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Bobcats to NCAA softball tourney

STAFF REPORT

The Texas State softball team is headed to the NCAA Tournament, where it will take on No. 12 Northwestern at 5 p.m. on Friday in the Waco Regional.

The Bobcats are the fourth-place team in the four-team regional. However, an article on ESPN.com said the Bobcats “may be the toughest 4-seed in any regional after racing through the Southland Conference regular season and tournament,”

The Waco Regional will also include Baylor and No. 25 Louisiana-Lafayette. The regional is one of 16 across the country.

The Bobcats will make their fourth appearance in the NCAA Regional round, and their first since 2004.

“We are very excited about making another appearance in the NCAA postseason,” Texas State coach Ricci Woodard said. “With us playing so close to home in Waco, we should have a lot of Bobcat fans out to support us on this journey.”

The Bobcats (39-16) earned the postseason bid after claiming the Southland Conference tournament title with a 2-1 victory Saturday afternoon against McNeese State.

Freshman pitching sensation Chandler Hall improved her record to 24-9, allowing only two hits and striking out seven in a seven-inning complete game. Down, 1-0, going to the top of the seventh inning, the Bobcats came from behind to win with solo home runs by Leah Boatright and Ryan Kos.

Texas State also won the regular season crown for the second-straight year.

The Wildcats (31-13) will make their fifth-straight appearance in the NCAA tournament, earning the top seed in the region. Northwestern earned an at-large bid into the championship after finishing third in the Big 10.

Louisiana-Lafayette(43-11) earned an automatic bid after claiming the Sun Belt title. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished with a 18-5 conference record.

Baylor (37-20) is the second seed in the region after earning an at-large bid into the championship, finishing third in the Big 12. The Bobcats beat Baylor, 2-0, on April 7.

The winner of the Waco regional will face the winner of the Michigan regional. The four teams in the Michigan region are No. 5 overall seed Michigan, as well as Miami (OH), Cleveland State and Notre Dame.