The USC Upstate softball team will make its fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Tournament this weekend as it opens the Auburn Regional against the Oregon State Beavers Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. EST from Auburn’s Jane B. Moore Field.
The contest between Upstate and Oregon State is being streamed on SEC Network + with Tiffany Greene and Jenny Dalton-Hill serving as the commentators. It will be the first time this season that the Spartans have played on SEC Network +.
Upstate will kick off the Auburn Regional against the Beavers with host Auburn, ranked No. 5/5 nationally, taking on Jacksonville State. The Spartans punched their ticket to the postseason by winning the A-Sun Tournament last weekend after defeating Florida Gulf Coast 5-1. Oregon State is an at-large selection after building a 30-18-1 overall record and 9-14 mark in Pac 12 play.
Auburn is the No. 4 national seed and enters with a 49-9 record while going 16-7 in the SEC. The Tigers won the SEC Tournament championship after defeating LSU 7-1 on Saturday. Jacksonville State owns a 41-15 overall record and earned its tourney spot after winning the Ohio Valley Conference tournament title. The Gamecocks were regular season champions with a perfect 26-0 conference mark.
Upstate has advanced to four NCAA Tournaments since moving to Division I for the 2008 season. All four have come in the last four seasons and the last three have been at the Tuscaloosa Regional. The Spartans went 1-2 in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 regionals, picking up a win over Jacksonville State in 2013 and No. 21 South Alabama in 2014. Last season, the Spartans defeated Fairfield 9-0.
In the latest NCAA RPI ranking released earlier this week, Upstate is the highest-ranked A-Sun team at No. 54. The Spartans are also receiving votes in this week’s ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll.
Upstate leads the all-time series over Oregon State 1-0 after defeating the Beavers 2-1 on Mar. 11, 2011 at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. The Spartans are tied 1-1 with Jacksonville State including an 8-0 win in five innings during the 2013 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional, and will be facing Auburn for the first time in program history.
Fans can also follow this weekend’s regional at www.upstatespartans.com via live stats. Updates will be posted on the Upstate softball Twitter page (@UpstateSoftball).