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Six Big 12 Softball Teams Head to NCAA Regionals
May 13, 2012
A total of six Big 12 softball squads will continue their 2012 season in the NCAA Regionals held May 18-20. Baylor, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech earned bids for postseason action. It is the fourth time in conference history that the league has had six or more teams in the NCAA Regionals.

A quartet of league teams will serve as hosts to four of the 16 NCAA Regionals next weekend as Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M will hold home-field advantages. OU earned the highest seeding for a Big 12 squad as the Sooners are ranked fourth. Texas is seeded sixth while Texas A&M and Missouri are ranked eighth and ninth respectively. .

Fresh off their ninth Big 12 title, the Oklahoma Sooners will host Oregon State, Tulsa and Lehigh in Norman, Okla. The Sooners completed the regular season with 45 victories, the 19th-consecutive 40-plus win season. It is also OU's 19th-straight trip to the NCAA Regionals. Oklahoma takes on Lehigh Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

Texas will play Northwestern on Friday at Red & Charline McCombs Field in Austin. The Longhorns finished the regular season in a tie for third in the Big 12 with a 42-10 overall record and 16-8 in league play. Auburn and Houston round out the squads competing in Austin.

The Aggies (39-16) earned an at-large bid for their 23rd postseason appearance and will host Bethune-Cookman (29-29) at 7 p.m. on Friday. Louisiana State (34-22) and Texas State (37-15) serve as the final two teams in College Station. It is Texas A&M's 11th-straight NCAA tournament appearance.

Missouri hosts the first round of an NCAA Regional for the fourth-straight year, and sixth overall. The Tigers have won the regional crown the last four seasons and have garnered seven overall. Mizzou faces Illinois State Friday at 4 p.m. CT. Joining MU is Massachusetts and DePaul.

The 23rd-ranked Lady Bears, who earned an at-large bid to the championship, enter the regional after finishing sixth in the Big 12. Baylor will travel to the Lafayette Regional hosted by UL-Lafayette. The selection marks the seventh time in the last nine years that BU has been picked for the NCAA Regionals. Baylor will play Stanford who is seeded second in the regional. Mississippi Valley State rounds out the teams in Louisiana.

The Red Raiders will open the three-day regional in Washington where they will face Maryland. The postseason selection is the fifth all-time in school history and the third-straight under head coach Shanon Hays, who inherited a program in 2010 that had not advanced to a regional since 2001. Tech wrapped up the regular season 40-15 and 13-10 in Big 12 play, marking the program's first winning conference record in 11 years. It is also the second consecutive year that TTU has reached the 40-2in mark.

The regional winners advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series May 27-28 at eight campus sites. The remaining eight teams advance to the Women's College World Series, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The championship final will be a best-of-three-series. The WCWS will be conducted June 2-8 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

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