TUCSON--A day after the Cats won their second game of the weekend to earn a piece of the Pac-10 Championship the UA was awarded a host site in regional play of the NCAA Softball Championships.
Arizona (39-10 overall) will meet Lehigh (41-8), while Princeton (35-8) meets Oklahoma State (33-22) in the other first-round game at Hillenbrand Stadium on Friday. The NCAA announced its top seeds and sites Sunday.
Friday game times are subject to NCAA approval on Monday.
The Princeton-Oklahoma State game will start at 4 p.m., with UA-Lehigh to follow at 6:30 p.m. (MST/PDT). The two winners will meet at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with the two losers to play at 4 p.m. The loser of Game 3 will play the winner of Game 4 at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Game times Sunday are 12 noon, and if necessary, 2:30 p.m.
Arizona earned the No. 3 overall seed in the tournament after its climb to the top of the league standings with four victories in its last six games. The Pac-10 title was a four-way tie between Oregon State, California, Stanford and Arizona -- all at 13-8. Each of the other schools lost on the final day or otherwise any one of them could have won the championship outright. Arizona lost at California Friday, then beat Stanford twice.
Each of the eight teams in the Pac-10 earned a bid to the 64-team tournament. Arizona and UCLA are the only teams to host. But the NCAA announced only the top 16 seeds and Pac-10 teams earned eight of them -- California (2), Arizona (3), Stanford (6), UCLA (7), Oregon State (8) and Washington (16). The field was announced as Regions 1-14. Tucson is Region 3.
Other sites and host schools are Ann Arbor (top-ranked Michigan), Lincoln (Nebraska), South Bend, Ind. (Notre Dame), Madison (Wisconsin), College Station (Texas A&M), Tuscaloosa (Alabama), Auburn, Ala. (Auburn), Gainesville (Florida), Austin (Texas), Norman (Oklahoma), Knoxville (Tennessee), Columbia (Missouri), Los Angeles (UCLA), and Athens (Georgia) and Fresno, Calif. (Fresno State)
Hosts that are not the highest seeded team at their site include Missouri (where Stanford is seeded), Auburn (Baylor is seeded), Fresno State (California is seeded), Nebraska (Washington is seeded), Notre Dame (Northwestern is seeded), Wisconsin (Oregon State is seeded),
Arizona's part of the bracket includes host Oklahoma (Region 14), and presumably if both teams won their regionals, the NCAA would choose which team hosted the Super Regional May 20-22.
Lehigh established a new school and Patriot League record for victories in a season, surpassing the mark of 40 set by last year’s team. The Mountain Hawks won the Patriot League Tournament championship and automatic bid to the NCAA tournament last week. Last year's Lehigh team was seeded seventh in a region hosted in