Softball Heads To Austin For NCAA Regional
May 16, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Conference USA regular season and tournament champion East Carolina softball team is heading to Austin, Texas, for the Austin Regional to begin the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The Pirates (42-16) earned C-USA's automatic bid into the post-season event after defeating UCF 3-1 in the league's tournament championship game Saturday evening. ECU is joined by the host Longhorns (42-13), BYU (43-11) and Iona (28-24) in the Austin Regional. Texas goes into the tournament as the No. 7 national seed.
It is East Carolina's third berth in the post-season tournament and second in the past three seasons. The Pirates were in the NCAA Tournament in 1999, falling to Arizona and Southeast Missouri State, and returned in 2008, defeating Mississippi Valley State and losing to Louisiana-Lafayette and host LSU.
The Pirates begin action in the double-elimination regional Thursday against BYU at 6:00 p.m. ET inside Red and Charline McCombs Field on the campus of Texas. The Austin Regional is the only one of the 16 to start on Thursday and not Friday. The Longhorns will face Iona at 8:30 p.m. ET in Thursday's second contest.
Texas fell 11-6 to No. 8 Missouri in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals and earned at at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. BYU (Mountain West) and Iona (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) won their leagues to earn the automatic selections. The Gaels are making their first appearance in the post-season tournament.
Joining East Carolina in the NCAA Tournament are fellow Conference USA members UCF and UAB. The Knights will travel to the University of Florida and face Florida International in the opening game. The host Gators take on Bethune-Cookman to complete the region. It is also UCF's second post-season bid in the past three seasons. The Blazers make their first-ever NCAA appearance and travel to No. 1 overall seed Alabama. UAB plays Lipscomb in the first round and Alcorn St. completes the region.
The Conference USA titles were the first for the Pirates after they had finished second in the league regular season twice, in 2007 and 2009, and had been the tournament runners-up once, in 2007. It was the first regular season title for the ECU program since winning three consecutive Big South championships from 1997-99. The tournament crown was also its first since the 1999 Big South post-season title.
NCAA Softball Austin Regional Ticket Information
Groups of 10 or more can purchase single-session tickets for $4 each. A limited number is available and based on availability. Group packages go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET and are only available by calling Group Sales at 512-232-3865. Deadline to order group tickets is Thursday at 1 p.m. ET or while supplies last.
All tickets will be held in Will Call. Tickets will be available for pickup from the Bellmont Hall Ticket Office starting Wednesday. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT. Beginning at noon CT Thursday, tickets will only be available for pickup from the Red and Charline McCombs Ticket Office. The McCombs Ticket Office will open one hour prior to the first game each day and remain open until the 5th inning of the final game thereafter.