May 18, 2017 10:06:12 AM
SALT LAKE CITY -- The third-seeded Mississippi State softball team will take on No. 21 and second-seeded BYU at 5 p.m. today (ESPN3) in its first game at the NCAA tournament's Salt Lake City Regional at the Dumke Family Softball Stadium.
MSU (36-20) is making its 13th NCAA tournament appearance in its 21st season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. It is 12-24 in regional play. All 13 appearances have come since 2000. MSU coach Vann Stuedeman has led MSU to five showings in the last six years. That is the best stretch since the Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA tournament seven of eight years from 2002-09.
Today's game will be the fourth overall meeting between MSU and BYU (44-11). MSU holds a 2-1 advantage in the series, however the Cougars took the last meeting, a 4-3 nine-inning battle in the Eugene Regional in 2012.
Regional host No. 11 and top-seeded Utah (33-14) and fourth-seeded Fordham (45-15) will play at 7:30 tonight.
The winner of the regional will face the winner of the Seattle Regional, hosted by No. 6 Washington (43-11). Michigan (41-11-1), Fresno State (34-21), and Montana (35-22) round out that regional.
Fans can access those broadcasts through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app. Television/live streaming assignments for the remaining games will be announced later in the week.
n No. 13 Ole Miss will play host to Oxford Regional this weekend: At Oxford, top-seeded and No. 13 Ole Miss will take on fourth-seeded Southern Illinois at 8:30 p.m. Friday (ESPN3) in its first game of the NCAA tournament's Oxford Regional at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
Ole Miss (40-18, 10-14 Southeastern Conference) is making its second-straight NCAA tournament appearance, and its first appearance as a host of a regional.
Ole Miss is coming off victories against Mississippi State, No. 1 Florida, No. 15 Alabama, and No. 21 LSU that helped it win the SEC tournament title for the first time.
Ole Miss jumped to No. 13 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches' poll, and moved to No. 16 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25.
Led by 18-year coach Kerri Blaylock, Southern Illinois is 33-22 and 17-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
No. 22 and second-seeded Arizona State (30-20, 9-15 Pacific-12 Conference) will face North Carolina (38-19, 14-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the day's first game at 6 p.m. (ESPN).
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