They were in the first bracket called out on the selection show Sunday night on ESPNU. The Lady Bisons, 48-11, will play May 21-23 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The first game for the Lady Bisons is Friday at 3:30 against the UAB, 36-20.
Host Alabama, 48-9, is the No.1 seed nationally in the tournament. The Crimson Tide will face Alcorn State in the first round. This is the sixth straight year that Alabama has hosted a regional.
The Lady Bisons split a doubleheader with UAB at Draper Diamond April 20. They won game one 1-0 on a no-hitter by Whitney Kiihnl, the Player of the Year and the Pitcher of the Year in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Lady Bisons lost the second game 7-5.
The doubleheader with UAB had been rained out earlier in the season. Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman decided to reschedule it because she thought it would help her team be more prepared for postseason play. She could have never have predicted at the time that the two teams would meet again this season in an NCAA regional.
“We knew when we rescheduled the doubleheader that UAB was right there beside us in the RPI,” Ryman said. “We knew it was probably going to be a really tight matchup.
“We are two pretty evenly matched teams. We both hit well. We both pitch well. I would say we are excited with the familiarity of having played them. I’m sure they feel the same way.”
Ryman and the Lady Bisons are enjoying their time as A-Sun Champions, but will tell the team Monday that it is time to get back into practice and game modes.
This is the first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Lady Bisons softball team. They earned an automatic bid by winning the A-Sun Tournament Saturday afternoon. The Lady Bisons are also the A-Sun regular season champions.
It is also the first ever NCAA bid for UAB’s Blazers.
“I’m really excited to start off with UAB,” Kellie Sirus, the A-Sun Tournament most valuable player said. “I like playing a team we have already seen before. We know what they have as a team. We know what their pitchers have. It is definitely a plus.”
Sirus admits she has mixed emotions heading into the regional.
“I am a little nervous and a little excited,” Sirus said. “I think it is going to be awesome to go to Alabama. We have nothing to lose. We will just go down there and give it our best. It is not going to be easy.
“We are not going to let anybody take a game from us easily. We are going to fight until the end for it.”
Lady Bisons senior Abby Keese watched the University of Tennessee play at Alabama on television. She realizes that playing in Tuscaloosa will be a challenge.
“It will be a rough crowd,” Keese said. “It was very intimidating to watch a game from there on TV, let alone to play there. We are going to have to go in there and ignore everything. We are going to have to put our blinders on and leave everything on the field.”
For ticket information visit RollTide.com or call the Alabama Ticket office at 205-348-BAMA (2262).
Additional information about the tournament will be available at lipscombsports.com.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.