St. Louis, Mo., May 5, 2014 — The Washington University in St. Louis softball team received an at-large bid to the 2014 NCAA Division III Softball Championship, as announced Monday by the NCAA Softball Committee. The Bears will play in the four-team Midwest Regional Friday-Sunday, May 9-11, at Central College in Pella, Iowa.
The fourth-seeded Bears, who finished the regular season with a 30-15 overall record, take on No. 1 seed and eighth-ranked Luther College Friday at 1 p.m. Luther (30-6) gained an automatic bid after winning the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) tournament championship. Luther is making its sixth-straight and 15th overall NCAA appearance with a 36-31 (.537) record. Washington U. and Luther have met three times in the NCAA Tournament, with the Bears holding a 2-1 edge.
No. 2 seed and 17th-ranked Central College (30-10) takes on No. 3 seed North Central College (29-11) in the other first-round game Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the double-elimination regional. The winner of the Central and Coe Regional will meet in the Super Regional Friday-Saturday, May 16-17, at a site to be determined.
Washington U. is making its 12th NCAA Tournament appearance and owns an all-time postseason record of 23-22 (.511). 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.
Central, who is making its 26th NCAA Tournament appearance, has an 88-49 (.642) overall record in the NCAA Tournament. The Dutch received an at-large bid after finishing a tie for second place in the IIAC. Central has won an NCAA Division III-best four national championships (1988, 1991, 1993, 2003). The Bears are 0-2 all-time against Central in the NCAA Tournament.
North Central is making is 12th NCAA appearance boasting an all-time record of 16-24 (.400). The Cardinals received an at-large bid after finishing third in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). Washington U. defeated North Central 5-0 in their only meeting in the NCAA Tournament in 2010.
Live stats and a video stream webcast of each game can be viewed through the Central athletics website at http://www.central.edu/athletics/live/.
Under the new tournament format, there are 16 regional sites–14 four-team regionals and two regionals with three teams. The 16 regional champs then meet in two-team super regionals May 16-17 under a best two-of-three format. The eight super regional winners advance to the NCAA finals May 22-27 in Tyler, Texas.
$6 adults, $3 students, $2 preschool children, $15 all-tournament pass. Call (641) 628-5226 for ticket information.