STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State softball team will be heading to an NCAA Regional for the third straight season and the eighth time in school history. The Bulldogs will face California at 4 p.m. CDT Friday in the opening round of the Tallahassee Regional that will be hosted by No. 16 national seed Florida State.
Sunday's selection is the sixth in head coach Jay Miller's seven seasons coaching the Bulldogs (28-26). State will play a regional east of the Mississippi River for the first time. The Bulldogs went to Arizona and Arizona State the past two seasons.
"I thought that we had a good shot at earning a selection looking at our RPI and strength of schedule," Miller said. "The question was would they go nine teams deep in the SEC, and we are excited that they did. You get rewarded for playing a tough schedule, and our players did an excellent job of fighting at the end to win our last four games. We are looking forward to the opportunity to continue playing at a place where we won earlier this season."
MSU will be meeting the Golden Bears for the third straight season, with the Bulldogs claiming the last two meetings in the series. The Maroon and White won a 4-1, nine-inning decision last February in Palm Springs, Calif., after taking a 9-0 victory in six innings in Las Vegas during the 2007 campaign.
FSU (41-14) opens the tournament against Oklahoma State (34-20). MSU has met OSU three times, with the last meeting coming in 2004. State defeated Florida State on Feb. 15 in Tallahassee to clinch an undefeated run through the Sunshine Classic.
The winner of the Tallahassee Regional will meet the winner of the Gainesville Regional which is being hosted by the top-seeded Florida Gators.