May 17, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame softball team will head to Ann Arbor, Mich., May 20-23, as the fifth seed in one of eight, six-team regionals in the 1999 NCAA Women’s Softball Championship. The Irish (41-18) will face the number two seed Nebraska Cornhuskers (31-19) Thursday in the first game of the double elimination regional at 1:30 p.m. (EDT).
Notre Dame is making its fourth NCAA appearance overall and its first since 1996 after earning the automatic bid to the 48-team tournament by defeating Seton Hall, 5-1, in the BIG EAST Tournament championship last weekend. Joining Notre Dame and Nebraska are host and top seed Michigan (51-11-1), third seed Arizona State (37-25), fourth seed Central Michigan (41-16) and sixth seed Florida Atlantic (47-18).
The Irish and Cornhuskers will face each other for the second time this season and the third time overall with Nebraska having won both previous meetings. In 1999, Nebraska won 6-0 in the consolation finals of the National Invitational Tournament in Sunnyvale, Calif. on March 14.
“Nebraska’s a very good team, they’re very aggressive and they’ve played some good teams,” said Irish head coach Liz Miller. “When we lost to them 6-0 earlier this season, it was close up until the last innings when they got all of their runs. We did not play well the first time and we need to play better defense this time if we expect to win.”
The Irish have played each of the four other teams in the regional before and are leading the all-time series against both Central Michigan (3-1) and Florida Atlantic (2-0), while posting a losing mark versus Michigan (3-4) and Arizona State (0-5).
This is the third time in four tries that Notre Dame have traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich. for NCAA tournament action. The last time was in 1996 when the Irish fell 3-0 to South Carolina and then lost 9-3 to Central Michigan.
1999 NCAA Softball Regional
At Univ. of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
All time are Eastern Daylight Time
Game One #1 Michigan vs. #6 Florida Atlantic (4 p.m.)Game Two #2 Nebraska vs. #5 Notre Dame (1:30 p.m.)Game Three #3 Arizona State vs. #4 Central Michigan (11 a.m.)
Game Four Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2Game Five Winner Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3Game Six Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3
May 22-23 – TBA