Softball teams from the ASN-affiliated conferences are well represented in the NCAA Tournament field announced on Sunday. No. 7 seed James Madison is one of the few non-Power 5 conference schools to host a regional.
Making the field for the first time are Cal State Bakersfield (WAC) and Samford (Southern).
Florida, the two-time defending national champion, is the No. 1 seed. Florida Atlantic, the Conference USA champion led by pitcher Kylee Hanson, will face UCF in the Gainesville Regional Friday-Sunday while Florida will face Alabama State in the first game.
Fordham, the Atlantic 10 champion for the fourth consecutive year, will travel cross country to face No. 5 seed Oregon in the Eugene Regional. Also in that regional are Long Beach State and Baylor.
Cal State Bakersfield, with the worst record in the field at 16-32, has momentum on its side. The Roadrunners advanced to the tournament with a 1-0 victory over top seed and favorite New Mexico State to earn the WAC’s automatic bid. They will travel to Los Angeles to face No. 12 seed UCLA.
Jacksonville State will take on No. 4 seed Auburn at Auburn. Also in that field are Oregon State and USC Upstate. Boston University, champions of the Patriot League, will travel to Lafayette, La., and face host Louisiana-Lafayette, the only other non-Power 5 team hosting a regional. Texas and Texas A&M are also in Lafayette.
Samford will face No. 6 seed Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
JMU, the highest seeded ASN partner school, will face Princeton, the Ivy League champs in the opener while Longwood will take on North Carolina.
The Ann Arbor Regional will host a pair of ASN teams with Notre Dame taking on MAC champion Miami (Ohio) while Horizon League champion Valparaiso, the only other team in the tournament field with a sub-.500 record, will face No. 2 seed Michigan.
The tournament is a double-elimination with the 16 winning teams advancing to the Super Regionals, to be held May 26-29.
The complete pairings with ASN partner schools in bold:
Gainesville Regional | May 20-22 at Gainesville, Fla.
- No. 1 seed Florida* (53-5) vs. Alabama State (28-25)
- Florida Atlantic (50-7) vs. UCF (36-20)
Athens Regional | May 20-22 at Athens, Ga.
- Oklahoma State (29-24) vs. Northwestern (26-26)
- Maine (28-19) vs. No. 16 seed Georgia* (40-17)
Lexington Regional | May 20-22 at Lexington, Ky.
- No. 9 seed Kentucky* (43-12) vs. Butler (28-22)
- Illinois (35-21) vs. Utah (32-19)
Tallahassee Regional | May 20-22 at Tallahassee, Fla.
- South Florida (44-14) vs. South Carolina (36-21)
- Florida A&M (27-28) vs. No. 8 seed Florida State* (48-8)
Eugene Regional | May 20-22 at Eugene, Ore.
- No. 5 seed Oregon* (44-8) vs. Fordham (39-19)
- Long Beach State (32-20) vs. Baylor (43-12)
Los Angeles Regional | May 20-22 at Los Angeles
- Fresno St. (41-10-1) vs. Cal State Fullerton (43-14)
- Cal State Bakersfield (16-32) vs. No. 12 seed UCLA* (35-13-1)
Knoxville Regional | May 20-22 at Knoxville, Tenn.
- No. 13 seed Tennessee* (41-14) vs. Marist (45-11)
- Ohio State (33-18-1) vs. Arizona (36-19)
Auburn Regional | May 20-22 at Auburn, Ala.
- Oregon State (30-18-1) vs. USC Upstate (43-12)
- Jacksonville State (41-15) vs. No. 4 seed Auburn* (49-9)
Norman Regional | May 20-22 at Norman, Okla.
- No. 3 seed Oklahoma * (47-7) vs. Wichita State (35-19)
- Tulsa (35-19) vs. Mississippi (39-20)
Lafayette Regional | May 20-22 at Lafayette, La.
- Texas A&M (37-18) vs. Texas (37-14)
- Boston University (28-22) vs. No. 14 seed Louisiana-Lafayette* (43-7)
Seattle Regional | May 20-22 at Seattle, Wash.
- No. 11 seed Washington* (36-13) vs. Weber State (37-17)
- North Dakota State (38-13) vs. Minnesota (41-12)
Tuscaloosa Regional | May 20-22 at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- California (31-22-1) vs. Texas St. (39-20)
- Samford (40-18) vs. No. 6 seed Alabama* (46-12)
Harrisonburg Regional | May 20-22 at Harrisonburg, Va.
- No. 7 seed James Madison* (46-4) vs. Princeton (23-26)
- Longwood (38-18) vs. North Carolina (31-23)
Baton Rouge Regional | May 20-22 at Baton Rouge, La.
- McNeese State (42-12) vs. Arizona St. (30-25)
- LIU Brooklyn (30-25) vs. No. 10 seed LSU* (45-15)
Columbia Regional | May 19-21 at Columbia, Mo.
- No. 15 seed Missouri* (39-14) vs. BYU (35-19)
- Louisville (35-15) vs. Nebraska (33-19)
Ann Arbor Regional | May 20-22 at Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Notre Dame (41-11) vs. Miami (Ohio) (34-21)
- Valparaiso (18-32) vs. No. 2 seed Michigan* (46-5)