Softball: Bears chosen to NCAA regional

A year after earning a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament, the Cal softball team (36-17) was placed in a regional at Ann Arbor, Mich., its 28th consecutive trip to the NCAAs — the longest active streak in the country.

The Bears open play Friday against Central Michigan (33-18) at 4:30 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN3. Also in the Ann Arbor regional are eighth-seeded Michigan (45-10) and Valparaiso (34-25).

The winner of the Michigan regional advances to play a best-of-three series against the winner of the LSU regional, featuring LSU, Central Connecticut, Louisiana-Lafayette and Northwestern State. 

Cal is aiming for its third straight College World Series bid.

Eight Pac-12 teams were included in the 64-team NCAA field, topped by conference champion and No. 3 seed Oregon and fifth-seeded Arizona State. ASU opens at home against San Jose State.

Stanford also claimed a spot in the event, and will open against Tulsa at Lincoln, Neb.

Jeff Faraudo

  • AAHQ

    I like Cal’s placement, given the circumstances. The only reason Cal is not hosting a regional is that it lost 9 straight games near the end of the season — after star pitcher Jolene Henderson injured her knee and did not play. Cal was a top-10 team before Jolene went down. Jolene’s injury heeled enough to allow her to start the final game of the season and get the 3-2 win on the road at #12 Washington. Cal is the most dangerous team of those not seeded (top 16). In my judgment, Cal wins the Michigan regional and then would need to beat LSU two-out-of-three at LSU. That will be tough, but LSU is only the #9 seed, so not an impossible task, as long as Jolene stays healthy. You heard it here first: Cal wins the Michigan regional and the LSU super regional to make it to the college world series.

  • SteveNTexas

    Good explanation AAHQ, especially to someone who hadn’t follwoed Cal’s Season .. so far.