Alabama Softball Hosting NCAA Regional

It's time to forget Alabama's disappointing performance in the Southeastern Conference Softball Tournament and look at the bigger picture. It's NCAA Tournament time and the Crimson Tide is the number six seed and making its 17th consecutive trip to the national championship tournament.

Moreover, Alabama is serving as host for the NCAA Regional Round for the 11th straight season. Bama will host Washington, South Carolina Upstate, and Fairfield in three days of games beginning Friday at Rhoads Stadium.

“We never take this for granted and it never gets old,” said Crimson Tide Coach Patrick Murphy. “To see Alabama up on the TV make all the hard work worth it. I’m really happy with the senior class, now they’ve made the tournament all four years. This has been a really easy team to coach and I’m really excited for the postseason.”

Alabama has hosted an NCAA Regional every year since 2005. It is the 13th time overall the Tide has hosted a regional, first doing so in 2001. Alabama has made the NCAA Tournament every year since 1999, Murphy’s first year as head coach of the program.

Washington (40-16) finished with 40 wins but only went 11-11 in conference, finishing sixth in the Pac 12 this season. Alabama and Washington have met five times in program history, with the Huskies winning four of those contests. The two teams last played on March 6-7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa at the Easton Challenge. The teams have met before in the NCAA Tournament, as Washington won two games at the 2007 Seattle Super Regional.

USC Upstate (43-8) won the Atlantic Sun’s automatic bid, winning the league tournament to clinch its spot in the postseason for the third straight season. Alabama and USC Upstate have recent postseason history, as the Spartans have come to Tuscaloosa for the NCAA Regional in 2013 and 2014. Alabama won the lone game played between the teams last season en route to winning the regional round.

Fairfield (24-22) won the automatic bid for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, defeating Monmouth in the league’s tournament to capture the team’s first ever NCAA Tournament bid. This will be the first meeting between Alabama and Fairfield.

Play in Tuscaloosa will begin on Friday. Washington will play USC Upstate at 12:30 p.m. CDT live on ESPNU and Alabama will play Fairfield at 3 p.m. live on the SEC Network.

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