SEC Softball sends seven teams to NCAA tournament

The NCAA Softball Committee announced its 64-team NCAA Tournament bracket Sunday and the Southeastern Conference advanced seven teams, including four national seeds, to the tournament.  The SEC Champion Alabama Crimson Tide (46-8) earned the national No. 2 seed, and for the second consecutive season, the Florida Gators (47-9) are the No. 4 seed and the Georgia Bulldogs (47-12) are the No. 6 seed.  While the SEC Tournament Champion Tennessee Lady Volunteers (47-10) earned the No. 14 seed, the LSU Tigers (38-16), the Auburn Tigers (39-17) and the Kentucky Wildcats (36-14) earned at-large bids to round out the league representation.  Regional play runs May 19-22, followed by the Super Regionals, May 27-28.  The Women's College World Series is June 2-8 in Oklahoma City, Okla. at ASA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee will all host, while Auburn, Kentucky and LSU will travel.  Auburn will play in the Seattle Regional and face BYU (38-16).  Kentucky will head to Ann Arbor, Mich. and will take on Notre Dame (45-9) at 5:30 p.m. ET.  The Ann Arbor Regional is one of two sites that will be televised by the ESPN family of networks and Kentucky's game will be televised live on ESPN2.  LSU will head to Big 12 country and play Syracuse (44-11) in College Station, Texas.

The SEC and Pac-10 earned seven bids in the tournament, second most for all conferences. The Big 12 led all conferences with eight teams.

The SEC Champion Crimson Tide will host Jackson State (24-19), Memphis (35-12) and Chattanooga (42-12).  Alabama will open its 13th NCAA tournament in its 15-year history with Jackson State on Friday, May 20 at 6:00 p.m. CT.

Florida will open with Bethune-Cookman (33-24) on Friday at 6 p.m. ET and host UCLA (33-17) and Jacksonville (43-14).

In Athens, Ga., the Bulldogs will welcome Florida State (30-26), UAB (38-17) and Georgia State (36-23).  Georgia will open against Georgia State at 5 p.m. ET.

The SEC Tournament Champion Lady Vols will host two of the top 18 teams in the most recent RPI in ACC champion Georgia Tech (44-10) and Big 12 opponent Oklahoma State (37-17).  Tennessee will open against Liberty (30-28) at 6:30 p.m. ET.

At College Station, LSU will face Syracuse at 4:00 p.m. CT, while No. 16 seed Texas A&M (41-13) and Sacred Heart (29-19) make up the second half of the bracket.

Kentucky is making their third consecutive appearance to the tournament and a win would allow them to face the winner of the No. 10 seed Michigan (51-4) vs. Western Michigan (25-28) game.

Auburn will travel the farthest as they head northwest to Seattle, Wash. The Tigers will face BYU on Thursday, May 19.  Also in the regional is the host school, No. 12 seed Washington (34-14) and Portland State (34-16).

Since 1997, the SEC has had six teams advance to the Women's College World Series: Alabama ('00, '03, '05, '06, '08, '09), Florida ('08, '09, '10), Georgia ('09, '10), LSU ('01, '04), South Carolina ('07) and Tennessee ('05, '06, '07, '10).  In 2010, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee tied a league record as all three teams advanced to the WCWS.  Georgia and Tennessee finished in the final four.