Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate softball team is heading back to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive season as the Spartans learned Sunday evening it has been selected to play in the Knoxville Regional, hosted by Tennessee, as the tournament field was announced during the NCAA Division I Softball Championship Selection Show on ESPN2.
Upstate (44-11) will be the No. 3 seed in the Knoxville Regional and open play Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. against No. 2 seed Ohio State (35-16) on ESPN3. No. 1 seed Tennessee (44-10) will take on No. 4 seed Longwood (28-27) in the other opening round game of the regional.
The Spartans, members of the athletic department, fans, family and friends met at Buffalo Wild Wings in Spartanburg to celebrate the team's fourth ASUN Regular Season and Tournament titles, and fifth consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, and to watch the selection show.
Upstate is making its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including three in Tuscaloosa Regional and last year in the Auburn Regional. The Spartans won the 2013 ASUN Tournament and the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Regionals. After cruising to the Regular Season championship in 2014, the Spartans earned an at-large berth to the regionals. Upstate cruised to both the ASUN Regular Season and Tournament Championship in 2015. Last season, the Spartans earned the automatic berth after capturing the ASUN Tournament.
This season, Upstate concluded the regular season with a 14-4 conference record to win the Regular Season championship, while going 44-11 overall. The Spartans were the top seed in last week's ASUN Softball Championship, and won their third straight tournament title by defeating Kennesaw State and Florida Gulf Coast twice. Upstate won the tournament championship after defeating fourth-seed Florida Gulf Coast 8-0 in five innings on Saturday.
The Spartans enter NCAA Tournament play on an eight-game winning streak and have won 14 of 16 dating back to April 8-9 with a three-game sweep of Florida Gulf Coast.
Upstate has won seven conference titles in the last five years and eight in ten seasons in the ASUN. The Spartans have won four Regular Season championships in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017, and four Tournament titles in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
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