Five ACC Teams Receive NCAA Softball Championship Bids

May 16, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS-Five ACC teams were among the 64-team field announced today for the NCAA Division I Softball Championship today, matching a league best representation. ACC champion Georgia Tech was the lone ACC school to earn a national seed, claiming the No. 8 seed, and will host its regional. Florida State and North Carolina return to the NCAA field to play in the Athens, Ga. and Seattle, Wash. Regionals, respectively. Maryland will host its regional which includes the nation's No. 14 see Oklahoma. Virginia is making its first NCAA Championship appearance in school history.

The ACC previously had five teams selected in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship in 2006 and 2007.

Georgia Tech (49-9, 19-2 ACC) earned the league's automatic bid by claiming its second straight ACC title, and, as the No. 8 seed, hosts Oregon (33-19), Auburn (30-24), and Ohio Valley Conference champion Jacksonville State (30-17), which the Yellow Jackets play on Friday, in the Atlanta, Ga. regional. Led by ACC Coach of the Year Sharon Perkins, ACC Player of the Year Jen Yee, and ACC Freshman of the Year and ACC championship most valuable player Hope Rush, the Yellow Jackets are making their ninth straight championship appearance since their first selection in 2002. Their best finish came last season, when they fell to eventual NCAA champion Washington in the super regionals.

Florida State received an at-large bid and is making its 11th consecutive appearance in the championship, and 23rd overall since 1986. The Seminoles (43-16, 12-9 ACC) advanced to the finals of the 2010 ACC Softball Championship, but fell, 8-4, to Georgia Tech in yesterday's title game. Competing in the Athens, Ga. regional, Florida State will face Big South Conference champion Radford (36-15) on Friday, May 21, and is paired with Southern Conference champion Elon (38-19) and regional host and ninth-ranked Georgia (43-11), which is the No. 6 seed in the tournament. Florida State defeated the Dawgs, 4-3, on March 24. The Seminoles have appeared in seven Women's College World Series, the last of which came in 2004.

Maryland (33-22, 8-11 ACC) received an at-large bid to make its second championship appearance, and first since 1999. The Terrapins earned home-field advantage and host Big East Conference champion Syracuse (33-24), Big 12 Conference champion and No. 14 seed Oklahoma (43-10), and Fordham (47-10), which they play on Friday, in the College Park, Md. regional. Maryland went 3-2 in its only NCAA appearance.

North Carolina (40-18, 11-10 ACC) received an at-large bid to make its eighth consecutive NCAA appearance and ninth since 2001. The Tar Heels will make a cross-country trip where they will play Nebraska (29-27) on Friday in the Seattle, Wash., regional, which includes No. 3 seed and host Washington (45-6), the Pacific-10 Conference champion and top-ranked team in the country, and Summit League champion North Dakota State (33-23). North Carolina is 8-16 all-time in the championship.

Virginia (33-21, 13-7 ACC) earned an at-large bid to its first NCAA championship after an historic season in which the Cavaliers set a school record for ACC wins. Virginia begins play Friday against Louisville (39-17) in the Knoxville, Tenn. regional, which includes No. 15 seed and 15th-ranked Tennessee (42-13) and Mid-American Conference champion Ball State (43-14).

Thirty conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 34 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.

DATES/SITES/PAIRINGS (Regionals featureing an ACC team):
* Indicates host institution

Atlanta Regional - May 21-23 at Atlanta, Georgia
Oregon (33-19) vs. Auburn (30-24)
Jacksonville St. (30-17) vs. No. 8 seed Georgia Tech* (49-9)

Seattle Regional - May 21-23 at Seattle, Washington
No. 3 seed Washington* (45-6) vs. North Dakota St. (33-23)
Nebraska (29-27) vs. North Carolina (40-18)

College Park Regional - May 21-23 at College Park, Maryland
Fordham (47-10) vs. Maryland* (33-22)
Syracuse (32-24) vs. No. 14 seed Oklahoma (43-10)

Athens Regional - May 21-23 at Athens, Georgia
Florida St. (43-16) vs. Radford (36-15)
Elon (38-19) vs. No. 6 Georgia* (43-11)

Knoxville Regional - May 21-23 at Knoxville, Tennessee
No. 15 seed Tennessee* (42-13) vs. Ball St. (43-14)
Virginia (33-21) vs. Louisville (39-17)