May 11, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – One day removed from winning the BIG EAST Softball Championship for the second time in program history, DePaul learned it will compete at the Lexington Regional May 16-18, along with the host and No. 14 seed Kentucky Wildcats, Ohio University and James Madison. The Blue Demons (41-9) are one of 64 teams to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, including 32 at-large and 32 automatic qualifiers, with teams playing at 16 Regionals.
The four-team, double-elimination Regional tournament will send its winner to one of eight Super Regionals, May 22-25, in hopes of advancing to the Women’s College World Series, set for May 29-June 4 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Regionals and Super Regionals are played at campus sites.
DePaul earned the automatic NCAA bid after defeating St. John’s, 3-0, in the BIG EAST Championship on Saturday in Rosemont, Ill. Kentucky received an at-large bid and stands at 44-15 after falling to Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Ohio is 32-24 and claimed the MAC Tournament title and received an automatic invite. JMU enters the NCAAs at 44-13 following its CAA Tournament crown and automatic NCAA berth.
The current lineup of BIG EAST teams are a combined 65-81 (.445) in NCAA Tournament games over a combined 40 appearances, including eight trips to the WCWS with a 4-16 (.200) mark. Three league teams earned invites in 2013 with each being eliminated in the Regional round.
Butler is the only league team to face DePaul’s future adversaries in the Wildcats and Bobcats this season, dropping a pair of two-run decisions to both squads in late February. The Bulldogs handed DePaul its lone BIG EAST loss this season, but the Blue Demons defeated Butler twice by an average of 6.5 runs. DePaul has one familiar foe in the Regional in James Madison, with the Dukes earning a 3-1 win in Clearwater, Fla., on Feb. 23.
The Blue Demons are making their 18th trip to the NCAA Tournament and will aim to advance to their fifth Women’s College World Series. DePaul, which earned an NCAA berth for the seventh time since joining the BIG EAST Conference prior to the 2006 season, is 42-35 (.545) in all NCAA Tournament games, with a 3-8 record in the WCWS, including a third-place showing in 1999.
Lexington Regional – May 16-18 at Lexington, Kentucky
James Madison (44-13) vs. DePaul (41-9)
No. 14 seed Kentucky* (44-15) vs. Ohio (32-24)