Lady Vols to host NCAA softball regional, will host super regional if they advance

The Tennessee softball team reacts after being selected to face Longwood on Sunday during the NCAA tournament selection show.

Tennessee athletics

The Tennessee softball team reacts after being selected to face Longwood on Sunday during the NCAA tournament selection show.

Will the Lady Vols make the Women's College World Series?

See the results »

View previous polls »

The NCAA softball tournament bracket show had scarcely begun Sunday night when Tennessee popped up as the No. 7 overall seed.

The news was greeted with silence by the team assembled in the film room at Lee Stadium.

“Does that matter?” piped up a curious voice.

“Yes, that matters,’’ co-head coach Karen Weekly answered emphatically.

The Lady Vols already were assured of hosting a four-team regional this weekend, the ninth consecutive season they’ve done so.

But being among the top eight seeds was touch and go after UT stumbled in the final weeks of the season.

The top eight seeds — if they win their regionals — get to host a two-team Super Regional, which pares the field to eight for the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City May 30-June 5.

So, yes, being the No. 7 seed matters.

If form holds, Tennessee would host Alabama, the 10 seed and defending national champion, May 23-26.

“I’m really happy with that seed,’’ said co-head coach Ralph Weekly. “Getting the opportunity to host if we’re fortunate enough to win the regional, to host all the way through, is great.’’

First, there is work to be done this weekend.

The Lady Vols (44-10) face Big South Conference champion Longwood (41-18) at 6 p.m. Friday.

The 3:30 p.m. game pairs N.C. State (33-18-1), the Atlantic Coast Conference champion, and James Madison (41-15).

“It’s a tough regional,’’ Ralph Weekly said. “We watched Longwood today win the Big South. They’ve hit 85 home runs, which is about 20 more than us.

“We had two very close games with N.C. State and James Madison has a pitcher that’s on the U.S. national team.’’

Tennessee beat N.C. State twice this year during a tournament in Tampa, Fla.

The double-elimination regional continues Saturday and Sunday. If UT wins Friday, it plays at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. If the Lady Vols lose Friday, they play at 4 Saturday in an elimination game.

A 6:30 p.m. game Saturday eliminates a second team, leaving two teams to play for the championship Sunday at 1 p.m. A second game would be at 4:30, if necessary.

All-session and one-day tickets can be purchased online at UTTix.com, by phone at 865-656-1200, or during business hours at the Thompson-Boling Arena ticket office.

Missouri, which beat UT three times in the past nine days, is the No. 6 seed, one of 11 SEC teams in the field.

Oklahoma is the top seed. Florida got the No. 2 seed and could be waiting for the Tennessee-Alabama winner in Oklahoma City.

“It’s never easy to get to Oklahoma City,’’ Weekly said. “You’ve got to play the best to be the best so we look forward to the challenge.’’

The Lady Vols have begun the tournament at home every year beginning in 2005. They have advanced past five of the previous eight regionals.

Three times, Tennessee got to host a super regional: 2006, 2007 and 2012. The Lady Vols used all three as springboards to the WCWS.

They have also won Super Regionals at Michigan (2010) and Stanford (2005), going 5-for-5 on Super Regionals.

“I think we’ll be fine,’’ Ralph Weekly said.

Oklahoma is the No. 1 seed, followed by Florida at 2 and Oregon at 3.

LSU, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas A&M will also host regionals.

Knoxville Regional Schedule

Friday, May 17: James Madison vs. NC State, 3:30 p.m.

Friday, May 17: Tennessee vs. Longwood, 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 18: Winners from Friday's games, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 18: Losers from Friday's games, 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 18: Loser of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 19: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5, 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 19: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5, If Necessary, 4:30 p.m.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 17

volman2008 writes:

what has happened to Madison SHIPMAM,SHE IS 0 FOR MAY.She is not seeing the ball.

JimmyJoe writes:

in response to volman2008:

what has happened to Madison SHIPMAM,SHE IS 0 FOR MAY.She is not seeing the ball.

Chelsea Thomas happened to her.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

None of that matters now. Time to start a new winning streak!

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to volman2008:

what has happened to Madison SHIPMAM,SHE IS 0 FOR MAY.She is not seeing the ball.

3 for 16 isn't quite the same as 0 for May. The same saying for baseball is the same for softball, good pitching will offset good hitting. Thank goodness there aren't many Chelsea Thomas' in the country.

voloffaith writes:

ShipMAN is her name.....Go Maddie crank it up this weekend and silence the detractors that may surface............

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to voloffaith:

ShipMAN is her name.....Go Maddie crank it up this weekend and silence the detractors that may surface............

Voloffaith,

You said it. If she doesn't get a hit ( 4 for 4 ) the detractors will be all over it.

Even the very best have some difficulty at times. Years ago, I remember the great Gil Hodges was 0 for 21 and it might have been in a World Series. Madison has the potential to drive it out of the place, and did hit at least one deep, seems like it was an RBI in one of the games.

Softball is just a sport where an over powering pitcher can monopolize the whole game.

Anyway, playing in Knoxville should inspire the team. Wonder if Davin could reappear at some time?

ACWLY writes:

Good article, gave us times and dates of tournament games [kinda unusual for KNS] ...Thank You LADY Vols for the hard work and effort it took to get us to #7, we appreciate it and will be there rooting you on. If you play your Best it's yours!

SummittsCourt writes:

Congrats to the Lady Vols!

bunker_hill#300251 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Voloffaith,

You said it. If she doesn't get a hit ( 4 for 4 ) the detractors will be all over it.

Even the very best have some difficulty at times. Years ago, I remember the great Gil Hodges was 0 for 21 and it might have been in a World Series. Madison has the potential to drive it out of the place, and did hit at least one deep, seems like it was an RBI in one of the games.

Softball is just a sport where an over powering pitcher can monopolize the whole game.

Anyway, playing in Knoxville should inspire the team. Wonder if Davin could reappear at some time?

I think they said during the SEC Tournament game with South Carolina that the earlist Davin could be back would be the World Series if we advanced that far and even that was even a "maybe"

vol98champ writes:

Hitting and not hitting is contagious, but I think Shipman's problems began in the field against Missouri in the first game. She is a great fielder, but made a couple of bad plays in the field. We need to regroup and focus on the next game; forgetting what has happened in the last six.

oldster writes:

If they do not hit any better than they have the last several weeks, they will stay home during the finals, too. The UT softball team appears to be cementing another UT athletic tradition of frustration: not being able to score runs in tournament games. They are not to blame. Such traditions are, as Hank Williams, Jr. said, a family tradition.

voloffaith writes:

in response to oldster:

If they do not hit any better than they have the last several weeks, they will stay home during the finals, too. The UT softball team appears to be cementing another UT athletic tradition of frustration: not being able to score runs in tournament games. They are not to blame. Such traditions are, as Hank Williams, Jr. said, a family tradition.

Nope!! Don't think you're anywhere mear the issue. That is on all your comments after the first sentence. Back to basics ladies. Get back to what got you this opportunity. Beat the longwoodettes!!

voloffaith writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Nope!! Don't think you're anywhere mear the issue. That is on all your comments after the first sentence. Back to basics ladies. Get back to what got you this opportunity. Beat the longwoodettes!!

Spelchek....mear = near..........oh boy here we go..............

Oh btw they are the Lancerettes!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Ah yes. Longwood College.........71 miles from here in Farmville, VA.

85 homers by the Lady Lancers ! Question? Were they hit off the likes of Hannah Rogers, Chelsea Thomas, and Jackie Trainer ( sp ) etc?

Someone referred to the attractive Lady Vol players. That's a fact. Also a fact that some of these teams smashing the ball against U T have people who might be on loan from their offensive line/football teams. Our leading home run hitter is a little 2nd baseman, ( Lauren Gibson. ) In the future, maybe we'll look more to getting some of those, "big uglies" who can't run a lick but look to the fences every time at bat.

Not only that, the Lady Vol pitchers also look the part of 'lookers' but they also are not chunky such as Georgia, Missouri, and Alabama pitchers ..........who to be honest can 'bring the heat.'

Now is the time to get back to playing the great Tennessee defense, hitting the ball better, and trying to get ahead of the enemy batters. ( 1-0, 2-0 etc will invite trouble when Ivy and Ellen have to come back serving a hitable pitch.

Should be some exciting games, and any number of teams can win it all.

CalifLadyVolFan writes:

Wonder if Davin could reappear at some time?

I think they said during the SEC Tournament game with South Carolina that the earlist Davin could be back would be the World Series if we advanced that far and even that was even a "maybe"

Melissa goes to the Doctor this Thursday morning for her post op appointment. I will be attending this appointment and will hear first hand on her progress. The Doctor felt that the plate and the screws gave her the best chance to heal both correctly and quickly. He said that it would be at least 3 weeks but maybe longer depending upon on quickly she heals. I posted her pictures on TOS

Ralph had talked to her about being a runner this weekend or next but would need a doctor clearance for anything. We are hoping the Lady Vols keep winning and give Melissa a chance to get back for the WCWS.

Mike Davin

http://www.volnation.com/forum/attach...

http://www.volnation.com/forum/attach...

http://www.volnation.com/forum/attach...

HooRay_Vol writes:

Hoo-Ray! Go Lady Vols!!!!!!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Mike,

Thanks for that update on Melissa. I wish her well.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features