Despite facing plenty of ups and downs this season, the Arizona Softball team kept their NCAA Tournament streak alive as the Cats head to the postseason.
It was a tough year for Arizona Softball and first-year head coach Caitlin Lowe, as the Wildcats limped to a 33-20 (8-16) finish and uncharacteristically ended the year finishing tied for last place in the loaded Pac-12 Conference.
The Wildcats were doomed by inconsistent hitting and pitching this year, and shortly after their loss to Stanford at home on Saturday afternoon, there was some serious doubt that this team would even make the NCAA Tournament.
Well, as Selection Sunday came and went, it appears the Softball gods (aka the committee) were in the Wildcats’ favor!
Making news on Sunday afternoon was that Arizona has been awarded their 35th-straight NCAA Tournament bid.
However, with Arizona Softball gearing up for the NCAA Regionals, the upcoming challenge will be a tough one for the Wildcats.
Despite Arizona finishing the season 33-20 and tied for last place in the conference, the Wildcats will head to Columbia, Missouri this weekend to kick off the tournament action with No. 15 Missouri Tigers (36-20, 12-11) playing host.
Arizona will kick off the action on Friday when they take on Illinois (34-20, 15-7) for what should be an interesting match-up. The Wildcats and Illini will meet for the first game, where both teams are set to square off at 1:30 p.m. MST.
Should Arizona beat Illinois, the Wildcats will then play the winner of Missouri and Missouri State (the 4th seed in the Missouri Regional).
This weekend will be a telling one for the Wildcats. Arizona has the talent to win, but now they have to put it together when it truly matters. Luckily, the bracket is fairly favorable as three of the four teams in this region have 20 losses.
Should Arizona make it through the weekend, they would then likely be destined for a showdown with No. 2 Florida State the following weekend.
Either way, it is great to see the Cats in the NCAA Tournament again, and hopefully, they can get hot!