MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan Softball travels to Ann Arbor for the regional round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend, opening with California on Friday, May 17, at 4:30 p.m.
Host Michigan enters the tournament as the no. 8 overall seed, and will play Valpo in the its game on Friday at 7 p.m. Both games will be on ESPN3. The regional round is double elimination and continues through Sunday, with the victor moving on to a best-of-three Super Regional.
The Chippewas are 4-4 all-time against the Golden Bears. The matchup will feature two of the most succesful coaches in softball. Coach Diane Ninemire has won 1,153 games over her 26 years in the dugout. Coach Margo Jonker became the 15th coach all-time to hit the 1,100-win plateau this past weekend.
Central Michigan is 11-25 all-time in the regional round, and has never made it to the NCAA Super Regional stage. The last time the Chippewas made the NCAA Tournament was in 2004. Central Michigan fell victim to Alabama, 7-0, and Long Beach State, 3-2.
The first step to Oklahoma City and the Women’s College World Series will begin on Thursday, May 16, with the NCAA Regionals. Sixteen campuses across the country will each host a four-team, double elimination tournament. The sixteen winners will then meet in the Super Regionals, beginning on May 23.
ANN ARBOR REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 17
Game 1 -- Central Michigan vs. California, 4:30 p.m.
Game 2 -- Michigan vs. Valparaiso, 7 p.m.*
Saturday, May 18
Game 3 -- Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Noon
Game 4 -- Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 -- Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 19
Game 6 -- Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary) -- Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 3:30 p.m.