Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats Play Host to NCAA Regional
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 25, 2006
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INDIANAPOLIS ?-Arizona, a six-time NCAA Champion, earned its 20th consecutive NCAA Softball Championships bid and the right to host a Regional as the tournament’s overall No. 2 seed.


The Cats (44-9), an at-large selection after winning their final 10 games for a strong second-place finish in the Pac-10, will meet Marist College (33-11), champions of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in the first round Thursday at Hillenbrand Stadium. The other first-round game pits Auburn (34-20) of the SEC against Ohio State (38-21) of the Big Ten, two other at-large picks. Marist beat Fairfield Sunday for the MAAC Tournament title and an NCAA automatic bid.


The Cats will play the Red Foxes in Game 2 at 6:30 p.m. (MST/PDT) Thursday. Auburn-Ohio State will start at 4 p.m.   


 NCAA Division I Softball Championships - Region 2 Schedule







4 p.m.

1 - Auburn vs. Ohio State



6:30 p.m.

2  - Arizona vs. Marist



1:30 p.m.

3 ?- Winner 1 vs. Winner 2



4 p.m.

4 ?- Loser 1 vs. Loser 2



6:30 p.m.

5 ?- Winner 4 vs. Loser 3



3 p.m.

6 ?- Winner 3 vs. Winner 5



5 p.m.

7 ?- Winner 6 vs. Loser 6

 If necessary (each has a loss)




All-session tickets go on sale to UA season-ticket holders Monday morning at McKale Center.


UCLA was named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship today when the NCAA Division I Softball Committee announced the 64-team field. The Bruins, champions of the Pac-10 Conference, are 43-7 and will open play against Missouri State University, May 19, in front of a home crowd in Los Angeles. UCLA beat Arizona in all three of its league games this year.


Arizona State (6), Oregon State (7), California (10), Stanford (11) and Washington (14) of the Pac-10 also received one of the 16 seeds in the tournament, although only OSU and Stanford will be host teams. ASU goes to Hempstead, N.Y., (Hofstra host) while Cal travels to Iowa City (Iowa host), Stanford travels to Fresno (Fresno State host) and Washington plays Thursday at Provo, Utah (BYU host). Only Oregon of the Pac-10 did not make the tournament.


Arizona's late-season charge, while falling short of the conference title by only a half game -- 15-6 record to UCLA's 15-5 (after dropping its last two games at Stanford Friday and Saturday) -- probably made a difference in its status as a top seed and potential host. Texas, the No. 2-ranked team for the past month, dropped its only two games in the Big 12 Tournament last week.


Twenty-nine conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 35 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 teams from the same conference were not paired during regional competition, when possible.


The Pacific 10 led all conferences with the seven teams in the championship, while the Big 12, Big Ten and SEC placed six teams. Fresno State remains the only team to be selected to all 25 championships. Eight teams are making their initial appearances in the tournament: North Carolina State, Youngstown State, Tulsa, Georgia Southern, Portland State, Southern Utah, Nevada and Marist.


Only eight schools have been crowned champion, all of which are in this year’s bracket.