Notre Dame will open the NCAA Championship Friday at 5 p.m. against Virginia Tech on ESPN3

Irish To Make 18th NCAA Championship Appearance

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May 12, 2013

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After finishing with 17 wins in its last 20 games, winning the BIG EAST Conference regular season championship title and reaching the tournament final of the BIG EAST Championship, the University of Notre Dame softball team has earned an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA Championship.

The Irish (43-13) were one of four teams selected to play in the Lexington Regional, and will face former conference rival Virginia Tech Friday at 5 p.m. on ESPN3.

Notre Dame has now qualified for the NCAA Championship 18 times in 25 seasons, including each of the past 15 campaigns. Head coach Deanna Gumpf has directed the Irish to the national tournament in each of her 12 seasons at the helm of the program.

Virginia Tech (35-19) reached the semifinal round of the ACC Championship May 10 in Tallahassee, Fla., losing to eventual conference champion North Carolina State 3-1. Notre Dame is 11-3 all-time against the Hokies, and the two teams will meet for the first time in NCAA Championship play on Friday.

Kentucky (38-18) will host its second postseason tournament in as many weeks after welcoming the SEC Championship to John Cropp Stadium May 8-11. The Wildcats open the NCAA Championship against Conference USA champion Marshall (35-20) Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Cropp Stadium.