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Local Teams Selected to NCAA Softball Championship Tournament

Four locals selected to NCAA Softball Tournament.

Members of St. John's softball team celebrate after winning the Big East softball championship. (Photo: BIG EAST/Steve Woltmann)

Members of St. John’s softball team celebrate after winning the Big East softball championship. (Photo: BIG EAST/Steve Woltmann)

 

A handful of local collegiate softball teams saw their name among the 64 teams selected to participate in the 2015 NCAA Division 1 Softball Championships. The tournament begins May 15 at various regional sites across the country.

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St. John’s Red Storm had a historical season and were selected to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. They will head to the Tucson Regional in Tucson, Arizona. The Red Storm captured their first-ever Big East regular season title as well as their first-ever Big East championship with a win over Seton Hall on Saturday. St. John’s was 28-17 overall this season, including a program record 16 wins in Big East play.

The Red Storm will open the regional against No. 12 Arizona on Friday, May 15, and will join New Mexico State and Minnesota in the three-day, double-elimination tournament.

“I have never seen a team come together through thick and thin to accomplish what we set out to do back in September,” said Head Coach Amy Kvilhaug. “This team has been such an inspiration to me and I couldn’t be happier for this group to win the program’s first ever BIG EAST Championship and to go down in history as the first team in the program’s 35 years to make a trip to the NCAA Tournament.”

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For the fourth consecutive season, and 11th time in last 13 years, the Hofstra Pride will participate in the NCAA Tournament. This year, the Pride find themselves in the Gainesville Regional with top overall seed and defending national champion Florida, Florida A&M, and Florida Atlantic.

The Pride (37-12-1) has won 11 of the last 12 games, including defeating No. 18 and NCAA Tournament qualifier James Madison twice in two days to win the CAA crown. Their first game will be Friday against FAU.

“We don’t care what the jerseys say across the chest; we go out and play Hofstra Softball,” said Pride head coach Larissa Anderson. “We just try and take care of what we do well.”

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Winners of three straight Atlantic 10 Championships and four in five seasons, the Fordham softball team (36-18, 17-5 A-10) will be making its fifth trip to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship in six years. The Rams will travel to Harrisonburg, Va. to participate in the Harrisonburg Regional with No. 15 overall seed James Madison, North Carolina State, and Binghamton.

Fordham will begin play Friday against North Carolina State. Earlier this season the Rams lost a 5-0 game to NC State.

“We are extremely proud of our third Atlantic 10 title in a row and look forward to continuing on at the NCAA tournament,” said Head Coach Bridget Orchard. ” We set goals at the beginning of the season and the players have done a great job of staying focused and grinding out the season to defend the title for Fordham.  Our next step is to do something no other Fordham team has done and that is take it another step and win the Regional moving onto supers regionals.”

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Fairfield University is making it’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament after winning the 2015 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship. The Stags (25-22) will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. for their regional pairing.

Fairfield will play sixth-seeded Alabama on Friday. Also joining them in the region are Washington and USC Upstate.

“It’s very exciting to play the University of Alabama,” Fairfield Head Coach Julie Brzezinski said. “It’s a great environment for college softball down there. Our team is looking forward to playing against one of the top softball programs and it will be a terrific experience.”

 

 

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