs and 78 RBIs.

Seed, record, title(s)

No. 3 seed McNeese State (42-16), Southland Conference regular season and tournament champion

Ranking

NR

What the Cowgirls do well

McNeese State won a program-record 24 league games and did so with a balanced offense and three quality starting pitchers, including LSU transfer Baylee Corbello. Justyce McClain is one of the nation’s most consistent leadoff hitters, batting .447 with 27 stolen bases.

Player to watch

C/3B Erika Piancastelli: Though McClain leads the team in batting, Piancastelli has won the Southland’s Player and Hitter of the Year the past three seasons. She has a team-best 12 home runs and has drawn the second most walks in the country.

Seed, record, title(s)

No. 4 seed Fairfield (26-26), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament champion

Ranking

NR

What the Stags do well

Fairfield, a small private school in Connecticut, earned an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament after finishing the season below .500. But Destinee Pallotto turned in impressive pitching performances in the MAAC tournament, no-hitting Monmouth in the title game.

Player to watch

RF Amanda Ulzheimer: Ulzheimer led all MAAC freshmen in hitting during the regular season and currently leads the team in that category (.353). She also leads the team with 17 stolen bases