The UCF softball team (39-17) learned late Sunday night that it earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, where it will take on South Florida (45-11) at 3:30 p.m. in the opening round of the Gainesville Regional Friday hosted by No. 5 overall seed Florida.
“We could not be happier to have earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament,” head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. “We felt like our résumé was strong and it is so great to see C-USA being recognized as a strong Division I conference by having four teams make the tournament.”
The host Gators (46-11) and Florida Gulf Coast (37-22) will also participate in the four-team regional which follows a double-elimination format. Florida and FGCU will square off at 6 p.m. on Friday.
The at-large selection to the tournament is the second for the Black and Gold in its 11-year history, while it will be the fourth time in four total appearances in the NCAA Tournament that the Knights will be playing at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium.
The last time UCF made an appearance was in 2010, when it earned the first at-large selection in school history. The Knights went 1-2 during the 2010 regional, defeating FIU in the opening game before losing to Florida and FIU on day two.
Overall when participating in the NCAA Tournament, the Black and Gold holds a 5-6 record and has faced Florida five times during the stretch.
Of the 64 teams that made the NCAA Tournament in 2012, the Knights faced 12 teams throughout the season, including No. 5 seed Florida, No. 12 seed UCLA, No. 16 seed Washington, Iona, Bethune-Cookman, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, San Diego State, Oregon State and C-USA foes Tulsa, Houston and UAB. When facing off with those teams, UCF posted 10 wins.
The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series May 24-27 at eight campus sites.
Ticket information for the Gainesville Regional will be announced when they become available.