May 12, 2002
The University of Arizona softball team will travel to Minneapolis for the NCAA Region 2 Softball Championship Thursday through Sunday, meeting Boston University in the first round.
Arizona finished the regular season 48-10 overall and 15-6 for second place in the Pacific-10 Conference, and is the NCAA tournament's No. 2 seed. Boston University (28-21) is the No. 6 seed in Region 2.
No Pac-10 school was chosen to host a regional, the first time since 1982 -- the beginning of NCAA Division I softball play -- that the league has been excluded from playing host. Top-ranked and overall No. 1 seed UCLA, which beat UA Friday and swept ASU in a doubleheader Saturday, will travel to Columbia, S.C., as the top seed in Region 1.
Game times have not been set, although Arizona as a visiting team at the host University of Minnesota is to play in 'game 1' and likely to be early in the day. Four games are to be played Thursday, eliminating one team in the double-elimination tournament.
If it wins, UA will play the winner of No. 2 seed DePaul (46-9) vs. No. 5 seed Penn State (32-34), on Friday. If it loses its first game the UA will play the loser of that contest later Thursday.
Other teams in the region are host and No. 3 seed Minnesota (35-19) and No. 4 seed Princeton (34-16).
Arizona did not play any of the other five teams in the region during the regular season.
The winner of the regional travels to Oklahoma City May 23-27 for the Women's College World Series. Arizona has advanced to the series 14 consecutive years.
This will be the second time the Wildcats have played outside the state of Arizona in NCAA Regional action. The 1996 club traveled to Talahassee, Fla., for regional play and later won the World Series in Columbus, Ga. -- the championship site that year because of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta later that summer.