May 15, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford softball team received an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Championship today. The Cardinal (38-15), which was selected as a regional host for the sixth time since 2001, will begin play as the No. 15 overall seed in the tournament and the No. 1 seed in the Stanford Region.
The Cardinal opens the tournament against Pacific (37-17), while Nebraska (39-12) will square off against Fresno State (34-17) at Smith Family Stadium beginning Friday. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-STANFORD.
Stanford will be participating in the tournament for the 14th consecutive year, dating back to 1998 when the team made its first postseason appearance in John Rittman's second year as head coach. The Cardinal has won six regional titles, and made appearances in the Women's College World Series in 2001 and 2004.
Four teams will participate at each of the 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament. The regional winners will face off in the May 27-28 Super Regionals, with eight teams advancing to the 2011 WCWS at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, June 2-8.
Stanford wrapped up the regular season yesterday with a 38-15 overall record and a fifth-place finish in the Pac-10 with a 10-11 mark. The Cardinal is coming off a three-game series at No. 1 Arizona State. Stanford upset the Sun Devils, 6-1, on Friday as three Cardinal players hit home runs in the victory.
Stanford and Pacific met earlier this season in Stockton, Calif., where the Cardinal posted a 6-1 victory. The Cardinal is 21-10 all-time versus the Tigers. Stanford is 12-7 all-time versus Fresno State and 4-4 overall against Nebraska.
Arizona State, the 2011 Pac-10 champions, was named the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament and the conference had seven of its eight teams selected. Should Stanford advance, the team would travel to the winner of the Tuscaloosa Region in a Super Regional, which includes No. 2 seed Alabama, Jackson State, Memphis and Chattanooga.
Stanford is 18-6 at home this season, with three wins over top-25 teams coming on its home field. The Cardinal is 14-14 against the 2011 tournament field.