Softball Heads To Florida State For NCAA Regional And Open With UConn
May 13, 2001
The California Golden Bears softball team earned a No. 2 seed and 16th consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament and will play the University of Connecticut (35-21) in a first round regional game, Thursday in Tallahassee, FL, at 12:30 EDT.
The Bears, 49-15 overall and ranked 6th in the country, are making their first trip to Florida for regionals, but second trip in as many seasons to Tallahassee, as they won the Florida State Seminole Classic in 2000 (Feb 11-Feb. 13).
Florida State (54-10) earned the No. 1 seed and the Seminoles take on Bethune-Cookman (45-21) in the first round. FSU is the top seed in the region, followed by No. 2 seed Cal, No. 3 Florida Atlantic (45-19), No. 4 Florida (36-25), No. 5 Uconn and No. 6 Bethune-Cookman.
Game times for the remaining games will be announced either late Sunday night or Monday morning.
The NCAA Tournament features 48 teams seeded into eight regionals of six teams each. The regionals are double-elimination, and will be played on campus sites May 17-20. The winner of each regional advances to the College World Series May 24-28 in Oklahoma City.
Despite finishing seventh in the Pac-10 with a 6-14 league mark, Cal enters the NCAA regional having been ranked in the nation's Top 10 all season long. The Bears, who were 7th in the preseason USA Today/NFCA poll, reached a high of third in the country March 24 and held onto that spot for three weeks.
Last year, Cal won its regional in Fresno, Calif., and went on to its second consecutive College World Series, finishing seventh overall.
This season, after losing only one starter from last season's roster due to graduation, Cal jumped out its best start in school history with a 32-0 record. The 49 wins the Bears have is the second most wins in school history, (51 in 1999) and matches their total from last season.
Cal owns a 0-1 series record against Uconn, losing the one and only time, 2-1, at the Capital Classic in Sacramento, on March 25, 1995.
The Bears hold a series advantage over the rest of the competition in the region, with an exception to Bethune-Cookman, who Cal has yet to face. The Bears are 6-0 over Florida State, 1-0 over Florida Atlantic and 3-1 over Florida.
In last season's regional, Cal knocked off Florida twice, 2-0 and 2-1, eliminating them from tournament.
Cal is 33-32 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 27-25 in regional competition. The Bears have advanced to the NCAA College World Series five times, in 1986, '92, '96, '99 and 2000.