ASU softball to host NCAA tournament regional

The Arizona State softball team will make its 26th appearance in the NCAA tournament, hosting the Tempe Regional from May 16-18 as the No. 9 seed overall. All games in the Tempe Regional will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

The Sun Devils will open the regional on Friday, May 16 against Ivy League champion Dartmouth at 3 p.m. PT at Farrington Stadium.

The Tempe Regional field features Arizona State (44-10-1), Michigan (42-12), San Diego State (39-17) and Dartmouth (31-17). Michigan will take on San Diego State in the early game on Friday, set for a 12:30 p.m. PT first pitch. The winner of each game will face the other on Saturday while the losers of the first games will have to stave off double elimination for a chance to advance to the Super Regional.

The Sun Devils will be making their 26th appearance in the NCAA tournament, the fourth-highest tally of the 64 teams in this year’s field behind only UCLA, Arizona and Florida State. This also marks the 10th consecutive NCAA appearance for ASU.

ASU is 83-49 all-time in the tournament and 53-15 since 2006, with two NCAA championships, seven trips to the WCWS and a remarkable 30-3 home record being accumulated in the span.

ASU has never played Dartmouth. In fact, the Sun Devils have played an Ivy League team just once before — a 2004 matchup against Princeton.  Dartmouth is making its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.

For the second time in as many seasons, the Sun Devils have a chance to face Michigan in the postseason after having already playing the Wolverines once in the regular season. ASU was eliminated by Michigan, the Tempe Regional’s No. 2 seed, at the Women’s College World Series last season in 2-0 decision after having played the team earlier in the season.

The Sun Devils got a bit of revenge against the Wolverines this season with a 2-0 victory over Michigan at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., thanks to a Dallas Escobedo one-hitter.

San Diego State returns to the Tempe Regional for the second straight season and fourth time since 2009, though the Aztecs and Sun Devils did not face each other last year.

In receiving the tournament’s No. 9 seed, ASU is not in line to host the Super Regional in Tempe. However, if the Sun Devils are the highest-seeded team to come out of their bracket following the regionals, then it would be possible for ASU to host the Super Regional.

Regionals will be held May 15-18 on 16 campus sites. At each campus site, a four-team, double-elimination tournament will be conducted and the 16 winning teams will advance to the Super Regionals.

Super Regionals for the tournament will be held May 22-25 on eight campus sites. At each site, two teams play in a best-of-three tournament format. The winners from each site advance to the NCAA Women’s College World Series. The WCWS is held in Oklahoma City from May 29 to June 4.