The University of Minnesota Gophers will host Drake, Georgia and North Dakota State in the Minneapolis Regional of the NCAA Tournament as the seven overall seed.
“This program has worked hard for so many years,” senior Maddie Houlihan said. “We are just so proud to represent this school and represent this state.”
Minnesota will play NDSU on Friday, May 17 at 8:30 p.m. Drake and Georgia will meet at 6 p.m. 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 seven seed marks the highest ever for the Gophers since the NCAA adopted its 16 team regional host format in 2005. The Gophers hosted an NCAA regional at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in 2002 when there were only eight host sites not based on top seeds and were the No. 16 overall seed in the 2014 tournament.
This will be the Gophers seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They have qualified for one Super Regional in program history after hosting a regional in the 2014 season. Minnesota enters postseason play with a 41-12 overall record. The Maroon and Gold went 10-1 at home this season and in the last series of the regular season set a Jane Sage Cowles Stadium weekend attendance record of 3,679 fans.
“I’ve already been getting calls, ‘Can we get tickets, can we get tickets,’” Houlihan said. “It’s going to be a blast. I think this state is going to get behind Gopher softball.”
(info and picture courtesy of Gopher Sports)