The Gophers softball team earned an invitation to the 64-team NCAA tournament field on Sunday night and will begin the double-elimination regional against Texas A&M at 4 p.m. Friday in Norman, Okla.
The Gophers (26-24-1) are making their ninth consecutive trip to an NCAA regional and 16th overall because of an RPI of 38 that was strong enough to earn them an at-large bid. They played the eighth-most difficult schedule in the country, including the second-toughest slate of nonconference action. The Gophers had nine victories over teams in the RPI top 50, including five in the top 25.
Texas A&M went 29-26 this season and is in the NCAA field for the 20th time in a row. The Aggies are one of 12 SEC teams in the field. The Gophers-Texas A&M game is scheduled to be on ESPN2.
Oklahoma (49-2) is the regional host and No. 2 overall seed in the tournament. The Sooners will play Prairie View (20-28) on Friday. The Norman Regional winner will face the winner of the Orlando Regional in the best-of-three Super Regionals — the Orlando Regional features Central Florida, Michigan, South Dakota State and Villanova.