State will make its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance in its 21stseason as a member of the Southeastern Conference, with an overall record of 12-24 in the regional round. Right now, they just need to score a run after being shut out against Oklahoma and Baylor in their last two games of the Big 12 tournament over the weekend. The same four teams in the field comprised the 2009 NCAA Norman Regional.
The Tuscaloosa Regional will begin on Friday when Minnesota faces Louisiana Tech at 1:30 p.m. CDT before Alabama takes on Albany at 4 p.m.
The Tigers can earn a third straight trip to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City without ever leaving home. NMSU was also a participant in the Tucson Regional in 2015, but was eliminated before facing the Wildcats. Since then they’ve gone 3-0, won the B1G tournament and finished the season with the NCAA’s best record, 54-3.
No draw is easy in this tournament, but thank goodness Auburn isn’t in that top bracket with Florida, Alabama, and Minnesota. Arizona (48-7), OR (47-6), and Florida State (51-6-1) are the other top seeds in the tournament.
Friday’s winners will square off in the first of three games Saturday, while Friday’s losing teams will matchup in an elimination for game two of Saturday’s tripleheader.
In the other half of the regional bracket, Ralph and Karen Weekly’s No. 8 Volunteers are coming into the NCAA tournament with a 44-10 record after falling to LSU in the first round of the SEC tournament.
“By Sunday we’re going to have to move on, because we still have a season in front of us”, Hutchins said last Friday.
It wasn’t easy for MSU attempting to get back on track from last year’s disappointing season.
All 13 SEC teams – Vanderbilt doesn’t have a softball team – made the tournament, with Georgia, Mississippi State, Arkansas and SC qualifying as non-host at-large teams.
“I think this is probably going to be one of the toughest regionals yet”, stated Carlee Wallace.
If Alabama advances, the Tide (42-16) will likely have to face No. 1 Florida in the best-of-three super regional round. Individual game tickets are $10 for reserved chair backs, $7 for general admission and $5 for students (college aged or younger).