NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame softball team earned its 21st consecutive NCAA Championship bid Sunday, joining No. 1 Oklahoma, Wisconsin and UMBC in the Norman Regional field, slated for May 17-19 at Marita Hynes Field in Norman, Oklahoma.
Notre Dame (36-16) received the second seed, and will face third-seeded Wisconsin on Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Also in the region are top-seeded Oklahoma and fourth-seeded UMBC, who will square off in Friday’s second game at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
The Irish were one of five Atlantic Coast Conference teams to earn NCAA invitations, with No. 4-seeded and defending national champion Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Louisville also receiving a bid.
Notre Dame has qualified for the NCAA Championship 24 times in the past 26 seasons, reaching the regional final 11 times, including in 2018 when they eliminated rival Michigan to reach the final against eventual regional champion Kentucky. Head coach Deanna Gumpf has directed the Irish to NCAA Regional appearances in each of her 18 seasons at the helm of the program.
The Irish most recently advanced to the semifinal of the ACC Championship after posting an 18-6 conference record and winning 10 straight games before falling to Florida State in tournament play Friday. Notre Dame’s potent offense (6.31 runs/game) is led by ACC Player of the Year Cait Brooks, who holds the Irish single-season home run record (20) and paced the ACC in five offensive categories in the regular season. The Irish boasted five All-ACC team picks as Melissa Rochford and Payton Tidd joined Brooks on the First Team and Katie Marino and Emma Clark made the Second Team. Tidd and Clark were also All-Freshman Team picks.
Friday’s winners will square off in the first of three games Saturday, while Friday’s losing teams will face off in an elimination game for game two of Saturday’s triple-header. The loser of Saturday’s first game will take on the winner of the day’s second game in an elimination game later Saturday night. The winner of Saturday’s final game will take on the winner of the day’s first game on Sunday with an if-necessary rematch scheduled for later on Sunday.
The winner of this weekend’s regional will advance to the NCAA Super Regional round against the winner of the Evanston regional, hosted by Northwestern, the following weekend with the ultimate goal of reaching the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
A limited number of all-session general admission tickets for the 2019 NCAA Softball Norman Regional go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. CT online and over the phone at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-GoOU.
All-session general admission tickets are $20 for adults and $15 youth/senior citizens (ages 2-18; 55+). Each day of the regional is considered one session and a session ticket is good for all games in one day.
Single-session tickets, if availability remains, will go on sale the first day of the tournament at the Oklahoma Softball Complex box office. Single session tickets are $10.
Orders will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability.