Road to Oklahoma City
OKLAHOMA CITY California was named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship Sunday when the NCAA Division I Softball Committee announced the 64-team field. The Golden Bears, champions of the Pacific-12 Conference, are 50-4 and will play Iona, an automatic qualifier from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, May 18 in front of a home crowd in Berkeley as the road to Oklahoma City begins.
Thirty conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 34 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket. The top-16 teams were seeded nationally and will play at campus sites this weekend. Team pairings were determined by geographical proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during regional competition, when possible.
The Southeastern Conference led all conferences with nine teams selected to the championship. The Pac-12 placed eight in the championship while the Big 12 Conference had six qualifiers. Three teams are making their initial appearances in the tournament: Florida Gulf Coast, South Alabama and Valparaiso.
Only 10 schools have been crowned the NCAA Division I softball champion since the tournament started in 1982, and eight are in this years bracket.
Berkeley Regional May 18-20 at Berkeley, Calif.
No. 1 seed California* (50-4) vs. Iona (35-24)
Boston U. (40-14) vs. Arkansas (27-26)
Seattle Regional May 18-20 at Seattle, Wash.
Texas Tech (40-15) vs. Maryland (34-20)
Harvard (33-13) vs. No. 16 seed Washington* (36-17))
Columbia Regional May 18-20 at Columbia, Mo
No. 9 seed Missouri* (43-12) vs. Illinois State (35-21)
Massachusetts (38-11) vs. DePaul (35-20)
College Station Regional May 18-20 at College Station, Texas
LSU (34-22) vs. Texas State (38-15)
Bethune-Cookman (30-29) vs. No. 8 seed Texas A&M* (39-16)
Gainesville Regional May 18-20 at Gainesville, Fla.
No. 5 seed Florida* (46-11) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (37-22)
UCF (39-17) vs. South Florida (45-11)
Los Angeles Regional May 18-20 at Los Angeles, Calif.
Florida State (46-14) vs. San Diego State (30-22)
Hofstra (38-13) vs. No. 12 seed UCLA* (36-18)
Tucson Regional May 18-20 at Tucson, Ariz.
No. 13 seed Arizona* (35-17) vs. North Dakota State (37-20)
Notre Dame (38-14) vs. Hawaii (44-7)
Norman Regional May 18-20 at Norman, Okla.
Oregon State (34-21) vs. Tulsa (41-12)
Lehigh (40-17) vs. No 4 seed Oklahoma* (45-8)
Tempe Regional May18-20 at Tempe, Ariz.
No. 3 seed Arizona State* (46-7) vs. LIU Brooklyn (25-33)
Long Beach State (28-23) vs. Syracuse (40-14)
Lafayette Regional May 18-20 at Lafayette, La.
Stanford (38-17) vs. Baylor (33-20)
Mississippi Valley (34-17) vs. No. 14 seed Louisiana-Lafayette* (49-4)
Eugene Regional May 17-19 at Eugene, Ore.
No. 11 seed Oregon* (39-15) vs. Portland State (27-23)
Mississippi State (33-22) vs. BYU (43-13)
Austin Regional May 18-20 at Austin, Texas
Auburn (33-21) vs. Houston (34-22)
Northwestern (27-27) vs. No. 6 seed Texas* (42-10)
Knoxville Regional May 18-20 at Knoxville, Tenn.
No. 7 seed Tennessee* (46-10) vs. Miami (Ohio) (40-18)
UAB (37-20) vs. Virginia Tech (40-19)
Athens Regional May 18-20 at Athens, Georgia
North Carolina (41-13) vs. Georgia Southern (42-18)
Coastal Carolina (43-18) vs. No. 10 seed Georgia* (41-15)
Louisville Regional May 18-20 at Louisville, Ky.
No. 15 seed Louisville* (53-3) vs. Valparaiso (42-17)
Kentucky (29-28) vs. Michigan (39-15)
Tuscaloosa Regional May 18-20 at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Georgia Tech (36-21) vs. South Alabama (39-15)
UT-Martin (39-20) vs. No. 2 seed Alabama* (50-7)
*Indicates host school
CHAMPIONSHIP STRUCTURE: The Division I championship provides for a field of 64 teams. The championship will be three weekends of competition. Four teams will participate at each of 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament. Sixteen teams were seeded and placed at one of the regional sites. Two regional sites (Louisville and Tucson) will be televised in their entirety on the ESPN family of networks. The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series that will be conducted either May 24-25, May 25-26 or May 26-27 at eight campus sites. For the third consecutive year, all Super Regional games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks. The remaining eight teams will advance to the WCWS, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The championship final will be a best-of-three-series. The WCWS will be conducted May 31 June 6 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
SELECTION PROCESS: The NCAA Division I Softball Committee selected teams from the following eight regions to participate in the championship: Central, East, Northeast, South, Mideast, Midwest, West and Pacific. Thirty conferences have been granted automatic qualification for the 2012 championship.
SEEDING, SITES: Teams were selected to the field of 64 teams. The top 16 teams were seeded in order, and the remaining teams were placed in regional brackets to create balanced competition and avoid conference match-ups, when possible.
Conferences Receiving Automatic Qualification
America East Boston University
Atlantic Coast Georgia Tech
Atlantic 10 Massachusetts
Atlantic Sun Florida Gulf Coast
Big East Louisville
Big South Coastal Carolina
Big Ten Michigan
Big 12 Oklahoma
Big West Long Beach State
Colonial Athletic Hofstra
Conference USA Tulsa
Horizon League Valparaiso
Ivy Group Harvard
Metro Atlantic Iona
Mid-American Miami (OH)
Missouri Valley Illinois State
Mountain West San Diego State
Northeast LIU Brooklyn
Ohio Valley UT Martin
Pacific Coast Portland State
Patriot League Lehigh
Southern Georgia Southern
Southland Texas State
Southwestern Mississippi Valley
Summit North Dakota State
Sun Belt South Alabama
Western Athletic - BYU
Arizona State won its second national championship defeating the Florida 14-4 and 7-2 in championship series Games 1 and 2, respectively. Arizona State won the national title behind the efforts of Co-Most Outstanding Player Dallas Escobedo and all-tournament team honorees Krista Donnenwirth, Annie Lookwood and Mandy Urfer. Arizona State completed the series with a perfect 5-0 record.
*For complete championship details, visit NCAA.com.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.