headed to Columbia, Mo., for NCAA regional
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[May 14, 2012]
NORMAL -- The Illinois
State softball team will be headed to Columbia, Mo., for the NCAA tournament, as announced on the NCAA Division I Softball
Championship Selection Show Sunday evening. The Redbirds (35-21) are
making their third straight appearance in the NCAA tournament and
will open NCAA regional play against No. 9 overall seed and host
Illinois State earned an automatic bid to this year's NCAA
tournament by defeating Southern Illinois 13-3 in Saturday's title
game of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Softball
Championship in Carbondale, for its first conference tournament
title since 2001. This is the first time in program history that ISU
has earned three consecutive trips to the NCAA regional, as the
Redbirds earned at-large bids in both 2010 and 2011.
This season marks Illinois State's ninth overall appearance in the
NCAA tournament. ISU will join DePaul, Massachusetts and Missouri in
the four-team regional. The Redbirds are 0-1 against their regional
opponents this season, as ISU dropped a 6-1 decision to the Blue
Demons earlier in the year at Marian Kneer Stadium.
Last season, ISU went 1-2 at the NCAA regional in Columbia, Mo.,
as it earned its first NCAA tournament win since 2007 with a 3-1
defeat of Indiana and fell twice to the host Tigers.
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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, when possible, teams from the same conference were not
paired in regional competition.
news release received from Dustin Hall, Illinois State