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May 15, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. - For the ninth consecutive year at least three Atlantic Coast Conference teams were selected to the 64-team field of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship, which begins Friday, May 20. ACC tournament champion Florida State, which earned the league's automatic bid, will compete along with ACC regular season champion Georgia Tech and Maryland, which was chosen as one of the 16 regional hosts.
The Seminoles wrapped up their league-leading 11th ACC Softball Championship and first since 2004 with Sunday's 4-1 victory over North Carolina. Florida State (30-26, 9-11 ACC) will be making its 24th overall appearance in the NCAA Softball Championship and 12th consecutive, where it holds a 47-50 record. The squad will compete in the Athens, Ga., Regional May 20-22, meeting UAB (38-17), which received an at-large bid. Also in the regional are host Georgia (47-12), which earned the No. 6 seed, and Georgia State (36-23). The Athens Regional winner will advance to face the College Park Regional winner, which includes fellow ACC team Maryland. The Seminoles have appeared in the Women's College World Series seven times, the last of which came in 2004. Florida State has advanced to the Super Regional 17 times with the last appearance coming in 2006.
Georgia Tech claimed its third straight conference regular season title and fourth overall, finishing with a 44-10 record, which includes an 18-2 mark in league play. The Yellow Jackets will make their 10th overall and 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Softball Championship, holding an 18-18 ledger. GT will be part of the Knoxville, Tenn., Regional May 20-22 and will face at-large bid recipient Oklahoma State (37-17). Regional host Tennessee (47-10) garnered the Southeastern Conference's automatic bid and the No. 14 seed. Also in the field is Liberty (30-28), which received the Big South Conference's automatic bid. The Knoxville Regional winner advances to face the Austin Regional winner, which includes No. 3 Texas, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas State and Houston.
Maryland earned back-to-back bids to the NCAA Softball Championship for the first time in program history. The Terrapins also competed in 1999 and have compiled a 4-4 overall record. This season Maryland went 39-17 overall and 12-7 in ACC play to finish third in the league, reaching the semifinals of the 2011 ACC Softball Championship. The Terrapins will host regional action for the second consecutive year May 20-22, opening play with East Carolina (39-20), which earned Conference USA's automatic bid. Also competing in College Park are Baylor (40-12), the No. 11 seed, and Lehigh (33-21), the recipient of the Patriot League's automatic bid. There is potential for an ACC matchup in the Super Regional as the College Park Regional winner will meet the Athens Regional winner, where conference foe Florida State is competing.
The 2011 NCAA Division I Softball Championship begins Friday with four-team, double-elimination play at 16 regional sites. Game times will be announced at a later date. The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series May 26-29 at eight campus sites. All super regional games will be televised by the ESPN family of networks. The remaining eight teams will advance to the Women's College World Series, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament June 2-8 at the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla., which will air in its entirety on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.