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NMSU softball heads to Arizona State for NCAA tournament

SPORTS
               Texas Texas State softball teams earn NCAA bids        Both the Texas State and Texas softball teams earned NCAA bids Sunday night

OH and James Madison open the regional on Friday at 3 p.m., followed by Tennessee vs. Monmouth at 5:30.

The first part of that is clear as it was announced that the Bruins are the #3 ranked team in the NCAA Softball Bracket and will host Sacramento State, Texas State and Cal State Fullerton. Alabama has not lost a game in regional play since 2007, a streak of 34-consecutive games. This year marks the third straight NCAA Tournament appearance for the Cowgirls, a feat that has occurred only once in the program's history. From there it'll be two losses and done, with the last team standing moving on to another four team super regional. For the first time since 2014, the Tigers are not among the tournament's top 16 seeds.

Oregon, Florida, UCLA, Washington, Florida State, Georgia and Arizona State grabbed the other spots in the coveted top-8 national seeds.

Regional, Drake (43-10) and BYU (35-20) are joined by Albany (30-24) and the No. 1 overall team in the tournament, OR (47-7).

Arizona State is one of the biggest surprises this season as they were picked to finish sixth in the preseason Pac-12 poll and have been led by a strong offensive lineup and ace G Juarez.

"I think any time you have an opportunity to play in the postseason, that's not a disappointment", added first-year head coach Mickey Dean. Kentucky will then follow with its opening game against (4) UIC at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The victor of the Tuscaloosa regional will advance to face the victor of the Seattle Regional, hosted by fifth-seeded Washington. The Sooners have hosted a regional in each of the last eight years.

The Titans received one of the two Pool B bids as the WIAC does not have an automatic qualifier this season.