STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - For the sixth time in the last seven seasons and the 14th time overall in program history, Mississippi State softball (36-21) is NCAA Tournament bound as the program's road to Oklahoma City begins in the Tucson Regional.
MSU will open the double-elimination regional on Friday, May 18 at 8 p.m. CT against North Dakota State (33-17) at the Hillenbrand Stadium. Along with the Bulldogs and NDSU in the Tucson Regional is host No. 14 Arizona (40-14) and Saint Francis (Pa.) (39-17), who will square off at 10:30 p.m. CT on Friday.
MSU is the two-seed in the Tucson Regional, marking the first time in program history that the Bulldogs have earned the two seed in a regional under the helm of head coach Vann Stuedeman.
The Bulldogs first game of the contest will be aired nationally on ESPN2, which may also be accessed through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. Television/live streaming assignments for the remaining game of the regional will be announced later this week.
The winner of the Tucson Regional will go on to face the winner of the Los Angeles Regional, hosted by No. 3 UCLA (50-4). Also included in the Los Angeles Regional is Sacramento State (31-18), Cal State Fullerton (33-23) and Texas State (42-14).
State is making its 14th NCAA Tournament appearance in its 22nd season as a member of the Southeastern Conference and holds an overall record of 12-26 in the regional round of the NCAA Tournament. All 13 appearances have come since the 2000 season. MSU has won a regional game in three of its last four NCAA Regional appearances and is aiming to make it to the first NCAA Super Regional in program history.
In their last NCAA Tournament appearance, the Bulldogs traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, falling to tournament host BYU, 8-0, before dropping a 9-3 elimination contest to Fordham.
For the second consecutive season, all 13 Southeastern Conference teams earned NCAA Tournament bids.
TUCSON REGIONAL SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES CENTRAL)
Friday, May 18
G1: North Dakota State vs. Mississippi State – 8 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
G2: Saint Francis (Pa.) vs. Arizona – 10:30 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
Saturday, May 19
G3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 4 p.m. CT
G4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 6:30 p.m. CT
G5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 – 9 p.m. CT
Sunday, May 20
G6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 6 p.m. CT
G7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (If Necessary) – 8:30 p.m. CT