Gopher softball earns No. 7 overall seed in NCAAs

Shay Knighten

Four months after being picked to finish just No. 8 in the SEC, Alabama has again been classified as a No. 8 seed.

The Tigers were the lowest-seeded team to make the SEC Tournament semifinals last week. The Gophers hosted an NCAA regional at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in 2002 when there were only eight host sites not based on top seeds and were the No. 16 overall seed in the 2014 tournament.

UT Softball is heading to Lexington for the NCAA tournament. Those two teams will meet in the opening game on Friday night.

The double-elimination regional round begins Thursday and concludes Sunday. Of the Rebels' 37 wins, 12 came against ranked teams.

This year marks the seventh consecutive year that the Gophers have made the NCAA tournament.

"We are very excited about the national seed, and that is something we work for every year", said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. Along with the Bulldogs and the Redhawks, the Seattle Regional features the host team of Washington, which earned the third overall national seed, and Fordham.

The Bulldogs first game of the regional will be aired national on ESPN3, which can be accessed online through WatchESPN or the ESPN app. Television assignments for the remaining games of the regional will be announced later this week. It guarantees the Gophers host a regional next weekend, and they would host a Super Regional if they advance. The Wildcats are a No 14 seed and will open the tourney following the Illinois-Virginia Tech contest in the opener at noon. The Tigers and Bruins last met in the postseason at Easton Stadium in the 2015 Super Regionals, which UCLA won 7-4 and 10-6. The Noles have not faced anyone from their regional bracket this season with the regional victor taking on the victor from the Stillwater Regional headed up by No. 13 national seed Oklahoma State.

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