For the sixth-straight season Minnesota softball is headed to the NCAA tournament after earning the Big Ten Conference automatic qualifying bid following their third-consecutive tournament title. The Gophers will head to the Seattle Regional where they will face Texas on Friday, May 18 at 8 p.m. CT. The game can be viewed live on ESPN.
The No. 5 overall seed and host Washington will take on Boise State in the opening round on Friday.
In total, 64 teams were placed at 16 different regionals on campus sites. Each regional is a four-team, double-elimination tournament. The 16 regional winners will advance to super regionals, from which the eight NCAA Women’s College World Series teams will emerge.
The Gophers had a thrilling Big Ten Tournament where they outscored their opponents 24-10 en route to their fourth championship in five years. Named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, junior outfielder Maddie Houlihan led the team at the plate going 7-for-9 with two doubles, four runs and team-high five RBI. Along with Houlihan, Dani Wagner, MaKenna Partain and Big Ten Player of the Year Kendyl Lindaman were all named to the All-Tournament Team.
MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm sat down with Maddie Houlihan:
The Maroon and Gold enter regional play with a 39-15 overall record while posting a 28-14 record away from home including 14 true road victories.