posted May 8, 2006

Flying Dutch Headed to NCAA Softball Regional

MIAA softball champion Hope (30-12) will play in an eight-team NCAA Division III regional tournament in Rock Island, Ill. beginning Thursday, May 11, and continuing through Monday, May 15.

Champions of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), the seventh-seeded Flying Dutch (30-12) play the second-seeded host Augustana Vikings (31-9) in Thursday's fourth game of the double elimination tournament.

Regional First Round Games, Thursday, May 11
#1 UW-Eau Claire (34-4) vs. #8 Lake Forest, Ill. (24-13),  10 a.m. CT
#4 Aurora, Ill. (36-9) vs. #5 Central, Ia. (32-11), noon CT
#3 Coe, Iowa (34-10) vs. #6 Chicago (19-13), 2 p.m. CT
#2 Augustana (31-9) vs. #7 Hope (30-12), 4 p.m. CT

The Flying Dutch gained the MIAA's automatic berth to the 59-team national tournament by winning the conference tournament this past weekend.

This will be Hope's first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1996 and the fifth in school history.  The 1991 team finished third in the nation.  The 1995 team also advanced to the national championship round while the 1992 and 1996 teams were eliminated in regional play.  Hope's alltime record in the NCAA championships is 11-8.

There will be eight regional tournaments with the winners advancing to the national championship round May 19-23 in Raleigh, N.C.