Eight Pac-12 softball teams selected to NCAA tournament
By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Eight Pac-12 teams earned NCAA tournament bids, as the NCAA committee announced the complete field on Sunday. The Pac-12 advanced eight teams to post-season play for the second consecutive year, advancing the second-most teams among all conferences behind only the SEC, advancing 11.
ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, OREGON, OREGON STATE, STANFORD, UCLA and WASHINGTON all advance to postseason play with three teams earning a top-16 seed.
The 64-team field was selected from 283 NCAA Division I institutions sponsoring the sport of softball. Of the 64 teams, 31 teams received automatic qualification with the remaining best 33 teams selected on an at-large basis. Sixteen teams were seeded and each of the seeded teams were placed at one of the regional sites. Four teams will participate at each of the 16 regional sites in a double elimination tournament.
The Wildcats were selected to the College Station Regional and will face Baylor in the first round. Arizona boasts a 32-24 record from the 2013 season and is playing in the postseason for the 27th consecutive season. It is the first time since 2009 that Arizona will play on the road in the first round. They are 14-4 all-time against Baylor.
California faces Central Michigan in the first round as it heads to Ann Arbor, Mich. for opening play. The Golden Bears are 36-17 on the year and are making their 29th appearance in the postseason and their 28th straight, the longest active postseason streak in the country. The Golden Bears will look for their third WCWS trip in as many years and 13th overall.
The No. 5 seed Arizona State will host the Tempe Regional and will challenge San Jose State. The Sun Devils are 45-10 on the year and with a fifth seed will be eligible to host both a Regional and Super Regional. ASU is 11-1 all-time against San Jose State dating back to 1987.
Pac-12 automatic qualifier and No. 3 seeded Oregon hosts the Eugene Regional and will go against BYU in the first round. The Ducks advanced to their fourth straight NCAA appearance after winning their first-ever Pac-12 title.
The Cardinal (37-19) travels to Lincoln, Neb. to open postseason play against Tulsa (42-14). It is the 16th appearance in school history for Stanford. The Cardinal tallied a 13-11 Pac-12 record.
Eleventh-seeded Washington plays host to Portland State in the first. This is the 20th-straight year the Huskies have made the NCAA tournament, advancing to the WCWS 10 times and Super Regionals 14 times. The Huskies finished the regular season with a 38-15 record.
In Columbia, Mo. the Beavers will compete against Hofstra in the first round. Oregon State is making its second consecutive appearance after not advancing to the postseason from 2008-2011. OSU carries a 33-22 overall record and 8-16 in the Pac-12.
UCLA heads east to the Louisville Regional to face UAB (37-16). The Bruins will aim for their 12th NCAA crown in program history after earning the most recent in 2010.
Regional winners will advance to Super Regional competition for a best-of-three series that will be conducted May 23-26 on eight campus sites. At each Super Regional site two teams play in a best-of-three tournament format. The winners from each site advance to the NCAA Women's College World Series. The 32nd annual NCAA Division I Softball Championship is an eight-team, double-elimination tournament, which will be conducted May 30 to June 5 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Select Regional and all Super Regional sites will be broadcasted on the ESPN family of networks. All games of the Women's College World Series will be broadcasted on the ESPN family of networks.
With a storied traditional in softball, Pac-12 teams have won 23 NCAA championships in the sport, including six of the last seven.