WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) softball team, who captured the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship on Saturday night, will play Tufts University (TU) in their first game of the Regional Round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Blue Jays looked on in anticipation during the team's viewing party, as each of the 62 teams in the bracket were revealed Monday in a selection show on NCAA.com.
Tufts will host the regional May 10-12 on Spicer Field. Joining USJ and TU in their pool are Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) who will square in the other opening round game on Friday (May 10). The double-elimination tournament continues on Saturday and Sunday (May 11-12). Game times and ticket prices are not yet available.
The Playing Field
The Jumbos (30-8) are three-time National Champions (2013-2015), and won their 11th New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship with a 3-2 victory over Williams College this weekend.
The Engineers (32-9) won 11 of their final 13 games in route to a second New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament title in the last four seasons, defeating the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the winner take all finale, 5-4.
The Warriors (29-11) are 4-2 all-time in the National Championship, but haven't won it since 1990 ('82. '85-'86, '90), with championship game losses in 1989 and 1991. They received an automatic bid as the champions of the Little East Conference (LEC), defeating two-time defending champion University of Massachusetts Boston, 8-0, in five innings Saturday.
The Blue Jays (27-17) defeated Simmons University (SU), 3-0, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship game Saturday, capping the season on a six-game win streak, including a perfect 4-0 in the GNAC Tournament.
The NCAA championship bracket consists of 62 teams across 16 regional sites. 42 teams were given automatic bids as conference champions, while the remaining 20 were selected at large.
Regional competition is double elimination and will be played May 10-12. The 16 advancing schools will then play at eight two-team best-of-three super regionals beginning May 17. The eight super regional winners will move on to play in Tyler, Texas for a double-elimination tournament from May 23-28.
The final two teams standing will play a best-of-three championship series to decide the national champion on May 27 & 28. All final site games will be live streamed on NCAA.com.
USJ will compete in the Regional Round of the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament, playing its first game against Tufts University (MA). The tournament starts this weekend (May 10-12). USJ's official game time is TBA.