Eight Softball Teams Make NCAA Tournament
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Eight Pac-12 teams earned NCAA Tournament bids, including the No. 1 overall seed CALIFORNIA, as the NCAA committee announced the complete field on Sunday. The Pac-12 has eight teams in the postseason for the first time since 2007.
CALIFORNIA, along with ARIZONA STATE, ARIZONA, OREGON, UCLA and WASHINGTON will host regionals. OREGON STATE and STANFORD will be on the road. All regionals will be conducted May 18-20, except for the Eugene Regional, which will take place May 17-19.
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. Four teams will participate at each of 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament.
The Golden Bears finished the regular season with a 50-4 overall record and captured the Pac-12 title with a 21-3 record in league play. It was just Cal's second outright Conference championship and its first since 1987. The Bears shared the Pac-10 crown in 2005. Cal, which won the Women's College World Series in 2002, is making its 28th NCAA Tournament appearance and 27th straight. The Bears host Iona to open the Berkeley Regional.
Defending NCAA champion and No. 3 seed Arizona State looks to make it two straight titles and three overall. The Sun Devils also won it all in 2008. ASU, which placed second in the Pac-12 and carries a 46-7 overall record, welcomes LIU Brooklyn to Tempe.
Oregon received the 11th seed and will face in-state foe Portland State in Eugene. The Ducks are making their third straight NCAA appearance.
UCLA, which has 11 NCAA crowns in program history with the most recent coming in 2010, earned the No. 12 seed. The Bruins will host Hofstra.
Eight-time NCAA champion Arizona was awarded the 13th seed and faces North Dakota State in Tucson. The Wildcats last captured back-to-back WCWS trophies in 2006 and 2007.
Washington earned the 16th seed and will face Harvard. The Huskies became the fifth Conference team to win an NCAA championship when they defeated Florida in 2009.
Oregon State is making its first NCAA appearance since 2007. The Beavers will play Tulsa in Norman, Okla. At 34-21 overall and 9-14 in Pac-12 play, OSU is having its best season since it last appeared in the postseason.
Stanford will open the Lafayette, La., Regional against Baylor. This is the Cardinal's 15th NCAA appearance in school history.
Regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series that will be conducted May 24-27 at eight campus sites. The Women's College World Series, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament, will be conducted May 31-June 6 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
With a storied traditional in softball, Pac-12 teams have won 23 NCAA championships in the sport, including the last six.