The USC Upstate softball team will make its third consecutive appearance at the Tuscaloosa Regional in the NCAA Tournament this weekend and will open play against No. 20/20 Washington in front of a national television audience on ESPNU Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
The last time Upstate made an appearance on national television, the Spartans came away with a 4-3 win at No. 11 Georgia on April 15 in a game broadcast on the SEC Network. The game was Upstate’s first-ever national television appearance, though the Spartans have made several appearances on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app during home games and various road contests.
Upstate and Washington will kick-off the Tuscaloosa Regional with host Alabama, ranked No. 5/6 nationally, taking on Fairfield. The Spartans punched their ticket to the Tuscaloosa Regional by winning the A-Sun Tournament last weekend following a dominant 18-2 run to the conference’s regular season championship. Washington is an at-large selection after building a 40-15 overall record and finishing sixth in the Pac 12 with an 11-11 mark.
Alabama also earned an at-large selection and enters with a 42-11 record after finishing third in the SEC with a 17-7 mark. The Crimson Tide advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament before falling to eventual tournament champion Auburn. Fairfield owns a 25-22 overall record and earned its tourney spot after winning the MAAC tournament title. The Stags were co-regular season champions with a 15-5 conference mark.
Upstate has advanced to three NCAA Tournaments since moving to Division I for the 2008 season. All three have come in the last three seasons and all have been at the Tuscaloosa Regional. The Spartans went 1-2 in the 2013 and 2014 regionals, picking up a win over Jacksonville State in 2013 and No. 21 South Alabama in 2014. The Spartans fell to Alabama, 7-1, in last year’s winners’ bracket final.
Upstate’s game against Washington will be televised on ESPNU, while the game between Alabama and Fairfield will be broadcast on the SEC Network. All games in the regional will be offered on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app for online and mobile viewers. Fans can follow the action at upstatespartans.com with links to complete coverage of the Tuscaloosa Regional, including live stats and ESPN3/WatchESPN for all games of the tournament. Complete postgame coverage will also be available.