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Oregon State Softball Headed To NCAA Tournament

A pair of 1 run wins over Arizona State on Thursday and Friday cemented an invitation to the 2016 NCAA Softball Tournament for Oregon State when the field was announced Sunday night.

The Beavers finished 30-18-1, and 9-14 in Pac-12 play, and is their highest winning percentage since the 2007 season, which was also a tournament season. Oregon State's return to the post-season comes after a 2 year absence, after consecutive trips in 2012 & 2013.

The Beavers are headed to the Auburn regional, where they will open play Friday at 3:30 PM CDT (1:30 PM PDT) against The University of South Carolina-Upstate (42-13). The winner will play the victor of the 6 PM CDT (4 PM PDT) game between host Auburn (49-9), the 4th overall seed and winner of the SEC Tournament, and Jacksonville State (41-15), with first pitch in the winner's bracket set for 1:30 PM CDT (11:30 AM PDT) on Saturday, May 21. The losing teams will play an elimination game at 4 PM CDT (2 PM PDT) Saturday, May 21.

Both of Friday's games will be available on ESPN3.

Other Pac-12 teams to reach the tournament as regional hosts include 4 time conference champion Oregon, which claimed the 5th "National Seed", and will host a Super Regional should they advance through regional weekend (NCAA Softball uses the same format as baseball, with Oklahoma City the equivalent of Omaha), Washington, the 11th overall seed, and UCLA, the 12 seed.

The Bruins will head to Eugene if they and the Ducks both advance.

Also making the tournament from the Pac-12 are Utah, in the Lexington/Kentucky regional, California, in the Tuscaloosa/Alabama regional (the Bears and Huskies could meet in the Super Regionals), Arizona State in the Baton Rogue/LSU regional , and Arizona, in the Knoxville/Tennessee regional, as 8 of the 9 softball playing members (only Stanford missed the postseason) of the conference earned berths.

Florida is the overall #1 seed, as the SEC claimed 8 of the 16 regional berths, and 3 of the top 8 "National Seeds".

Oregon State has wins over #3 overall seed Oklahoma and Oregon among the "National Seeds", as well as regional hosts Kentucky, Washington, and UCLA.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com