INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Blugolds.com) – The 25th-ranked UW-Eau Claire softball team has earned an at-large bid to compete in the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship, NCAA officials announced today.
The Blugolds (26-7) were selected to the 62-team field after winning the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) regular season title on April 30 and taking second at the WIAC Championship on May 5.
Eau Claire will head to Whitewater, Wis. to compete in an eight-team regional hosted by UW-Whitewater, May 9-13. The other teams competing in the regional will be Benedictine (Ill.), Carthage, Finlandia (Mich.), Ill. Wesleyan, Luther (Iowa), North Central (Ill.) and UW-Whitewater.
The Blugolds will open competition Thursday at 2 p.m. against North Central College (Ill.). Thursday's complete schedule follows:
10 a.m. – UW-Whitewater (31-5, No. 1 seed) vs. Finlandia (25-6, No. 8 seed)
12 p.m. – Luther (28-9, No. 5 seed) vs. Carthage (30-10, No. 4 seed)
2 p.m. – UW-Eau Claire (26-7, No. 3 seed) vs. North Central (32-10, No. 6 seed)
4 p.m. – Benedictine (26-12, No. 7 seed) vs. Ill. Wesleyan (31-9, No. 2 seed)
Single-Day Ticket Prices: $6 for adults, $3 youth/senior
The winner of the regional, which is one of eight from around the nation, will advance to compete in the finals hosted by UW-Eau Claire at Gelein Field in Carson Park, May 17-21.
Eau Claire is making its third consecutive and 11th overall appearance in the NCAA Championship. The Blugolds' best finish came in 2008 when they won the national title.