Lady Vols earn #7 national seed in NCAA softball tournament

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT release) -- The #5 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (46-10) will host NCAA Regionals for the eighth consecutive campaign according to Sunday’s announcement via ESPNU of the annual NCAA Tournament bracket. If fortunate enough to advance, the Big Orange would also serve as the host for NCAA Super Regionals at Lee Softball Stadium.

UT has been chosen as the No. 7 national seed and will welcome in three squads to Lee Softball Stadium over May 18-20 in the form of Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament champion Miami (Ohio) (40-18), UAB (37-20) of Conference USA and Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia Tech (40-19).

Tickets for the NCAA Knoxville Regional will be on sale online (24 hours a day/seven days a week) at on Monday, May 14, over the phone at 1-800-332-8657 or in person at the Thompson-Boling Arena Ticket Office (open 8:30-5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday) starting at 8:30 a.m. ET. Fans are strongly encouraged to order in advance.

Beginning on Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET, season ticket holders will have until 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday to call in or visit the ticket office in person to purchase their 2012 season location, or that seat will be opened for sale to the general public. Only all-session tickets are available at $25 for chair backs and $20 for bleacher-back seating (plus associated fees), including reserved seating for all three days of Knoxville Regional action. If tickets still remain, single-session tickets will go on sale at Lee Softball Stadium starting one hour prior to the first game of the regional.

“I think it’s a good draw,” Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. “I mean at this time of year, any draw will be tough in the NCAA Tournament. We haven’t played the three teams that are in our NCAA Regional, but they’re all good. We know what they’ve done. Of course, if we are fortunate enough to advance to Super Regionals, it’s likely to be against Georgia, and it’s always a battle every time we play them. They’re a great team too. This time of year, you’re going to get good opponents in every game, and you’re going to have to play well to win.”

UAB and Virginia Tech will open the Knoxville Regional on Friday, May 18, at 3:30 p.m. ET with Miami (Ohio) and No. 5 Tennessee slated for approximately 6 p.m. ET.

If the Orange & White advance through to the NCAA Super Regionals for the fifth time in program history, they would potentially face-off against Southeastern Conference rival Georgia. The 10th-seeded Bulldogs will face Coastal Carolina in their opening round contest while North Carolina faces Georgia Southern in the other half of their bracket.

This visit to the “Big Dance” marks the 10th overall NCAA Regional trip (41-20 overall NCAA record) for the Lady Vols. It is also UT’s ninth consecutive selection (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) to the field of 64 under the guidance of co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly. Tennessee has been to four Women’s College World Series where the Lady Vols finished third nationally in 2005, 2006 & 2010 and second overall in 2007.

2012 Knoxville Regional
Friday, May 18
3:30 p.m. ET UAB vs. Virginia Tech (Game One)
6 p.m. ET Miami (Ohio) vs. Tennessee (Game Two)

Saturday, May 19
1:30 p.m. ET Winner Game One/Winner Game Two (Game Three)
4 p.m. ET Loser Game One/Loser Game Two (Game Four)
6:30 p.m. ET Loser Game Three/Winner Game Four (Game Five)

Sunday, May 20
1:30 p.m. ET Winner Game Three/Winner Game Five (Game Six)
4 p.m. ET (if necessary) Rematch of Game Six

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