Sunday, May 12, 2013
NCAA softball: Oklahoma is top seed
ESPN.com news services
Among the 64 teams competing in the NCAA softball tournament are 11 from the Southeastern Conference.
A year after claiming its first national championship, the SEC will host seven of the 16 regionals, which begin Friday.
Mississippi State didn't even qualify for the SEC tournament, but the Bulldogs still will have a chance to reach the Women's College World Series.
Oklahoma is the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket, which was revealed Sunday night. The Sooners will host a regional for the fifth time in the past six years.
The top 16 seeds in the RPI all will host regionals.
The top eight seeds, which will go on to host the super regionals if they make it through the regionals, are Oklahoma, Florida, Oregon, Texas, Arizona State, Missouri, Tennessee and Michigan.
LSU, Alabama, Washington, Kentucky, South Alabama, Nebraska, Louisville and Texas A&M also will host regionals.
The Sooners begin their regional Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET against Marist. Fordham and Arkansas are also in that regional.
SEC champion Florida begins against MEAC champion Hampton and also hosts Georgia Southern and South Florida.
No. 3 Oregon is one of eight Pac-12 teams in the field. The Ducks host BYU, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
The Austin regional includes No. 4 Texas, Army, Houston and South Carolina.
No. 5 Arizona State will host San Jose State, San Diego State and Georgia.
The Columbia regional is loaded with pitching. No. 6 Missouri, led by SEC pitcher of the year Chelsea Thomas, hosts Stony Brook, Oregon State and Hofstra, which features Olivia Galati, who owns five career perfect games.
Tennessee had been ranked No. 2 before losing three out of four to Missouri last week. The No. 7 Vols will host Longwood, ACC champion NC State and James Madison, which is the first CAA team to earn an at-large bid to the tournament.
No. 8 Michigan hosts Valparaiso, California and Central Michigan.
No. 9 LSU hosts in-state rivals Northwestern State and Louisiana-Lafayette, as well as Central Connecticut State.
The Tuscaloosa regional features defending champion No. 10 Alabama, Jacksonville State, Western Kentucky and South Carolina Upstate.
No. 11 Washington hosts Portland State, Minnesota and Hawaii.
No. 12 Kentucky hosts Marshall, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.
No. 13 South Alabama hosts Mississippi Valley State, Mississippi State and Florida State.
No. 14 Nebraska hosts Northern Iowa, Stanford and Tulsa.
No. 15 Louisville hosts IPFW, UAB and UCLA.
No. 16 Texas A&M hosts Baylor, Arizona and Pennsylvania, which is making its first appearance in the tournament.
The last eight teams remaining will reach the Women's College World Series, which starts May 30.