The Valparaiso University softball team learned Sunday evening that it will be traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich. for regional play in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The Crusaders will kick off tournament play Friday at 6 p.m. CT against the number-two national seed and host Michigan, while Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio) comprise the rest of the regional field. Broadcast information for the entirety of the regional will be available when released by Michigan.
Valpo earned its spot in the NCAA Tournament field by virtue of its run through the Horizon League Championship, winning four straight games to claim the tournament title. The Crusaders will enter their third NCAA Tournament all-time with an 18-32 overall record, but a 9-3 mark in their last 12 games.
Michigan received an at-large berth into the tournament after dropping the Big Ten title game and will enter the tournament as the #2 national seed with a 46-5 record. Notre Dame claimed an at-large berth out of the ACC with a 41-11 record, while Miami (Ohio) earned the MAC Tournament title to receive its automatic bid with a 34-21 record.
Valpo’s third trip to the NCAA Tournament, this also marks the second time the Crusaders have been sent to Ann Arbor, as the program’s last appearance in the tournament in 2013 came at Michigan. That also is the last time the Crusaders have matched up against the Wolverines. Valpo took on Notre Dame earlier this season and has faced Miami (Ohio) just once in program history, in 1988.
Tickets for the regional tournament are priced at $12 for reserved chairback and $10 for reserved bleacher seats. General admission outfield bleacher tickets are $8. Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Wednesday (May 18) at 8:30 a.m. and may be purchased online at MGoBlue.com/tickets, by phone or in person at the U-M Ticket Office.
All tickets ordered online or over the phone will be held for will call. Ticket will call on game days will be located near the Wilpon Complex scoreboard at the entrance gate near the U-M Indoor Track Building.
Ann Arbor Regional Schedule (All times Eastern)
Friday, May 20
Game 1 -- #2 seed Notre Dame vs. #3 seed Miami (Ohio), 4:30 p.m.
Game 2 -- #1 seed Michigan vs. #4 seed Valparaiso, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
Game 3 -- Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Noon
Game 4 -- Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 -- Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 22
Game 6 -- Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary) -- Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 3:30 p.m.