Cardinal Softball To Open With Robert Morris In NCAA Tournament

May 15, 2005

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford softball team was named the No. 6 seed overall in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship today when the NCAA Division I Softball Committee announced the 64-team field. The Cardinal, champions of the Pac-10 Conference, are 40-14 and will open play on Friday, May 20, against Robert Morris (29-20-1) in Columbia, Missouri. Missouri and Southern Illinois round out the four teams at the regional.

The tentative schedule is as follows for Friday's games: Missouri vs. Southern Illinois at 2 p.m.; Stanford vs. Robert Morris at 6 p.m.

Twenty-eight conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 36 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.

Team pairings were determined by geographical proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during regional competition, when possible.

The Pacific 10 and Big 12 led all conferences with eight teams in the championship, while the Southeastern Conference placed six teams. Fresno State remains the only team to be selected to all 24 championships. Eight teams are making their initial appearances in the tournament: Albany (New York), Central Florida, College of Charleston, Loyola Marymount, Miami (Ohio), Robert Morris, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Only seven schools have been crowned champion, all of which are in this year's bracket, including two-time defending champion UCLA.

DATES/SITES/PAIRINGS:* Indicates host institutionRegional No. 1 - May 20-22 at Ann Arbor, Michigan*No. 1 Michigan (55-4) vs. Canisius (22-17)North Carolina (36-27) vs. Seton Hall (33-13)

Regional No. 2 - May 19-21 at Fresno, California*Fresno State (41-10) vs. Long Beach State (39-14)Brigham Young (44-12) vs. No. 2 California (46-11)

Regional No. 3 - May 20-22 at Tucson, Arizona*No. 3 Arizona (39-10) vs. Lehigh (41-8)Princeton (35-18) vs. Oklahoma State (33-22)

Regional No. 4 - May 20-22 at Austin, TexasMississippi State (33-29) vs. Texas A & M-Corpus Christi (41-9)Massachusetts (37-14-1) vs. *No. 4 Texas (42-11)

Regional No. 5 - May 20-22 at College Station, Texas*No. 5 Texas A & M (44-8) vs. McNeese State (33-33)Centenary (Louisiana) (31-26) vs. Penn State (34-21)

Regional No. 6 - May 20-22 at Columbia, Missouri*Missouri (42-13) vs. Southern Illinois (46-12)Robert Morris (29-20-1) vs. No. 6 Stanford (40-14)

Regional No. 7 - May 20-22 at Los Angeles*No. 7 UCLA (30-16) vs. Loyola Marymount (34-18)Cal State Fullerton (28-19) vs. UNLV (43-17)

Regional No. 8 - May 20-22 at Madison, WisconsinDePaul (39-18) vs. *Wisconsin (31-22)Wisconsin-Green Bay (26-16) vs. No. 8 Oregon State (40-14)

CHAMPIONSHIP STRUCTURE: The Division I championship provides for a field of 64 teams. The championship will be extended to three weekends of competition for the first time this year. 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.

The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series May 27-28 (Memorial Day Weekend) at eight campus sites.

The remaining eight teams will advance to the WCWS, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The championship final will best-of-three-series for the first time this year. The WCWS will be conducted June 2-8 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

SELECTION PROCESS: The NCAA Division I Softball Committee selected teams from the following eight regions to participate in the championship: Central, East, Northeast, South, Mideast, Midwest, West and Pacific. Twenty-eight conferences have been granted automatic qualification for the 2005 championship.

SEEDING, SITES: Teams were selected to the field of 64 teams. The top 16 teams were seeded in order, and the remaining teams were placed in regional brackets to create balanced competition and avoid conference match-ups, when possible.

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