May 16, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the 12th consecutive season Notre Dame learned it had earned a spot in the NCAA Championship when the NCAA Division I Softball Championship Committee announced the 64-field team on Sunday evening. Notre Dame will head to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the opening round of the 2010 tournament.
Notre Dame has earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament 15 times overall. The Irish have advanced to the final day of regional action five times and will now make their third straight trip to Ann Arbor.
The Ann Arbor Regional includes host Michigan (46-6), the tournament's second overall seed. The Irish (45-10) will be joined by Illinois State (32-18) and Wright State (30-28-1).
Check back to UND.com later this week for a complete tournament preview.
Alabama was named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship. The Crimson Tide, champions of the Southeastern Conference, are 48-9 and will play Alcorn State University, an automatic qualifier from the Southwestern Athletic Conference in front of a home crowd in Tuscaloosa.
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.
The Big 12 Conference, the Pacific-10 Conference and the SEC led all conferences with seven teams in the championship. The Atlantic Coast Conference placed five in the championship. Fresno State remains the only team to be selected to all 29 championships. Nine teams are making their initial appearances in the tournament: UAB, Alcorn State, Bucknell, Elon, Fordham, Lipscomb, McNeese State, St. Mary's (Calif.) and Virginia.
The Division I championship provides for a field of 64 teams. The championship will be three weekends of competition. Four teams will participate at each of 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament. Sixteen teams were seeded and placed at one of the regional sites.
The NCAA Division I Softball Committee selected teams from the following eight regions to participate in the championship: Central, East, Northeast, South, Mideast, Midwest, West and Pacific. Thirty conferences have been granted automatic qualification for the 2010 championship.
The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series May 28-29 at eight campus sites.
The remaining eight teams will advance to the Women's College World Series, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The championship final will be a best-of-three-series. The WCWS will be conducted June 3-9 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Only 10 schools have been crowned the NCAA Division I softball champion since the tournament started in 1982, and nine are in this year's bracket.
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