Arizona Softball back at home for regionals - Tucson News Now

Arizona Softball back at home for regionals

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Tucson, AZ -

Eleventh-seeded Arizona (41-13, 14-10 Pac-12) begins its quest for the program's ninth national title as the team will host its 20th NCAA Regional. Arizona is making its 28th straight trip to the postseason, the longest streak in the country.

The Wildcats welcome LSU, an at-large selection from the SEC, Louisville, an automatic qualifier from the American Conference, and Boston University, an automatic qualifier from the Patriot League. The winner of the Tucson regional will advance to play the winner of the Lafayette Regional (No. 6 Louisiana Lafayette, Texas, Mississippi State and Texas Southern).

Arizona has played host to 19 NCAA Regionals along with six Super Regionals. This is the fourth time in the last five years the regional round will be held in Tucson. The Wildcats are 55-4 in NCAA Regionals held in Tucson and have advanced out of 16 of the 17 Regionals they have hosted, only failing to make it out of 2004 pod, when defeats to Oklahoma and Louisiana Lafayette ended Arizona's season.

The 2004 and 2013 clubs are the only teams since 1987 to lose in regionals. Boston U, LSU and Louisville are all making their first appearances in the Tucson Regional. LSU is making its second trip to Tucson for postseason play, though, as the Tigers fell to Arizona in three games in the 2006 Super Regional round. Arizona is 1-0 against both Louisville and Boston in postseason play.

The Wildcats return to NCAA action for the 28th consecutive season. In 27 previous trips, Arizona is 152-47 in tournament play and 79-8 in the regional round.

UA went 1-2 at the College Station regional in 2013, dropping two games to Baylor and defeating Penn in eight innings. The Cats have lost just two regional games since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 2005, both in 2013. Arizona has failed to make it out of regionals just twice in the last 26 years (2004 and 2013).

Arizona is 8-2 all-time against LSU, including 2-1 against the Tigers in postseason play. Most recently, the Tigers defeated Arizona 3-0 at the 2013 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

The Wildcats are 3-0 all-time against Louisville including 1-0 in the postseason. Most recently, Arizona defeated the then-24th ranked Cardinals 11-3 in the 2010 Judi Garman Classic.

Arizona is 4-0 all-time against the Terriers, including 1-0 in NCAA Tournament play. The Cats and the Terriers met last season for two games when Boston U came to town for the Wildcat Invitational. Arizona won both games.

The Wildcats are 28-2 this season inside the friendly confines of Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.

In the regular season, Arizona played 21 games against teams ranked in the NFCA Top 25, including nine against the top 10 and nine against the top five. This year, UA is 10-11 against the top 25, 3-6 against the top 10 and 3-6 against the top five.

OPPONENTS

LSU: The Tigers (35-22, 13-11 SEC) finished the regular season ranked 23rd by both polls ... LSU is making its 16th trip to the NCAA Tournament ... The Tigers have been to three Women's College World Series, most recently in 2012 ... The Tigers are hitting .311 as a team and have hit 52 home runs, they are led on that side of the ball by Savanna Jaquish (.335 avg, 13 HR, 9 2B, 48 RBI) and A.J. Andrews (.339 avg, 6 3B, 35 SB) ... In the circle, the team boasts a 2.90 team ERA and has struck out 334 batters; ace Baylee Corbello (17-8, 2.55 ERA, 175 Ks, 176.0 IP) leads the way.

Louisville: The Cardinals (36-20, 14-7 American) earned the American Athletic Conference's automatic bid by winning the conference tournament ... Louisville is making its 11th postseason appearance ... The Cardinals hit .301 as a team and outscored their opponents 301-179; the team is led by Katie Keller (.402 avg, 19 2B, 6 HR, 34 RBI) ... In the circle, the Cardinals have a 2.88 team ERA, led by Maryssa Becker (13-7, 2.08 ERA, 137 Ks, 138.0 IP).

Boston University: The Terriers (35-19, 13-5 Patriot) are the representatives of the Patriot League after winning the conference tournament last weekend ... BU is making its seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament and first since 2012 ... Boston has the best team ERA in the region at 2.82, led by Melanie Russell (12-3, 2.09 ERA, 106 Ks, 104.0 IP) ... Offensively, the team has stolen 103 bases, led by Jayme Mask (.400 avg, 34 SB).

The winner of the Tucson regional will take on the winner of the Lafayette regional for a chance to advance to the Women's College World Series. Should the seeds hold, the Super Regional would be hosted by Louisiana Lafayette, the tournament's No. 6 seed.

Friday, May 16

Game 1:               5:00 p.m. PDT    LSU vs. Louisville                                      ESPN3

Game 2:               8:00 p.m. PDT    ARIZONA vs. Boston U                             ESPNU

Saturday, May 17

Game 3:               1:30 p.m. PDT    Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2          ESPN    

Game 4:               4:00 p.m. PDT    Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2               ESPN

Game 5:               6:30 p.m. PDT    Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4             ESPN

Sunday, May 18

Game 6:               1:30 p.m. PDT    Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5          ESPN2

Game 7:               (if necessary)     Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5         ESPN2

Copyright 2014 Arizona Athletics. All rights reserved.

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