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College Softball

ESPN Covers Every Game from All 16 NCAA Division I Softball Championship Regionals For the First Time

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Up to 112 Regional Round Games; Bases Loaded Returns

  • Florida Gators: Championship’s No. 1 Seed for Third Consecutive Year; Defending National Champion Oklahoma Sooners Host Regional
  • Every Game From Super Regionals and Women’s College World Series Televised

ESPN will cover every game from all 16 Regionals of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship for the first-time ever, resulting in up to 112 games on an ESPN network between Thursday, May 18, and Sunday, May 21. This season’s expanded Regional round coverage, combined with the continuation of ESPN’s long tradition of televising every Super Regional and Women’s College World Series game, results in ESPN carrying every game of college softball’s month-long postseason tournament for the first time ever.

“Adding complete coverage of the Regional round is another sign of our commitment to college softball and another way we are serving the fans,” said Dan Margulis, senior director of programming and acquisitions. “We have been working towards this goal in the last several seasons, including covering 12 Regionals each of the last two years. This season, we are thrilled to cover all 16. Providing fans a platform to watch every game from the regionals, super regionals and the WCWS is the culmination of our extensive history with the sport and its Championship.”

In addition to this season being the first year that every regional is covered, it is the 17th and 11th consecutive season, respectively, that every game from the WCWS and the Super Regionals is televised.

The 2017 NCAA Division I Softball Championship Field
The NCAA Division I Softball Committee determined the field which was announced during ESPN’s NCAA Softball Championship Selection Special Presented by Capital One on Sunday, May 14.  The top 16 teams are seeded and serve as hosts for the regional round, playing at their own campus sites. ESPN will carry the games across a variety of its networks — ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, SEC Network, and Longhorn Network.  Each regional is a four-team, double-elimination tournament, concluding with one team advancing to the Super Regionals and reducing the field from 64 teams to 16 in the process.

The Florida Gators are the No. 1 seed in the championship for the third consecutive year and will host the Gainesville Regional. The remaining seeds hosting regionals: No. 2 Arizona (Tucson Regional), No. 3 Oregon (Eugene Regional), No. 4 Florida State (Tallahassee Regional), No. 5 UCLA (Los Angeles Regional), No. 6 Washington (Seattle Regional), No. 7 Auburn (Auburn Regional),  No. 8 Tennessee (Knoxville Regional), No. 9 Texas A&M (College Station Regional), No. 10 Oklahoma (Norman Regional), No. 11 Utah (Salt Lake City Regional), No. 12 Ole Miss (Oxford Regional), No. 13 LSU (Baton Rouge Regional), No. 14 Kentucky (Lexington Regional), No 15 Baylor (Waco Regional),  and No. 16 Alabama (Tuscaloosa Regional).

The SEC received the most bids (13), for the third consecutive year, followed by the Pac-12 (8). Three teams are making their first appearance in the tournament: East Tennessee State University, Montana and Saint Francis (Pennsylvania). Only 12 schools have been crowned the NCAA Division I softball champion since the tournament started in 1982, and all 12 will compete in this year’s bracket. The complete 64-team bracket can be seen here.

ESPN Analysts
ESPN’s softball analysts include accomplished former college, Olympic and professional softball players:

  • Leah Amico –  Tallahassee Regional
    • College: Arizona
    • Honors: Won three national championships (1993, ’94, ’97), member of goal medal-winning teams at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics
    • College: Iowa
    • Honors:  As a Division I coach at Michigan, Purdue, and Louisville, achieved more than 700 combined wins; All Big-Ten and All-Mideast Region as a player, inducted into the Iowa Softball Association Hall of Fame (1997)
  • Jenny Dalton-Hill– Auburn Regional
    • College: Arizona
    • Honors: National Player of the Year (1996) and Women’s College World Series MVP (’96) Four-time National Champion, winning three as a player (1993, ’94, and ’96) and one as an assistant coach, also with Arizona (1997)
  • Leigh DakichGainesville Regional
    • College: Toledo
    • Honors: Led the Rockets to the WCWS; holds the MAC record for batting average and hits. Former head coach at Bowling Green and Syracuse
  • Francesca Enea – Waco Regional  
    • College: Florida
    • Honors:  National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA)/Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-American (2008 and 2009); All- Southeastern Conference Second Team (2009); WCWS All-Tournament team (2008).
  • Kenzie Fowler – Tucson Regional
    • College: Arizona
    • Honors:  38-9 record, 1.53 ERA and 371 strikeouts in 284.1 innings as a freshman at Arizona, helping lead the Wildcats to the WCWS Finals
  • Amanda Freed – Los Angeles Regional  
    • College: UCLA
    • Honors:  National Champion (1999), pitched in the three other WCWS (2000, ’01, ’02, ’03), member of gold medal-winning team at the 2004 Athens Olympics
  • Cheri KempfTuscaloosa Regional
    • College: Missouri Western State
    • Honors: National Champion, National MVP and played on USA National Team that won the World Cup (1992)
    • College: Washington
    • Honors: National Champion (2009), All-American, and played for Canadian National Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
  • Erin Miller – College Station Regional   
    • College: Oklahoma
    • Honors:  Co-Big 12 Player of the Year (2016); Top 10 Finalists for 2016 Senior Class Award (2016);  Two-time National Champion (2013, ’16); All-American (2016)
    • College: Michigan
    • Honors: National Championship (2005), played for USA National Team (2007) in the World Cup  and Pan American games
  • Amanda Scarborough–  Oxford Regional
    • College:Texas A&M
    • Honors: Two-time All-American (2005, ’07). Only player in Big 12 history to receive Freshman of the Year and Player of Year in same season (2005), played in two WCWS (2007, ’08)
  • Michele Smith– Seattle Regional
    • College: Oklahoma State
    • Honors: Two-time All-American, two time Olympic Gold Medalist (1996, ’00)  and eight time Japan Pro League MVP
  • Megan Turk– Salt Lake City Regional    
    • College: Baylor
    • Honors: Second-team All-Big 12 as a junior, helped Bears advance to the WCWS
  • Megan Willis– Norman Regional
    • College: Texas
    • Honors: Two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (2007 and 2006); Played in National Fastpitch League

ESPN’s play-by-play commentators will be as followed:  Trey Bender (Eugene Regional), Lisa Byington (Knoxville Regional), Eric Collins (Oxford Regional),  Tyler Denning (College Station Regional),  Eric Frede (Tallahassee Regional), Beth Mowins (Seattle Regional), Jenn Hildreth (Lexington Regional), Melissa Lee (Gainesville Regional), Dean Linke (Tucson Regional), Alex Loeb (Norman Regional), Mark Neely (Auburn Regional),  Alex Perlman (Salt Lake City Regional),  Brenda VanLengen (Waco Regional), Tracy Warren (Los Angeles Regional), and Pam Ward (Tuscaloosa Regional)

Additional ESPN Regional Round Highlights   

Bases Loaded Returns
For the third consecutive year, ESPN’s NCAA Softball Championship Regional coverage is supplemented with a Bases Loaded viewing option — look-ins to multiple live games throughout the day while also recapping the entire tournament up to that moment. Matt Schick will host and Kayla Braud will provide the analysis. Bases Loaded will be seen on its own channel on linear television and streaming on ESPN3. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will also air it throughout the weekend at various times. A complete schedule:

Friday, May 19:

  • Airs from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Bases Loaded channel and streamed on ESPN3. Other windows include:
Time Network
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ESPNU
4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ESPN2
6:30 – 7 p.m. ESPN2 and ESPNU
9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, May 20:

  • Airs from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Bases Loaded channel and streamed on ESPN3. Other windows include:
Time Network
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ESPN and ESPN2
4:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. ESPN and ESPN2
7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ESPN2
9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. ESPN2

Sunday, May 21

  • Airs from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Bases Loaded channel and streamed on ESPN3. Other windows include:
Time Network
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ESPN
4:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. ESPN2
9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. ESPNU

espnW.com
espnW will have wide-ranging coverage of the entire 2017 NCAA Softball Championship hosted on its softball index.  Highlights include:

  • Comprehensive Recaps: Graham Hayswill provide daily recaps and analysis from the Regionals, Super Regionals and the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
  • Behind the Scenes Coverage: ESPN Covers Every Game from All 16 NCAA Division I Softball Championship Regionals For the First TimeFrom playlists to blogs, espnW will provide a unique look into the players’ lives off the field.
  • The espnW Player of the Year: The 2017 espnW Player of the Year will be revealed on the road to Oklahoma City.
  • Schedules and Results: All the scores and schedules can be found here

Follow and Join the Social Media Conversation
A number of social handles — @ESPNU, @espnW, and @NCAASoftball — will provide news, game updates, photos and videos throughout the championship. Fans can join the conversation by tagging their tweets with #NCAASoftball in the Regionals and Super Regionals and then #WCWS during the Women’s College World Series

ESPN’s 2017 NCAA Division I Softball Schedule
Regional Round (May 18 – May 21)

Please Note: All games from the 16 regionals below will be shown on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ESPN3, or Longhorn Network. Currently, only Thursday and Friday networks have been announced. Please check espnW’s schedule and results page and the @NCAASoftball handle page for updated schedule listings throughout the weekend.

Salt Lake Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Thu, May 18 6 p.m. Mississippi State vs. BYU
Alex Perlman, Megan Turk
ESPN3
  8:30 p.m. Fordham vs. No. 11 Utah
Alex Perlman, Megan Turk
ESPN3
Fri, May 19 3 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  8 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sat, May 20 4 p.m. Game 6 TBD
6:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD

Gainesville Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 Noon FIU vs. Oklahoma State
Melissa Lee, Lee Dakich
ESPNU
  2:30 p.m. Florida A&M vs. No. 1 Florida
Melissa Lee, Lee Dakich
SEC Network
Sat, May 20 Noon Game 3 TBD
  2:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 Noon Game 6 TBD
2:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Lexington Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 Noon Marshall vs. Illinois
Jenn Hildreth, Carol Bruggeman
ESPN2
  2:30 p.m. DePaul vs. No. 14 Kentucky
Jenn Hildreth, Carol Bruggeman
ESPN3
Sat, May 20 Noon Game 3 TBD
  2:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 Noon Game 6 TBD
2:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Norman Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 12:30 p.m. Arkansas vs. Tulsa
Alex Loeb, Megan Willis
SEC Network
  3 p.m. North Dakota State vs. No. 10 Oklahoma
Alex Loeb, Megan Willis
ESPN3
Sat, May 20 2:30 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Baton Rouge Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 4 p.m. McNeese vs. Louisiana – Lafayette   ESPN3
  6:30 p.m. Fairfield vs. No. 13 LSU  ESPN3
Sat, May 20 1 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  3:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  6 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Knoxville Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 4:30 p.m. USC Upstate vs. Ohio State
Lisa Byington, Jennie Ritter
ESPN3
  7 p.m. Longwood vs. No. 8 Tennessee
Lisa Byington, Jennie Ritter
ESPN2
Sat, May 20 Noon Game 3 TBD
  2:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 Noon Game 6 TBD
2:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD

 
Auburn Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 2 p.m. Notre Dame vs. California
Mark Neely, Jenny Dalton-Hill   
ESPN2
  4:30 p.m. East Tennessee State vs. No. 7 Auburn
Mark Neely, Jenny Dalton-Hill   
ESPNU
Sat, May 20 2:30 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Tuscaloosa Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 2:30 p.m. Louisiana Tech vs. Minnesota
Pam Ward, Cheri Kempf
ESPNU
  5 p.m. Albany vs. No. 16 Alabama
Pam Ward, Cheri Kempf
SEC Network
Sat, May 20 2:30 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Tallahassee Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 4:30 p.m. Jacksonville State vs. Georgia
Eric Frede, Leah Amico
ESPN2
  7 p.m. Princeton vs. No. 4 Florida State
Eric Frede, Leah Amico
ESPNU
Sat, May 20 Noon Game 3 TBD
  2:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 Noon Game 6 TBD
2:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Waco Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 5 p.m. Oregon State vs. James Madison  ESPN3
  7:30 p.m. Kent State vs. No. 15 Baylor ESPN3
Sat, May 20 2 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  4:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 2 p.m. Game 6 TBD
4:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD


College Station Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 5 p.m. Texas vs. Texas State
Tyler Denning, Erin Miller
Longhorn Network
  7:30 p.m. Texas Southern vs. No. 9 Texas A&M
Tyler Denning, Erin Miller
ESPN3
Sat, May 20 2:30 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Oxford Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 7 p.m. North Carolina vs. Arizona State
Eric Collins, Amanda Scarborough   
ESPN
  9:30 p.m. Southern Illinois vs. No. 12 Ole Miss
Eric Collins, Amanda Scarborough   
ESPN3
Sat, May 20 2:30 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Tucson Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 7 p.m. Saint Francis vs. South Carolina
Dean Linke, Kenzie Fowler
ESPN3
  9:30 p.m. New Mexico State vs. No. 2  Arizona
Dean Linke, Kenzie Fowler
ESPNU
Sat, May 20 5 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  10 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 7 p.m. Game 6 TBD
9:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Eugene Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 9 p.m. Wisconsin vs. Missouri
Trey Bender, Danielle Lawrie
ESPN
  11:30 p.m. Illinois-Chicago vs. No. 3 Oregon
Trey Bender, Danielle Lawrie
ESPNU
Sat, May 20 5 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  10 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 7 p.m. Game 6 TBD
9:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD

 

Los Angeles Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 9 p.m. San Jose State vs. Cal State Fullerton
Tracy Warren, Amanda Freed
ESPN3
  11:30 p.m. Lehigh vs. No. 5 UCLA
Tracy Warren, Amanda Freed
ESPN2
Sat, May 20 5 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  10 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 7 p.m. Game 6 TBD
9:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD

 

Seattle Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 19 9 p.m. Fresno State vs. Michigan
Beth Mowins, Michele Smith
ESPN2
  11:30 p.m. Montana vs. No. 6 Washington
Beth Mowins, Michele Smith
ESPN3
Sat, May 20 5 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  10 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 21 7 p.m. Game 6 TBD
9:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD

*if necessary  

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; Derek.Volner@ESPN.com and @DerekVolner