Eight Pac-12 Softball teams headed to NCAA Softball Championship
SAN FRANCISCO – For the fourth time in six years, a conference-record eight Pac-12 softball teams will compete in the 2017 NCAA Softball Championship, as announced this evening. Five teams earned top-16 seeds – No. 2 ARIZONA, No. 3 OREGON, NO. 5 UCLA, No. 6 WASHINGTON and No. 11 UTAH – and they will be joined by ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, and OREGON STATE.
It marks the 21st-straight season that the Pac-12 has had five or more teams advance to the NCAA tournament. The eight selections are tied for the most in league history each being accomplished in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017.
Only 12 schools have been crowned the NCAA Division I softball champion since the tournament started in 1982, and all 12 will compete in this year’s bracket, with five of them coming from the Pac-12. With 23 national titles since the sport was initially sponsored in 1987, more than any other conference in the nation, all nine Pac-12 teams have made appearances in the Women’s College World Series. UCLA, Arizona and California lead the nation in all-time WCWS appearances and wins, while UCLA has the most NCAA titles in history with 11. Arizona is second with eight, while Arizona State has won two and Cal and Washington have one apiece.
Arizona earns the No. 2 overall seed after clinching its first Pac-12 title in a decade and its highest seed since 2007. The Wildcats will host the Tuscon Regional after making its 31st-consecutive appearance in the postseason. Oregon picks up the No. 3 overall seed and hosts opening regional in its seventh-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. UCLA enters the NCAA Tournament with the No. 5 seed, the same seed when the Bruins won the National Championship in 2010. Washington has a No. 6 overall seed as it makes its 24th-conecutive appearance. Utah made history as the No. 11 seed and will host for the first time in program history. The Utes make its third consecutive NCAA championship appearance and 15th overall. Arizona State will be making its 29th-overall appearance, California makes its 31st-overall appearance, and the Beavers are making its second-consecutive postseason appearance.
The championship will be three weekends of competition. Four teams will participate at each of 16 campus sites in a double-elimination tournament. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Softball Championship will be held May 18-21 on 16 campus sites. At each campus site, a four-team, double-elimination tournament will be conducted and the 16 winning teams advance to the Super Regionals. Super Regionals for the championship will be held May 25-28 on eight campus sites. At each 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 to be held June 1-7 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Pac-12 NCAA Softball Selections
Tucson Regional: (2) Arizona vs. New Mexico State
Eugene Regional: (3) Oregon vs. Illinois-Chicago
Los Angeles Regional: (5) UCLA vs. Lehigh
Seattle Regional: (6) Washington vs. Montana
Salt Lake City Regional: (11) Utah vs. Fordham
Oxford Regional: Arizona State vs. North Carolina
Waco Regional: Oregon State vs. James Madison
Auburn Regional: California vs. Notre Dame