Alabama Softball Earns No. 12 National Seed, Will Host 14th-Straight NCAA Regional
For the 14th-straight season, Alabama softball has earned a top-16 national seed and will host an NCAA regional as the No. 12 overall seed, welcoming Wisconsin, Oregon State and Middle Tennessee State to Tuscaloosa. NCAA Tournament play at Rhoads Stadium begins Friday, May 18.
The NCAA Tournament appearance is the 20th-straight for Alabama, having done so every year since 1999. Alabama has earned a top-16 national seed 16 times, including a hosting streak of 14 straight starting in 2005. The Crimson Tide is 87-39 (.690) all-time in NCAA regional play and has won every regional round since 2005, the longest active streak in Division-I softball. Alabama has not lost a game in regional play since 2007, a streak of 34-consecutive games.
Action at the Tuscaloosa Regional will begin on Friday, May 18 when Wisconsin faces Oregon State at 6 p.m. CT before Alabama takes on Middle Tennessee State at 8:30 p.m. CT. Both of the games will be streamed live on the WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.
The winner of the Tuscaloosa regional will advance to face the winner of the Seattle Regional, hosted by fifth-seeded Washington. Other teams playing in Seattle include Minnesota, Texas and Boise State.
The Wisconsin Badgers (28-21) hosted the Big Ten Tournament this past weekend as the league’s No. 7 seed, defeating Purdue before falling in the quarterfinals to Minnesota. Among Wisconsin’s wins were three ranked victories over No 6. Auburn, No. 24 Ohio State and No. 24 USC Upstate. Six Badgers earned All-Big Ten accolades, including three-time winner Kelsey Jenkins who led the league in batting average and on-base percentage. Alabama holds a 3-1 edge in the all-time series against Wisconsin, last facing the Badgers on Feb. 15, 2009, an 8-0 Tide victory.
The Oregon State Beavers (28-26) opened the season with a 17-9 record but struggled down the stretch, going 11-17 including a 9-14 record in the Pac 12. They broke a nine-game losing streak with a pair of wins over Utah in their final weekend of play. Five players earned all-conference honors, including senior Alysha Everett who leads the team with a .304 batting average and 52 hits. Alabama and Oregon State have met twice in program history, last doing so on Feb. 16, 2002, a 2-1 Crimson Tide loss.
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (39-20) won Conference USA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, winning a come-from-behind game over Florida Atlantic to win the program’s first ever conference title after posting its best regular-season finish since 2004. The NCAA Tournament bid is just the second in program history. Six earned all-conference accolades, including a pair of first team honorees in Cori Jennings and Morgan Harris. Alabama has won all seven previous meetings against Middle Tennessee State. The last game between the two was an 11-0 victory in Tuscaloosa on April 8, 2015.
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