TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WHNT) — The Alabama softball team played a tough schedule this season and it paid off, as the Tide have been selected as the No. 5 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host a regional.
Alabama was ranked No. 12 in the RIP and had 10 wins over ranked opponents, but finished fifth in the SEC and went 6-5 before the conference tournament. They lost to Tennessee in the semifinals.
Alabama will face LIU in the opening round of the Tuscaloosa Regional on Friday, May 19, at 6:00 p.m. at Rhoads Stadium. Middle Tennessee and ASUN champs Central Arkansas are also playing in that regional and will face off at 3:30 p.m.
The Tide have made every NCAA Tournament since 1999, the first year that Patrick Murphy served as head coach. This is also their 18th straight year hosting a regional. It is unclear if star pitcher Montana Fouts will play in the regional, as she was injured during the SEC Tournament.
Meanwhile, Auburn earned an at-large bid but was not selected as a regional host. The Tigers will head to Clemson, South Carolina for the second year in a row, where the Clemson Tigers earned the No. 16 seed. Auburn will face Cal State Fullerton on Friday at 3:30 p.m. Clemson will face UNC Greensboro at 1:00 p.m.
The Tigers finished third in the SEC, their highest finish since 2017, and are led by SEC Pitcher of the Year Maddie Penta. This is the 18th NCAA Tournament bid for Auburn.