Jaguar Softball To Play In Tuscaloosa Regional This Weekend

May 12, 2014 · By · Filed Under NCAA, Softball, Sun Belt Conference 

NCAA_LogoThe South Alabama Jaguar Softball team, fresh back after their loss in the SBC Championship game, found out the next step in their postseason plans on Sunday. They will be playing in the Tuscaloosa Regional this weekend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

This is the third consecutive season the Jaguars will participate in the National tournament and the second in three years they will be playing in Tuscaloosa. In 2012 the Jags advanced to the finals of the regional stage before falling to Alabama, who eventually won the Women’s College World Series title.

South Alabama (40-12) will open on Friday against USC Upstate (45-7) at 3:30pm Central. This will be the first meeting between the two schools. USC Upstate has been ranked in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls for the last five weeks and for a total of six weeks this season. They broke their previous Division I school record of 42 wins this season.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

The #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide won its fourth SEC regular-season title in the last five years and has been the #2 seed in three of the last four years. The Jags are 0-9 all-time against the Tide and 0-6 in Tuscaloosa with their most recent loss being a 3-0 loss on April 2. In 2012 for the Tuscaloosa Regional, the Jags bookended a 5-2 loss to the tide with 4-3 and 10-1 wins over Georgia Tech to earn a spot in the championship game against the Tide again, but lost 6-0.

The Jags are 0-1 all time against SIU-Edwardsville after falling to them 2-1 last season in the Bulldog Classic in Starkville, Mississippi. The Jags then reeled off a 12-game winning streak afterwards. SIUE are 30-21 on the season and earned an automatic berth after defeating Murray State 12-1 in six innings to claim the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title.

South Alabama’s head coach Becky Clark spoke about her team’s placement in the 2014 Regionals, “Everyone always asks, ‘Where do you want to go, and who do you hope you’ll get?’ I don’t get caught up in all that. [The selection committee] tells you where to go, and you go there and compete. We’re very grateful to be in the postseason, and we look forward to getting back on the field and competing.”

She continued, “We play [Alabama] during the regular season every year, because we know there’s a chance we’ll see them in a regional tournament. It helps from the standpoint that we’ve already played them on their field this year, and that’s why we make the trek up there for a midweek. They always have a great crowd and atmosphere. We know it’ll be the same this year. The crowd this past weekend at ULL [for the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Tournament] was loud and passionate, and we know we’ll get the same thing in Tuscaloosa. We’re looking forward to it.”

The Oregon Ducks earned the #1 seed overall in the 64-team tournament. Alabama will play SIUE in the first round of the Tuscaloosa Regional taking place this weekend, May 17-19.

Auburn will play in the Minneapolis Regional facing North Dakota State and in the same regional as #16 seed Minnesota and Green Bay. The #8 seed Florida State Seminoles will host the Tallahassee Regional with Fordam, South Caroline and South Florida attending.

SBC Tournament winner Louisiana-Lafayette will host the Lafayette Regional on May 16-18. The #6 seed Ragin’ Cajuns will open against Texas Southern while Texas will play Mississippi State in the first round.

For a full rundown of the entire 64-team field and regional locations, visit the NCAA Website here.

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