Seven Pac-10 Softball Teams Earn NCAA Tournament Bids
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. --For the second-straight season, seven Pac-10 softball teams earn NCAA Tournament bids, the NCAA committee announced today. ARIZONA STATE, the 2011 Pac-10 champion, was named the No. 1 seed overall. ARIZONA, STANFORD and WASHINGTON will host Regionals with the Sun Devils. CALIFORNIA, OREGON and UCLA will be on the road. The Pac-10 boasts the most teams in the tournament of any Conference.
Thirty conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 34 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket. The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and will play at campus sites this weekend.
Arizona State finished the season with a 50-6 overall record. The Sun Devils are making their ninth tournament appearance overall and will look for a repeat of the 2008 season when they won the NCAA title. They will host North Dakota State on May 20.
The No. 7 seeded California Golden Bears will be on the road in Louisville, Ky., for Regionals, where they will face Jacksonville State in the first game on May 20. Cal is making its 27th NCAA appearance.
Arizona, the No. 8 seed, will host the Tucson Regional and will face Harvard in the first game on May 20. The Wildcats are making their 25th NCAA appearance and will look to battle back to the College World Series, where they finished as the NCAA runner-up in 2010.
The Huskies earned the No. 12 seed and will host Portland State in the first game of the Seattle Regional, beginning on May 19.
Oregon was awarded the No. 13 seed overall, as the Ducks are making their second-straight NCAA appearance. They will face Albany in the first game of the University Park (Pa.) Regional.
The No. 15 seed belongs to Stanford, who will host Pacific in the first round. The Cardinal are making its 14th NCAA appearance.
The 2010 NCAA champion UCLA Bruins will look to defend their title as they travel to Gainesville, Fla. The Bruins will face Jacksonville in the first game on May 20.
The Division I championship allows for a field of 64 teams. The championship will be three weekends of competition. Four teams will participate at each of 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament. Sixteen teams were seeded and placed at one of the regional sites. Two regional sites (Ann Arbor and Tempe) will be televised in their entirety on the ESPN family of networks.
The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series that will be conducted either May 26-27, May 27-28 or May 28-29 at eight campus sites. For the third consecutive year, all Super Regional games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.
The remaining eight teams will advance to the WCWS, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The championship final will be a best-of-three-series. The WCWS will be conducted June 2-8 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.