May 16, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - The 11th-ranked University of Oklahoma softball team received a No. 14 national seed in the 2010 NCAA Championship. The announcement was made to a national audience on ESPNU on Sunday evening. Oklahoma makes its 17th consecutive appearance in the event, including every season of the Patty Gasso era. The Sooners own a 15-7 record against teams in the field of 64.
Oklahoma enters the NCAA Championship at 43-10 on the year and with a ratings percentage index of seven. The Sooners earned the automatic qualification from the Big 12 Conference after winning the conference's Championship title and finished second in the regular season standings.
"We're playing the best softball we've played all season at the right time," said Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso. "We're ready to get on the field and continue our mission. We trust that we'll bring our game against our opponents."
Oklahoma's opening round opponent is the Syracuse Orange, winners of the BIG EAST Championship. The other two teams are host Maryland and Fordham. The regional (May 21-23) is double-elimination and runs through Sunday in College Park, Md. The winner of the College Park Regional will match up with the winner of the Seattle Regional between No. 3 seed Washington, North Dakota State, Nebraska and North Carolina in the Super Regionals (May 28-30).
For the fourth year Oklahoma was selected as one of the top 16 seeds in the country. The NCAA began the new format of seeding 16 different teams and placing them at a different regional five years ago.
Oklahoma is slated to play Syracuse in opening round action on Friday, May 21 at 4 p.m. CT. No. 3 seed and host Maryland will take on second-seeded Fordham in its opening game of the tournament at 6 p.m. CT.
The Division I championship provides for a field of 64 teams. The championship will be extended to three weekends of competition. Four teams will participate at each of 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament. Sixteen teams were seeded and placed at one of the regional sites.
The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series May 28-30 at eight campus sites.
The remaining eight teams will advance to the WCWS, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The championship final will a best-of-three-series.
The WCWS will be conducted June 3-9 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.