BU softball faces Arizona in NCAAs

It’s NCAA tourney time.

Confused? Yes, it’s May and not March, but who says basketball is the only sport that can claim that title?

The NCAA women’s softball tournament opens this weekend, and Massachusetts has one representative in the field of 64: Boston University.

BU won the Patriot League tournament and finished with a 13-5 conference record and a 35-19 overall record. The NCAA berth is the seventh in program history.

After the Patriot title, the team celebrated in a familiar style:

The Terriers will take on No. 11 seed Arizona on Friday night (11 ET on ESPNU) in

>one half of the Tucson Regional that also includes LSU vs. Louisville.


espnw -- Cheat sheet for the NCAA softball regionals hosted by seeds 9-16

ESPN.com’s Graham Hays has the tournament covered, and provides this nugget on BU’s first-round opponent:

Arizona is playing its own power game: All four teams in this regional rank in the top 65 nationally in runs per game. And yet it's still Arizona and everyone else. Boston University, LSU and Louisville don't have a single hitter who has a .700 slugging percentage between them. Arizona has five of them: Katiyana Mauga (.924), Chelsea Goodacre (.853), Kellie Fox (.771), Hallie Wilson (.747) and Kelsey Rodriguez (.708). And the Wildcats are at their run-producing best in the confines of Hillenbrand Stadium, where they are 28-2 this season.

That means BU’s pitchers, led by sophomore Melanie Russell (12-3, 2.09 ERA, 106 K’s), will have their work cut out for them.

The regionals are a double-elimination format, with the 16 winning teams moving on to a best-of-three super regional for the right to participate in the Women’s College World Series, which will be held May 29-June 4 in Oklahoma City.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.