Five Big Ten Softball Teams Selected For NCAA Tournament
Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin earn NCAA Tournament berths
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Big Ten Conference had five of its softball programs earn a spot in this year’s NCAA Tournament when the 64-team field was announced Sunday night. Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin all will begin their postseason journeys this weekend at regional sites around the country.
Michigan (43-11), the Big Ten Champion, heads to the NCAA Tournament for the 26th time in program history, having advanced to the NCAA Women’s College World Series on 12 occasions and earning the 2005 national championship. The Wolverines will begin this year’s postseason journey at the Lexington (Kentucky) Regional on Friday, taking on Notre Dame at noon (ET) live on ESPN2.
Minnesota (39-15), which earned its third consecutive Big Ten Tournament title and fourth in five years earlier on Sunday, makes its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance and sixth in a row. The Golden Gophers will compete in the Seattle (Washington) Regional this weekend, opening against Texas at 9 p.m. (ET) Friday live on ESPN.
Northwestern (36-17), the Big Ten Tournament runner-up, will compete in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in seven seasons and the 17th time in program history. The Wildcats will travel to Athens (Georgia) Regional this weekend, opening against California at noon (ET) Friday live on ESPNU.
Ohio State (34-14) earned its 10th NCAA Tournament berth and third in as many seasons. The Buckeyes are bound for the Gainesville (Florida) Regional and an opening-round matchup against South Florida at 5 p.m. (ET) Friday live on ESPNU.
Wisconsin (28-21) will compete in its sixth NCAA Tournament, earning a berth for the second year in a row. The Badgers will head to the Tuscaloosa (Alabama) Regional and begin their postseason slate against Oregon State at 7 p.m. (ET) Friday live on ESPN3.
The 64-team NCAA Tournament field is divided into 16, four-team double-elimination regionals, which begin Thursday. The 16 regional winners advance to best-of-three super regionals (to be played May 24-27 on the campus of the higher-seeded school), with the eight remaining schools competing May 31-June 6 at the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.