Seven Pac-12 softball teams headed to NCAA Championship
SAN FRANCISCO - Seven Pac-12 softball teams will compete in the 2015 NCAA Softball Championship, as announced this evening. Three teams earned top-16 seeds – No. 2 OREGON, No. 7 UCLA and No. 12 ARIZONA – and they will be joined by ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, UTAH and WASHINGTON.
It marks the 19th-straight season that the Pac-12 has had five or more teams advance to the NCAA tournament. The seven selections were tied for the second-most of any conference in the nation.
Only 12 schools have been crowned the NCAA Division I softball champion since the tournament started in 1982, and 11 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.
Oregon picks up the No. 2 seed after earning its third Pac-12 title in a row. The Ducks will host the Eugene Regional in their fifth-consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, having exited with a winning postseason record each season since 2010. UCLA will also host the opening regional in its 30th appearance in the championship, as will Arizona in its 29th-consecutive appearance. California returns to the postseason after missing last year’s tournament, while the Huskies earn their 22nd-overall berth in the bracket. Utah picks up its first NCAA championship bid since 2006 and its 13th overall.
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 14-17 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 21-24 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.