Northern Iowa (26-24)
In the circle: Jamie Fisher (21-13, 1.92 ERA) leads a staff that boasts a 2.96 ERA while allowing 4.0 runs per game. Opponents are hitting only .211 against her. Abbie VanVleet has seen the most action behind Fisher, compiling a 3-6 record with a 4.54 ERA.
Top hitters: Batting .256 while averaging 3.5 runs per game. Kristin Lock (.305) is one of two Panthers hitting above .300. She also leads UNI with 14 stolen bases, while adding seven doubles, two homers and 18 RBIs. Micalla Rettinger owns a .303 average with four homers and 18 RBIs.
How they got here: The Panthers won three straight to win the Missouri Valley tournament and 12 of their last 15. They are 0-5 against Big Ten teams.
In the circle: No. 13 Cardinal have a 2.70 ERA while allowing 3.1 runs per game. Teagan Gerhart has compiled a 19-11 record with a 2.53 ERA. Freshman Kelsey Steven is 15-7 with a 2.85 ERA and opponents are hitting only .198 against her.
Top hitters: Batting .302 as a team while averaging 5.6 runs per game. Freshman Kayla Bonstrom is batting a team-high .414 with team-high totals of 11 doubles and 51 RBIs. Four other starters are hitting above .300 including Hanna Winter (.354), Leah White (.324), Jenna Rich (.306) and Cassandra Roulund (.304).
How they got here: One of eight Pac-12 schools in the tournament. The Cardinal have faced 18 ranked teams in their last 29 games. Nebraska and Stanford share nine common opponents in Arizona, California, Florida State, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin. Nebraska posted a 12-7 record against that group, while Stanford went 8-6.
In the circle: Staff has a 1.80 ERA that ranks 12th nationally, one spot behind Nebraska (1.79). Led by 2013 Conference USA pitcher of the year Aimee Creger, 25-6 with a 1.04 ERA in 195.2 innings. Ranks fourth nationally in ERA, 10th in strikeouts per seven innings, 18th in shutouts and 22nd in wins. Opponents are hitting only .173 against her with just 20 extra-base hits and 283 strikeouts in 682 at bats. Outstanding No. 2 pitcher in Lacey Middlebrooks, 14-3 with a 1.76 ERA.
How they got here: Tulsa earned an at-large invitation. The 25th-ranked Golden Hurricane had a 10-game winning streak snapped by Houston in the Conference USA Tournament semifinals. Nebraska and Tulsa share six common opponents in Creighton, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Purdue and Utah State. NU posted an 11-3 record against that group, while Tulsa went 7-3.
In the circle: Junior Tatum Edwards, who held league foes to a .183 batting average, was selected as the Big Ten pitcher of the year. She's 26-8 with a 1.85 ERA in 201 innings. Freshman right-hander Emily Lockman is 14-5 with a 1.73 ERA.
Top hitters: Batting .291 as a team with 5.2 runs per game. Brooke Thomason is hitting .333, followed by Alicia Armstrong and Taylor Edwards at .331 apiece.
How they got here: No. 16 Huskers earned an at-large invitation after losing in Big Ten semifinals to Minnesota.