Michigan, Northwestern Open NCAA Regional Play Friday

Amanda Chidester and Michigan open postseason play in the Louisville Regional.

Amanda Chidester and Michigan open postseason play in the Louisville Regional.

May 17, 2012

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Michigan and Northwestern will represent the Big Ten in the NCAA Softball Championship, with regional rounds set to begin this weekend. The Wolverines are making their 20th overall appearance and their 18th consecutive berth in the national tournament, while Northwestern was invited to the field for the 13th time and first since 2009.

Michigan was placed in the Louisville Regional, whose games will be televised by ESPN and ESPN2. The Wolverines open against Kentucky on Friday before facing host Louisville or Valparaiso in the second game of the double-elimination regional.

Northwestern heads to the Austin Regional, where the Wildcats will open the postseason against regional host Texas on Friday. Auburn and Houston will also take part in the Austin Regional.

The regional round is comprised of 16, four-team groups and is a double-elimination format. The regional winners will advance to one of eight Super Regionals, where those winners will emerge as Women’s College World Series participants.

The complete weekend schedule, along with conference news, notes and tournament history, can be found at the PDF at the top of the page.