“I’m proud of this group,” said OU head coach Patty Gasso. “Earning the No. 1 seed is a big accomplishment, and it’s very difficult to do. A lot of hard work was put into this season so far. This team is highly motivated, and I’m excited for what comes next for them.”
OU will open up against Norman Regional No. 4 seed UMBC at 8:30 p.m. CT Friday. The Retrievers (30-22) stamped a spot in the field via winning the America East Conference.
Texas Tech goes in as the No. 2 seed. The Red Raiders finished 39-14 on the year and finished fourth in the Big 12 with an 8-10 record. Louisiana Tech finished 44-14 on the year and is coming off a C-USA Tournament Championship this weekend. Monmouth is the No. 4 seed in the regional, finishing 36-16 in the regular season. They are coming off the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament title this weekend.
Wisconsin and Notre Dame will square off as well as part of the regional. Winners will then face off in a winner’s bracket game in the double elimination format.
The Sooners are currently riding an NCAA single-season record 39-game winning streak entering the tournament. They’re only eight wins off tying and nine victories from breaking the all-time winning streak record set by the Arizona Wildcats back in 1996-97. If they’re to continue their streak, that would put them in line to possibly break it in the first game of the Women’s College World Series Finals.
“They just impress me beyond belief,” Gasso recently said after a three-game sweep over Bedlam rival Oklahoma State. “They haven’t felt a loss in a while. And I think they don’t want to. And that motivates them. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team, their accomplishments.”
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But it’s clear the all-time winning streak record is far from their ultimate goal. Behind an incredible senior class, the Sooners have their sights set on avenging last year’s WCWS semifinals ousting at the hands of the Washington Huskies.
NDSU to Play Host & No. 7 Seed Minnesota at 8:30 p.m. Friday at NCAA Minneapolis Regional
“It just shows the competitiveness of this team and the grit that we have,” said designated player Shay Knighten, who came back from a minor shoulder injury to go 2-for-4 with three RBI in an 8-0 Big 12 Tournament opening victory over Texas Tech. “Like I think we all would owe it all to the coaching staff and our support staff, just allowing us to go out and play our full potential. Whether that’s healing us, feeding us right, hydration, everything in between, I think just this team we want to go out with a bang and we have a mission in mind. And our goal is to complete that mission, and so I think every game is just another step to completing our mission.”
The first part of that begins this upcoming weekend. Advancing out of regional play would likely set up a Super Regionals matchup with No. 16 seed Northwestern. A potential WCWS opening round matchup with No. 8 Alabama could also be on tap if both teams advance there.
FARGO – Weather took care of the North Dakota State and University of Minnesota softball doubleheader this season. The Bison will get another shot at the Gophers.
NDSU, 42-14, will play No. 7 overall seed Minnesota in the Minneapolis Regional on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Drake vs. Georgia rounds out the four-team double-elimination regional that concludes on Sunday.
It matches Bison head coach Darren Mueller against his former co-head coach, Gophers head coach Jamie Trachsel. In her second year, Trachsel is 2-0 against Mueller taking a doubleheader in 2018.
Shes done a great job down there, Mueller said. Ive been proud and impressed with what shes done. I thought all along and weve talked throughout the season that theyre one of the top eight teams in the country.
NDSU is getting so used to an NCAA tournament softball selection show that its getting to the point where its almost part of the schedule. It doesnt make it any less cool for the head coach, however.
UT Softball heading to Lexington for the NCAA tournament
Its the 10th time in the last 11 years that NDSU will be part of the 64-team field. The Gophers will take a 41-12 record into postseason. Drake, 42-14, won its second straight Missouri Valley Conference tournament title and Georgia, 40-17, finished in a tie for sixth in the Southeastern Conference.
I still got a little nervous before the show started, Mueller said. Just the anticipation. You never know where youre going or where youre going to be seeded. Im excited for our new kids who havent had a chance to experience it.
NCAA Softball Championships 2019 Bracket: Schedule, Matchups and More
Of the 64 teams, 32 including NDSU received automatic bids. The Bison won the Summit League tournament on Saturday at its own Tharaldson Park beating the University of South Dakota twice.
Auburn softball reacts to NCAA Tournament selection
Afterward, Mueller told a couple well-wishers that he wouldnt be surprised if the Bison were headed to Minneapolis for the regional.
We kind of expected it because of the proximity and the way the top 16 teams are this year, he said. We expected Minnesota to be one of the top 16 seeds.
NDSU has been accustomed to beating top 25 teams over the years, but went 0-5 against ranked teams this season. The closest was a 7-6 loss to No. 11 Arkansas and 5-3 defeat to No. 5 Washington.
Minnesota lost to Michigan 3-2 in the Big Ten Conference title game. The Gophers beat Drake twice this season 4-1 and 2-0. Their only mid-major loss was 4-1 to Florida Gulf Coast.
Theyre led by junior pitcher Amber Fisher from Van Horne, Iowa, who is 26-7 with 301 strikeouts and a 1.24 earned run average.
Regionals will be held at 15 on-campus sites followed by Super Regionals at eight on-campus sites, which comprises two teams in a best-of-three series. NDSU advanced to a Super Regional in 2009 at Arizona State after winning the Norman Regional at the University of Oklahoma.