The No. 22-ranked Utah Utes softball team (34-17) has earned an at-large bid to the 2015 NCAA Tournament after posting a fourth place finish in the Pac-12 Conference. Utah will travel to the Knoxville Regional and face Virginia Tech (34-21) on Friday, May 15 at 3:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. MT in Knoxville, Tenn., on the campus of No. 11/12 Tennessee (42-14), the tournament's No. 8 overall seed. Longwood (33-23) is the other team in the double-elimination regional. Utah's contest against the Hokies will be streamed live on ESPN3.
Utah will be making its first NCAA Regional appearance since 2006 and 13th overall appearance in a Regional Tournament. Sunday's selection marks the 19th postseason appearance for the Utes all-time, which includes appearances in both AIAW (1976-77-79-80-81-82) and NCAA (1984-85-87-91-92-94-95-97-2000-02-04-06-15) Tournaments. The Utes are 16-27 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes a 15-21 mark at regional sites and a record of 1-6 in the NCAA Women's College World Series. Utah went 2-2 in the Austin Regional back in 2006. The Utes are 30-38 all-time in 18 postseason appearances (AIAW and NCAA).
"What an exciting time it is to be a Ute," said head coach Amy Hogue following the announcement. "This team has worked so hard to earn this opportunity. The seniors have worked for four years to hear their name up there on that bracket. I couldn't be happier for this entire group. They earned it and they plan to go win games in Knoxville."
Utah faced Tennessee and Longwood for the first time in school history earlier this season and will be facing Virginia Tech for the first time in school history as well when the two teams meet on Friday. Utah is 3-0 this season against teams in the Knoxville Regional. The Utes defeated, at the time, the No. 10-ranked Volunteers, 4-3 at the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. A few weeks later Utah posted back-to-back wins against Longwood at the Hawaii Spring Fling, defeating the Lancers 10-1 and 3-2.
2015 KNOXVILLE REGIONAL
Friday, May 15
3:30 p.m. - Game 1 Virginia Tech (H) vs. Utah
6:00 p.m. - Game 2 Tennessee (H) vs. Longwood
Saturday, May 16
2:00 p.m. - Game 3 (winner game 1 vs winner game 2)
4:30 p.m. - Game 4 (loser game 1 vs loser game 2)
7:00 p.m. - Game 5 (loser game 3 vs winner game 4)
Sunday, May 17
2:00 p.m. - Game 6 (winner game 3 vs winner game 5)
4:30 p.m. - Game 7 (if necessary)