May 14, 2006
2006 NCAA Softball Championship Bracket
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - One day after winning its third consecutive Patriot League tournament crown, Lehigh learned its NCAA fate on Sunday afternoon. The Mountain Hawks are headed to Amherst, Massachusetts to play Texas A&M on Friday afternoon. Also in the region are a pair of familiar northeast region foes in region host Massachusetts and Albany.
The Mountain Hawks earned the Patriot League's automatic bid into the field of 64 after winning their eighth league tournament championship. With Saturday's 5-1 win over Army, Lehigh (41-12) tied its own school and Patriot League record set last year for wins in a season.
Texas A&M (33-17), one of six Big XII schools invited to the regional tournament, is the overall No. 13 seed in the field of 64.
"I know some of the girls are disappointed because they wanted to travel somewhere exotic," said head coach Fran Troyan. "In the same breath though, there are teams in our region that we know very well and we feel that we will be able to compete with. There's a certain competitive element to this region that I really like."
"It was nice to see teams we know we can compete with," said senior Ali Linsk, one of eleven Mountain Hawks making their third straight Regional appearance. "We like the way we match-up with the teams in our region."
The NCAA Regional field consists of 64 teams, divided into 16 four team regionals, with the regional winners advancing to play a best-of -three super regional against another region winner. The eight super regional winners will advance to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Tickets for the NCAA Tournament will go on sale through the UMass Athletics Ticket Office beginning Monday morning. All session passes are available for $12, while individual day tickets will cost $5 for adults and $3 for students and children. Tickets are available day of the game out the UMass Softball Complex or by calling 1-866-UMASS-TIX.
The Mountain Hawks and Aggies will play in Friday's first game, with first pitch tentatively scheduled for 2:30 p.m. from the UMass Softball Complex. UMass (37-14) will meet Albany (36-11-1) in Friday's second game, with the double-elimination tournament continuing through Sunday. Game times remain subject to NCAA approval.
All of Lehigh's NCAA regional games will be broadcast online at lehighsports.com with streaming powered by Yahoo! Sports.
NCAA Amherst Regional
Friday, May 19
Game 1: Massachusetts (37-14) vs. Albany (36-1-1), 12:00 p.m.
Game 2: Texas A&M (33-17) vs. Lehigh (41-12), 2:30 pm
Saturday, May 20
Game 3: Winner game 1 vs. Winner game 2, 12:00 pm
Game 4: Loser game 1 vs. Loser game 2, 2:30 pm
Game 5: Loser game 3 vs. Winner game 4, 6:00 pm
Sunday, May 21
Game 6: Winner game 3 vs. Winner game 5, 12:00 pm
Game 7: Winner game 6 vs. Loser game 6, 2:30 pm (if necessary)
Photo © 2006, Mark Covelle. Used with permission.