Arkansas Tech University has been selected as a No. 1 seed and host for an NCAA Division II Tournament regional for the first time in the history of its softball program.
The Golden Suns (46-9) will host an NCAA Division II Tournament Central Regional at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex in Russellville beginning on Thursday, May 5, and continuing through Saturday, May 7.
Four teams will be part of the double-elimination regional hosted by Arkansas Tech.
The Golden Suns will face eighth-seeded Upper Iowa University (39-16) at approximately 6:30 p.m. Thursday. No. 4 seed Minnesota State University (44-15) will take on No. 5 seed Northwest Missouri State University (37-14) at 4 p.m. Thursday in the other first-round game at Russellville.
Game times are 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday. Championship Saturday will start at 1 p.m., with a 3:30 p.m. game to follow if necessary.
All-day tickets are $5, with student and senior tickets available for $3. Children age four and under are admitted free.
The team to emerge from the four-team regional will advance to the super regional May 11-12. Eight super regional champions will advance to the national finals at the Regency Athletic Complex Softball Field in Denver, Colo., May 17-21.
The other NCAA Division II Tournament Central Regional will be played in Magnolia May 5-7. Southern Arkansas University (46-9) is the No. 2 seed and host for that regional. The Lady Muleriders are joined by No. 3 seed Missouri Western State University (43-11), No. 6 seed University of Minnesota Duluth (35-15) and No. 7 seed University of Central Oklahoma (39-18).
Arkansas Tech is making its second NCAA Tournament appearance in softball. Head coach Kristina McSweeney and the Golden Suns also made the field in 2015.
This season, Arkansas Tech was regular season champion of the Great American Conference and a consistent presence in the top 10 of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll. The Golden Suns have established a new school record for softball wins in a season.