KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- The Tennessee softball team has earned its 11th berth into the NCAA Tournament and will host an NCAA Regional for the ninth time in program history, as announced by the NCAA Division I Softball Committee on Sunday night. The Lady Vols are the national No. 7 seed and will host the Knoxville Regional from May 17-19. Seven SEC teams were seeded in the top 16 seeds.
The Knoxville Regional will be a double-elimination tournament featuring Tennessee, Longwood, James Madison and NC State. The Lady Vols will face Big South Champion Longwood (41-18) in their first game. The Dukes (41-15) and ACC Tournament Champion Wolfpack (33-18-1) play in the other opening contest. Those games will take place on Friday. The games will be streamed lived on UTSports.com.
Friday's games will take place at 3:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. Saturday's action will be at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Sunday's regional final action will be played at 1 p.m., and 4:30 p.m., if necessary.
The 16 winning teams from their respective Regional sites will advance the Super Regionals. Tennessee is in position to host a Super Regional the second weekend of action between May 23-26. A potential SEC rematch between the Lady Vols and No. 10 seed Alabama could be on tap in the Super Regionals if both teams make it through the regionals.
The Lady Vols (44-10) finished second in the SEC regular season standings with a 16-6 league record and advanced to the second round of the conference tournament before falling to Missouri, 3-0, on Saturday. UT stands as one of most dynamic teams in the nation, excelling offensively, defensively and in the circle. Entering this weekend's games, Tennessee ranked fourth in the nation in team batting average (.343), fourth in scoring (7.31 runs per game), 10th in slugging percentage (.541), 12 in stolen bases per game (1.90), 19th in team ERA (1.97) and 12th in fielding percentage (.974).
Tennessee features some of the nation's top players. Seniors Raven Chavanne and Lauren Gibson were both named Top 10 Finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. Chavanne, Gibson, Kat Dotson and Madison Shipman earned First Team All-SEC honors and all four were also named to the SEC All-Defensive team.
Bleacher-back all-session tickets will go on sale to the public starting at 8:30 a.m. on Monday. These tickets are $20 each, plus associated fees. If any tickets remain, single session tickets would go on sale when gates open at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.
Fans can purchase tickets online 24 hours a day at UTTix.com. Fans can also purchase tickets between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. in person at the Tennessee Athletics Ticket Office at the street level of Thompson-Boling Arena or by phone at 865-656-1200.
Season ticket holders will have until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, to call or stop by the Tennessee Athletics Ticket Office to purchase their season ticket location. Any seats not purchased by the deadline would be released to the public on Thursday, May 16, at 8:30 a.m.