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ESPN’s Regional Coverage Begins 2016 NCAA Division I Softball Championship

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ESPN Front Row: Despite cancer battle, Rowe contributes to ESPN’s Softball #MAYhem coverage

  • Up to 84 Games from 12 Campus Sites in Regional Round; Bases Loaded Returns
  • All Eight Super Regionals, Entire Women’s College World Series Televised
  • Two-Time Defending National Champion and No. 1 Seed Florida Gators Host Regional

ESPN is the home of the 2016 NCAA Division I Softball Championship presented by Capital One beginning with the Regional round (May 19-22), continuing with exclusive coverage of the Super Regionals (May 26-29) and the Women’s College World Series (June 2 – June 8) in Oklahoma City, Okla. The 2016 NCAA Softball Championship marks the 16th consecutive year ESPN has televised the entire Women’s College World Series and the 10th consecutive year it has televised every game of the Super Regionals.

Industry-Leading Regional Round Coverage
For the second consecutive year, ESPN’s NCAA Softball Championship Regional round coverage will total as many as 84 games from 12 campus sites across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, ESPN3 and SEC Network +, the most sites and games ESPN has ever covered in the tournament’s first weekend.

The Florida Gators are the No. 1 seed coming off their back-to-back National Championships and will host the Gainesville Regional. Overall, ESPN’s regional round coverage will feature eight of the top 10 seeds including No. 3 Oklahoma (Norman Regional), No. 4 Auburn (Auburn Regional), No. 5 Oregon (Eugene Regional), No. 6 Alabama (Tuscaloosa Regional), No. 8 Florida State (Tallahassee Regional), No. 9 Kentucky (Lexington Regional) and No. 10 LSU (Baton Rouge Regional). Additionally, No. 13 Tennessee (Knoxville Regional), No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette (Lafayette Regional), No. 15 Missouri (Columbia Regional), and No. 16 Georgia (Athens Regional) will also be covered. All Regionals begin on Friday, May 20, except Columbia which begins Thursday, May 19.

Format: ESPN will carry every game (maximum of seven games) from the 12 regionals. Each regional is a four-team, double-elimination tournament, concluding with one team advancing to the Super Regionals.  A full schedule is provided below.

Additional Regional Round Highlights

Bases Loaded Returns
For the second consecutive year, ESPN’s NCAA Softball Championship Regional Round coverage is supplemented with a Bases Loaded viewing option, providing look-ins to multiple live games throughout the day while also recapping the entire tournament up to that moment. Matt Schick and Brendan Fitzgerald will host and Garland Cooper will provide the analysis. Bases Loaded will be seen on the channel previously designated as ESPN Goal Line, with ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU also airing it throughout the weekend.

The Bases Loaded concept had first been used for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship before being utilized for the Softball Championship last season. This year, the concept was also used on SEC Network during ESPN’s record-setting regular season softball coverage, to showcase every team in the Southeastern Conference the closing weekend of conference play.

Bases Loaded Programming Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network
Fri, May 20 1 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Bases Loaded***
  4 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. ESPN2 and ESPNU
Sat, May 21 Noon – 10 p.m. ESPN Goal Line***
  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
Sun, May 22 Noon – 9:30 p.m. Bases Loaded***
  2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ESPN
  6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. ESPNU
  9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. ESPN2

***previously designated as ESPN Goal Line

Networks and times are subject to change

espnW.com
espnW will have wide-ranging coverage of the entire 2016 NCAA Softball Championship hosted on its softball index.  Highlights include:

  • Comprehensive Recaps:Graham Hays will provide daily recaps and analysis from the Regionals, Super Regionals and the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
  • Contender Previews: Jessica Mendoza reveals her favorite things about several Women’s College World Series contenders in a new video series.
  • The espnW Player of the Year: This week, espnW will reveal its 2016 Player of the Year.
  • Schedules and Results: All the scores and information to be found here.

Social Media

  • @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 #d1softball in the Regionals and Super Regionals and then #WCWS during the Women’s College World Series.

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

    • 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)
  • Danielle LawrieEugene Regional
    • College: Washington
    • Honors: National Champion (2009), All-American, and played for Canadian National Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
    • College: Missouri Western State
    • Honors: National Champion, National MVP and played on USA National Team that won the World Cup (1992)
  • Leah O’Brien-Amico– Tuscaloosa 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
  • Jennie RitterGainesville Regional
    • College: Michigan
    • Honors: National Championship (2005), played for USA National Team (2007) in the World Cup  and Pan American games
  • Leigh RossTallahassee 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
  • Amanda Scarborough– Lafayette 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– Knoxville Regional
  • College: Oklahoma State
  • Honors: Two-time All-American, two time Olympic Gold Medalist (1996, ’00)  and eight time Japan Pro League MVP

Texas Teamcast: NCAA Softball Regionals on Longhorn Network

Longhorn Network will present an alternate presentation – Texas Teamcast: NCAA Softball Regionals – for Texas’ first game vs. Texas A&M in the Lafayette Regional on Friday, May 20, at 4:30 p.m. ET. Tyler Denning will call the play-by-play along with analyst Megan Willis, a 2007 Texas graduate and former Longhorn catcher.

Additionally, if Texas plays at noon ET on Saturday, May 21, or advances to Sunday, May 22, Texas Teamcast: NCAA Softball Regionals programming will continue as an alternate viewing option on LHN.

A full schedule of the Lafayette Regional is below.

2016 NCAA Division I Softball Championship Field
The 2016 NCAA Division I Softball Championship field was unveiled during ESPNU’s NCAA Softball Championship Selection Show presented by Capital One on Sunday, May 15. The SEC received the most bids (11), for the second consecutive year, followed by the Pac-12 (8). Five teams are making their first appearance in the tournament: Alabama State, Butler, California State, Bakersfield, Mississippi and Samford. Interestingly, 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’s 2016 NCAA Division I Softball Television Schedule
Regional Round (May 19 – May 22)

Please Note: All games from the 12 regionals below will be shown on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ESPN3, SEC Network + or Longhorn Network. If network is designated as TBD, please check espnW’s schedule and results page for updated schedule listings.

Columbia Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Thur, May 19 5:30 p.m. Louisville vs. Nebraska
Pam Ward, Cheri Kempf
ESPN2
  8 p.m. BYU vs. No. 15 Missouri
Pam Ward, Cheri Kempf
ESPN2
Fri, May 20 2 p.m. Game 3 ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. Game 4 ESPN3
  7 p.m. Game 5 ESPN
Sat, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Gainesville Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 20 Noon Florida Atlantic vs. UCF
Trey Bender, Jennie Ritter
ESPNU
  2:30 p.m. Alabama State vs. No. 1 Florida
Trey Bender, Jennie Ritter
SEC Network and ESPN3
Sat, May 21 Noon Game 3 TBD
  2:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 22 Noon Game 6 TBD
2:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Tallahassee Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 20 Noon South Carolina vs. South Florida
Melissa Lee, Leah Ross
SEC Network and ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Florida A&M vs. No. 8 Florida State
Melissa Lee, Leah Ross
ESPN3
Sat, May 21 Noon Game 3 TBD
  2:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 22 Noon Game 6 TBD
2:30 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Tuscaloosa Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 20 2:30 p.m. Texas State vs. California
Cara Capuano, Leah Amico
ESPN3
  5 p.m. Samford vs. No. 6 Alabama
Cara Capuano, Leah Amico
SEC Network and ESPN3
Sat, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 22 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Knoxville Regional

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Fri, May 20 4:30 p.m. Ohio State vs. Arizona
Beth Mowins, Michele Smith
ESPNU
  7 p.m. Marist vs. No. 13 Tennessee 
Beth Mowins, Michele Smith
ESPN2
Sat, May 21 Noon Game 3 TBD
  2:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 22 Noon Game 6 TBD


Auburn Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 20 4:30 p.m. USC Upstate vs. Oregon State
Tiffany Greene, Jenny Dalton-Hill
ESPN3
  7 p.m. Jacksonville State vs. No. 4 Auburn
Tiffany Greene, Jenny Dalton-Hill
ESPN3
Sat, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 22 2:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
5 p.m. Game 7* TBD


Lafayette Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 20 4:30 p.m. Texas vs. Texas A&M
Adam Amin, Amanda Scarborough
ESPN2 and Longhorn Network**
  7 p.m. Boston University vs.  No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette
Adam Amin, Amanda Scarborough
ESPNU
Sat, May 21 noon Game 3 TBD
  2:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 22 4:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
7 p.m. Game 7* TBD

**Longhorn Network’s alternate presentation: Texas Teamcast.


Norman Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 20 6:30 p.m. Tulsa vs. Ole Miss
Jenn Hildreth, Carol Bruggeman
ESPN3
  9 p.m. Wichita Stare vs. No. 3 Oklahoma
Jenn Hildreth, Carol Bruggeman
ESPN
Sat, May 21 2:30 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  5 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 5 TBD
Sun, May 22 4:30 p.m. Game 6 TBD
7 p.m. Game 7* TBD

 

Eugene Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 20 9 p.m. Long Beach State vs. Baylor
Mark Neely, Danielle Lawrie
ESPN2
  11:30 p.m. Fordham vs. No. 5 Oregon
Mark Neely, Danielle Lawrie
ESPN2
Sat, May 21 5 p.m. Game 3 TBD
  7:30 p.m. Game 4 TBD
  10 p.m. Game 5 ESPN2
Sun, May 22 7 p.m. Game 6 TBD
9:30 p.m. Game 7* ESPN2


Athens Regional

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Fri, May 20 1 p.m. Northwestern vs. Oklahoma State ESPN3
  3:30 p.m. Maine vs. No. 16 Georgia  SEC Network +
Sat, May 21 1 p.m. Game 3 ESPN3 or SEC Network +
  3:30 p.m. Game 4 ESPN3 or SEC Network +
  6:00 p.m. Game 5 ESPN3 or SEC Network +
Sun, May 22 1 p.m. Game 6 ESPN3 or SEC Network +
3:30 p.m. Game 7* ESPN3 or SEC Network +

 

Baton Rouge Regional

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Fri, May 20 4 p.m. McNeese State vs. Arizona State ESPN3
  7 p.m. LIU Brooklyn vs. No. 10 LSU   ESPN3
Sat, May 21 1 p.m. Game 3 ESPN3
  4 p.m. Game 4 ESPN3
  7 p.m. Game 5 ESPN3
Sun, May 22 2 p.m. Game 6 ESPN3
5 p.m. Game 7* ESPN3

 

Lexington Regional

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Fri, May 20 3:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Utah ESPN3
  6 p.m. Butler vs. No. 9 Kentucky SEC Network +
Sat, May 21 1 p.m. Game 3 ESPN3 or SEC Network +
  3:30 p.m. Game 4 ESPN3 or SEC Network +
  6 p.m. Game 5 ESPN3 or SEC Network +
Sun, May 22 1 p.m. Game 6 ESPN3 or SEC Network +
3:30 p.m. Game 7* ESPN3 or SEC Network +


Super Regionals (May 26 – 29)

ESPN will televise every game from all eight Super Regionals with complete details announced following the Regional Round. 


Women’s College World Series (June 2 – June 8)

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, June 2 Noon Women’s College World Series: Game 1 ESPN
  2:30 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 2 ESPN
  7 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 3 ESPN2
  9:30 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 4 ESPN2
Fri, June 3 7 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 5 ESPN2
  9:30 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 6 ESPN2
Sat, June 4 Noon Women’s College World Series: Game 7 ESPN
  2:30 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 8 ESPN
  7 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 9 ESPN2
  9:30 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 10 ESPN2
Sun, June 5 1 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 11 ESPN
  3:30 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 12 ESPN
  7 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 13* ESPN2
  9:30 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Game 14* ESPN2
Mon, June 6 8 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Championship Game No. 1 ESPN
Tues, June 7 8 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Championship Game No. 2 ESPN
Wed, June 8 7 p.m. Women’s College World Series: Championship Game No. 3* ESPN

* If necessary
Networks and times are subject to change

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner