Arizona draws No. 6 seed, ASU at-large in NCAA tourney
The Arizona softball team will host a regional round for the 24th time in program history, earning the No. 6 seed in the NCAA Softball Championships on Sunday. Arizona State earned an at-large bid and will play in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama regional.
The Wildcats (42-12), who are looking for their first Women’s College World Series berth since 2010, will host Harvard (25-17) in their first game, which will be played on Friday at 8:30 p.m. and broadcast on ESPN2. Arizona has now advanced to the postseason for a record 33-straight seasons, advancing to the super regional round in 29 of those years.
Along the way, the Wildcats will have a chance to top some teams that have kept them from the World Series in that stretch. Auburn (37-19) and Colorado State (38-10) will also play in the Tucson regional. Arizona is 21-3 all-time against its regional opponents, including a pair of losses to Auburn in the 2016 super regionals that ended their season.
With the high seed, the Wildcats have a chance to host the super regional, paired with the teams from the Oxford, Mississippi regional: host Ole Miss, Louisiana, Chattanooga and Southeast Missouri State. The Wildcats are 16-4 all-time against the group, with Louisiana ending their season in the 2014 super regionals.
Arizona State (33-18), who advanced to the World Series last year after hosting the regional and super regional rounds, will have to advance on the road if it wants a return trip.
The Sun Devils were placed in the Tuscaloosa regional, where they will open against Lipscomb (41-13-1) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, the game to be broadcast on ESPNU.
Alabama (52-7) earned the No. 8 seed with a regular season SEC title and will host in-state rival Alabama State (24-23) in the other opener. ASU is 4-6 against Alabama all-time, last losing to the eventual national champion Crimson Tide in the 2012 World Series.
Each weekend is double elimination with the World Series to be held from May 30 to June 5 in Oklahoma City.