PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Eight teams have punched their tickets to the 2012 BIG EAST Softball Championship on May 10-12 in Notre Dame, Ind. Louisville, Notre Dame, Syracuse, USF, DePaul, St. John's, Rutgers and Connecticut will all be competing for the championship crown. All first-round games will take place on Thursday, May 10.
The Cardinals earned the league's Regular Season Championship title after producing a 20-2 conference record and a 50-3 overall record. The Cardinals, who have earned the No. 1 seed for the second time, will take on No. 8 seed Connecticut on May 10 at 12:30 p.m.
Notre Dame (36-13, 16-3 BIG EAST) has taken the No. 2 seed and will face No. 7 seed Rutgers on May 10 at 6:30 p.m. The Irish, winners of 15-straight games, will host the BIG EAST Championship for the fifth time in school history.
The No. 3 seed goes to the Syracuse Orange who took two-of-three games from USF to close the regular season. SU (40-13, 17-5) will begin the hunt for a third-straight tournament title against No. 6 seed St. John's on May 10 at 4 p.m.
USF has locked up the No. 4 seed for the championship. The Bulls earned a conference record of 17-5 and an overall record of 45-10, on their way to a national ranking of No. 18/16. They will lead off the tournament by facing No. 5 seed DePaul on May 10 at 10 a.m.
DePaul secured the No. 5 position by winning a series against Providence to end the regular season. The Blue Demons will come into the championship with a 34-19 overall record and a 14-8 mark in league play. They will matchup against No. 4 seed USF on May 10 at 10 a.m.
The No. 5 seed is taken by the Red Storm of St. John's who are making their first championship appearance since 2009. STJ (22-33, 10-12 BIG EAST) will take on No. 3 seed Syracuse in its first game on May 10 at 4 p.m.
Rutgers and Connecticut round out the top-eight teams with both teams recording a 9-13 conference mark. The Scarlet Knights (26-27 overall record) locked up the No. 7 seed and will face No. 2 Notre Dame at 6:30 p.m. on May 10. The Huskies (21-26 overall record) will play at the No. 8 seed and face top-seeded Louisville on May 10 at 12:30 p.m.
Results from all BIG EAST Softball Championship action can be found at the BIG EAST Championship Central page. All first and second round games will be streamed on BIGEAST.tv while the championship game will be televised live on ESPN2 on May 12 at 6 p.m.