PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Four BIG EAST softball squads have been selected to the 64-team field of the 2010 NCAA Softball Championship field as announced by the selection committee on Sunday night. Syracuse was the conference's automatic qualifier after winning the BIG EAST Championship title versus Louisville on Saturday night. Louisville, Notre Dame and DePaul were selected as at-large bids.
Syracuse (32-24) will head to College Park, Md. and face No. 14 seed Oklahoma (43-10). Host Maryland (33-22) will take on Fordham (47-10) as the other two teams in the bracket. Syracuse, the No. 5 seed in the BIG EAST Championship, became the lowest seed ever to earn the league's automatic bid.
Louisville (39-17), which lost to Syracuse in the BIG EAST Championship game, will head to Knoxville, Tenn. and take on Virginia (33-21). Host and No. 15 seed Tennessee matches up against Ball State (43-14.)
BIG EAST regular-season co-champion Notre Dame (45-10) will travel to Ann Arbor Michigan and play Illinois State (32-18). The No. 2 overall seed and host of the region is Michigan (46-6). The Wolverines square off against Wright State (30-28-1).
DePaul (38-16), which shared the BIG EAST regular season crown with the Irish, will play in the Columbia Regional and take on Illinois (43-6). Host and No. 9 seed Missouri (46-11) will face Creighton (37-21).
All regional games for BIG EAST squads start on May 21 and span to May 23.
Thirty conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 34 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket. The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and will play at campus sites this weekend.
Team pairings were determined by geographical proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during regional competition, when possible. The championship will be three weekends of competition. Four teams will participate at each of 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament.
The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series May 28-29 at eight campus sites.
The remaining eight teams will advance to the Women's College World Series, an eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The championship final will be a best-of-three-series. The WCWS will be conducted June 3-9 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.