Four Big Ten Teams Earn NCAA Softball Tournament Bids
May 13, 2007
Four Big Ten squads have been tabbed to compete in the 2007 NCAA Women's Softball Championship, which begins with regional action from Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 20. Big Ten regular-season champion and conference tournament winner Ohio State, along with Northwestern, Michigan and Penn State all received berths to the NCAA Championship.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (38-16) secured its first ever automatic bid to the NCAA tournament Saturday with a 2-1 win over No. 6 Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament championship game. It is the Buckeyes first back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament and fifth appearance overall. The 25th-ranked Ohio State softball team will welcome No. 15 Virginia Tech, Cal State Fullerton and Canisus to Buckeye Field this weekend. Ohio State, which is the No. 2 seed in the double-elimination regional, is 19-0 at home this season will face Cal State Fullerton at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Northwestern has earned the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will host its first-round Regional for the second-consecutive year. The Wildcats have posted a 45-11 record this year to earn their best seed in program history. Northwestern opens the tournament against Wright State, the automatic qualifier out of the Horizon League. Illinois State from the Missouri Valley and Notre Dame out of the BIG EAST round out the Evanston Regional field.
The No. 10-ranked Michigan softball team will be the No. 9 overall seed and will host its sixth straight regional. Michigan is joined by regional No. 2 seed Oregon State, No. 3 seed Louisville and No. 4 seed Eastern Michigan in the double-elimination event. Michigan opens regional play vs. Eastern Michigan on Friday (May 18) at 7 p.m.
Penn State (26-23) earned its seventh NCAA tournament bid in the past eight years as part of the Columbia, S.C. region. The Nittany Lions will meet Oregon on Friday at noon to begin their NCAA action. Also in the Columbia Region are No. 15 North Carolina State and host school South Carolina.
This year marks the third year the NCAA Regional Tournament will use its new format. Sixteen sites were chosen as host schools with four teams in each site. The winner of each regional will advance to the NCAA Super Regionals, held May 25-26 at campus sites to be determined. Eight Super Regional winners will then advance to the Women's College World Series, held May 31 through June 6 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, OK.
Columbus Regional - May 18-20 at Columbus, Ohio
Ann Arbor Regional - May 18-20 at Ann Arbor, Michigan
Columbia Regional - May 18-20 at Columbia, South Carolina
Evanston Regional - May 18-20 at Evanston, Illinois