Bears' Softball Gains 10th-Straight Bid to NCAA Tournament
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WUSTL GAME NOTES
St. Louis, Mo., May 9, 2011 — The Washington University in St. Louis softball team will make its 10th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship, as announced Monday by the NCAA Softball Committee. The Bears earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship.
Washington University will play in the eight-team Midwest Regional on Thursday through Monday, May 12-16, at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Last year, the Bears placed third at the Central Regional held at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., with a 3-2 record after dropping their opening round game.
The fourth-seeded Bears, who finished the regular season with a 31-10-11 overall record, face No. 5 seed Fontbonne University on Thursday at Noon. Fontbonne (29-8) received at automatic bid after capturing the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic (SLIAC) Tournament championship. Washington U. and Fontbonne have met three times this season, with the Bears winning two of three contests. The two teams have met just once in the NCAA Tournament, a 4-0 victory by Fontbonne on May 9, 2003.
Top-seeded Linfield College (41-2) takes on No. 8 seed Anderson University (28-13) in the opening game on Thursday at 10 a.m., with Washington U. and Fontbonne to follow at Noon. No. 3 seed Coe College (36-9) and No. 6 seed University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (26-10) play at 2 p.m., followed by No. 2 seed Central College (35-7) and No. 7 seed Benedictine University (37-6) in the final game of the day at 4 p.m.
Five of the eight teams in the regional have won at least 30 games, while Linfield (No. 1), Central (No. 5), Coe (No. 7) and Wisconsin-Whitewater (No. 8) are all ranked in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top-25 Poll.
Washington U. has made nine-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament from 2002-10, and owns an all-time postseason record of 21-18 (.538). The Bears won the school’s lone Regional Championship in 2007, and advanced to the College World Series before falling in the national championship game.
The Midwest Regional is a double elimination tournament with the winner advancing along with seven other regional winners to the Division III Softball Championship on May 20-24, at the James I. Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va.