Memphis Softball Receives NCAA Tournament Invite
May 15, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis received an at large bid into the 2011 NCAA Division 1 Softball Championship on Sunday night and will play in the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Regional beginning Friday.
Memphis (35-12), earning its first ever postseason invite, will play Chattanooga (42-12) on Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT at Rhoads Stadium. Jackson State (24-19) and No. 2 tournament seed and region host Alabama (46-8) are also in the double elimination region.
"I'm so excited for the U of M as a whole and our six year program," said Memphis head coach Windy Thess. "I'm excited for this team and for all the girls that have played on it. The team this year worked really hard, and they deserve it."
The Tigers are among five Conference USA schools to receive an invite into this year's tournament joining UAB, Houston, Tulsa and automatic qualifier East Carolina. C-USA is one of only four leagues to have five teams or more in the tournament joining the Big 12 (8), Pac-10 (7) and SEC (7).
Memphis has enjoyed its best season in the program's six year history. The Tigers have won 14 of their past 16 games.
The opening game will mark the first ever match-up between Memphis and instate opponent Chattanooga. The Lady Mocs captured their 11th Southern Conference Tournament title on Saturday for the automatic bid into the tournament.
Memphis has three starters from Chattanooga in junior first baseman Jessica Phillips (Girls Preparatory School), sophomore outfielder Kamri Chester (Girls Preparatory School) and senior third baseman Maddie McKinley (Gordon Lee Memorial HS).
"We're pretty excited to play them (Chattanooga)," Thees said. "We have three players from the area who know most of the girls on their team. They will be excited to represent their city. It will be really a good battle between two teams from Tennessee."
Jackson State is the SWAC Tournament champion and Alabama claimed the Southeastern Conference regular-season title for the second-straight year.
The winner of the Tuscaloosa Regional will play the winner from the Stanford Regional that includes No. 15 seed Stanford, Nebraska, Pacific and Fresno State.
Tuscaloosa Regional Game Schedule
Friday, May 20
Saturday, May 21
Sunday, May 22
All game times are Central