For the first time since 2014, the Gophers softball team will open the postseason at home.
The Gophers (41-12) earned the No. 7 seed in the 64-team Division I tournament field, the NCAA revealed Sunday, and will play host to North Dakota State (42-14) at about 8:30 p.m. Friday. The game, part of a four-team double-elimination bracket, is scheduled to be shown on ESPN3, the network's web streaming service.
It’s the highest seed ever for the Gophers, who will be making their seventh consecutive postseason appearance. In 2014 the Gophers advanced to a Super Regional.
“We’re excited,” Gophers coach Jamie Trachsel said. “We thought we had a chance to be around an eight seed, that’s kind of where we had us slated.
“I think the body of work that we did the entire season set ourselves up for this, but it was all out of our control. We have a ton to be proud of and a lot to be excited about.”
Georgia (40-17), a College World Series team from a year ago, and Drake (42-14) play at 6 p.m. Friday.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Gophers pitcher Amber Fiser said. “We’re looking forward to it. We are just focusing on the first game.”
The winner of the regional will advance to the 16-team, best-of-three Super Regionals — and the Gophers would play at home again that weekend, should they advance.
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