TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After clinching the ASUN Tournament title last weekend, the Lipscomb softball team is onto the next phase of their postseason campaign: the NCAA Regional Round.
First up for the No. 3 seed Lady Bisons (41-13-1) is the No. 2 seed Arizona State (33-18) on Friday at 3 p.m.
Here's everything you need to know for the game, plus some items of interest from the week:
Where: The Lady Bisons were placed in the Tuscaloosa Regional, hosted by the University of Alabama (52-7) the region's top seed and the No. 8 overall seed nationally. Alabama State (24-23) will be the No. 4 seed in the region. The games will take place at the John and Ann Rhoads Softball Stadium.
Watch: The game will be streamed on ESPN3 at 3 p.m. on Friday. Kayla Braud and Tiffany Green will handle the call. Braud faced Lipscomb in the 2010 Regional as a member of the Crimson Tide.
Tournament Format: The Regional is double elimination. Alabama and Alabama State will face off after Lipscomb and Arizona State on Friday night. Day one's winners will at 1 p.m. on Saturday, while the losers will play at 3:30. The game three winner and the game four loser will also play at 6 p.m. to close out Saturday's action. The championship and the subsequent Super Regional spot will be decided on Sunday.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils finished fourth in the Pac 12. This is ASU's 31st NCAA Tournament appearance. Kindra Hackbarth paces ASU with a .413 batting average, while Morgan Howe is close behind at .400. ASU, who are fifth in the nation in home runs per game, have five Sun Devils with double-digit home runs on the year. Abby Anderson (10-7) is the Sun Devils top pitcher. She sports a 4.14 ERA. This is the first-ever matchup between the two programs.
Tournament History: This is Lipscomb's third NCAA Tournament appearance. They reached the Regional final in 2010 in Tuscaloosa and 2014 in Knoxville.
All-Region: On Thursday, Hannah DeVault and Mandy Jordan were named to the NFCA All-Southeast Region Third Team. They are the fourth and fifth Lady Bisons to earn the honor in program history following Whitney Kiinhl, Kelsey Cartwright, and Caitlin Plocheck.
Making Headlines: Lipscomb was the subject of a number of stories, both locally and nationally, in the lead up to the tournament this week: Softball America, the Tennessee Ledger, and two articles from the Tennessean.
RPI Climbers: Lipscomb has climbed all the way up to number 37 in the latest RPI rankings. Only four mid-major squads are higher on the list (James Madison, Louisiana, Drake, and Colorado State). The Lady Bisons are 20 spots higher than the next ASUN team (Liberty).