NCAA SOFTBALL: Tide earns 10th seed; SEC sends record 11 teams
TUSCALOOSA - The Alabama softball team earned the No. 10 national seed and the top seed in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional, it was announced on the ESPNU NCAA Tournament selection show Sunday night.
The Crimson Tide (42-13) will open regional play Friday, May 17, at Rhoads Stadium against Jacksonville State (30-25) starting at 6 p.m. The opening game of the regional gets underway at 3:30 p.m., and will feature Western Kentucky (41-16) and South Carolina Upstate (41-10).
On Saturday, games will get underway at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start on Sunday with the "if necessary" game slated for 3:30 p.m. Ticket information is available at RollTide.com or call the Alabama Ticket office at 205.348.BAMA (2262).
The runner-up in the Sun Belt Tournament, Western Kentucky enters the Tuscaloosa regional as the No. 2 seed. South Carolina Upstate won the A-Sun tournament title and will be the third seed. Jacksonville State won the Ohio Valley Tournament championship and will be the fourth seed.
Alabama faced Jacksonville State earlier in the season at Rhoads Stadium, coming away with an 11-3 win.
The 10th seeded Tide is making its 15th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament under the direction of head coach Patrick Murphy. It is the ninth straight year Alabama has been a host site for an NCAA Regional and the 11th time overall.
The Tide has captured 10 NCAA Regional titles (2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012) and boasts a 38-9 record in regional play and a 64-29 in all NCAA tournament games.
The winner of the Tuscaloosa Regional will play the winner of the NCAA Knoxville Regional, which includes Tennessee, NC State, James Madison, and Longwood, in NCAA Super Regional play.
SEC sends record 11 teams to NCAA Tourney
The NCAA Softball Committee announced its NCAA Tournament bracket Sunday and the Southeastern Conference set a league record by advancing 11 teams to the tournament. The SEC also grabbed seven national seeds: SEC Champion Florida (52-7) earned the national No. 2 seed for the third year in a row while the Missouri Tigers (35-11) earned the No. 6 seed.
The Tennessee Lady Vols (44-10) are the No. 7 national seed while LSU (40-14) is the No. 9 seed. Alabama (42-13) is the No. 10 seed, Kentucky (38-18) earned the No. 12 seed and Texas A&M (39-15) is the No. 16 overall seed.
Arkansas (34-18) made their second tournament appearance in as many years. The Razorbacks will play in the Norman Regional while Georgia (38-19) opens up tournament play in the Tempe Regional. It is the 12th NCAA Regional bid for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State (32-22) will play in the Mobile Regional while South Carolina (32-23) opens up tournament play at the Austin Regional. It’s the Gamecocks’ 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the first since 2007.
The SEC led all conferences with 11 teams selected to the championship. The Pac-12 placed eight in the championship while the Big Ten Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and Conference USA each had four qualifiers, respectively.
Since 1997, the SEC has had seven teams advance to the Women’s College World Series: Alabama (‘00, ‘03, ‘05, ‘06, ‘08, ‘09, ‘11, ‘12), Florida (‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11), Georgia (‘09, ‘10), LSU (‘01, ‘04), South Carolina (‘07) and Tennessee (‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘10). Alabama claimed the first national championship in SEC history when it downed Oklahoma, 5-4, on June 7, 2012. In 2010, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee tied a league record when all three teams advanced to the WCWS.
Pairings (SEC Selections Only)
Gainesville Regional – May 17-19 at Gainesville, Florida
Columbia Regional – May 17-19 at Columbia, Missouri
Knoxville Regional – May 17-19 at Knoxville, Tennessee
Baton Rouge Regional – May 17-19 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Tuscaloosa Regional – May 17-19 at Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Lexington Regional – May 17-19 at Lexington, Kentucky
College Station Regional – May 17-19 at College Station, Texas
Norman Regional – May 17-19 at Norman, Oklahoma
Tempe Regional – May 17-19 at Tempe, Arizona
Mobile Regional – May 17-19 at Mobile, Alabama
Austin Regional – May 17-19 at Austin, Texas