May 16, 2004
The top-ranked Arizona softball team, 53-4 overall and 17-3 for an eighth Pac-10 title, was selected as the No. 1 overall seed in the 2004 NCAA Division I Softball Championships and will play Centenary (35-28) in a first-round game at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Hillenbrand Stadium.
UA was selected as a host site a week ago, and the NCAA announced the 64-team field today. The double-elimination tournament includes 14 or 15 games -- five Thursday and Friday, three on Saturday and one or two, if necessary, Sunday.
UA is one of five top seeds from the Pac-10 and one of seven teams picked for the tournament.
Other teams and first-round matchups in Tucson include third-seeded Northwestern (32-18) vs. sixth-seeded UC-Santa Barbara (32-29), seventh-seeded Temple (29-16) vs. two-seeded Oklahoma (39-19-1) and four-seeded South Carolina (27-22) vs. fifth-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette (55-6).
Centenary, the eighth seed in the region, was an automatic qualifier as champion of the Mid-Continent Conference. Temple was the automatic qualifier from the Atlantic 10 Conference. All the other teams in the region earned at-large bids.
Several of the games in Tucson will be televised by CSTV on its national cable system -- all three third-round games on Saturday.
The winner of the Arizona-Centenary game will play the winner of the South Carolina-Louisiana-Lafeyette game in round two at 2 p.m. Friday. The UA-Centenary loser will play a 9 a.m. game Friday.
Arizona makes its 18th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and has won its last 16 to earn berths in the Women's College World Series each year since 1988. The UA has been a host site 12 times, including last year.
The Cats enter play on the heels of a doubleheader sweep at Washington on Saturday. The Huskies, picked as the overall No. 8 seed, are the top-seeded team in the Athens, Georgia, Regional at the University of Georgia. UCLA, the No. 2 overall seed, also is a host, as is Stanford, the No. 7 overall seed. Other Pac-10 teams picked for the tournament include Oregon, a two-seed in Tallahassee, Fla.; California, the No. 5 overall seed and the top seed at Lincoln, Neb.; and Oregon State, a three-seed at Ann Arbor, Mich.;
All eight sites, including one at Baylor in Waco, Texas, feed into the Women's College World Series May 27-31 in Oklahoma City.
Tickets for the Tucson regional have been on sale since the UA was announced as a host site. The McKale Center Ticket Office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, May 20 Game 1 9 a.m. No. 3 Seed Northwestern vs. No. 6 Seed UC-Santa Barbara Game 2 11:30 a.m. No. 7 Seed Temple vs. No. 2 Seed Oklahoma Game 3 2 p.m. No. 4 seed South Carolina vs. No. 5 Seed Louisiana-Lafayette Game 4 4:30 p.m. No. 8 Seed Centenary vs. No. 1 Seed Arizona Game 5 7 p.m. Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 Friday, May 21 Game 6 9 a.m. Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 Game 7 11:30 a.m. Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 Game 8 2 p.m. Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 Game 9 4 p.m. Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8 Game 10 7 p.m. Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7 Saturday, May 22 Game 11 11:30 a.m. Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 Game 12 2 p.m. Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10 Game 13 5 p.m. Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 11 Sunday, May 23 Game 14 1 p.m. Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 13 Game 15 3:30 Repeat Game 14 if both teams have a loss