For the first time since the format was created in 2014, No. 3-ranked St. Thomas Softball will get to play at home in the NCAA Playoff Super Regional round.
The Tommies (41-5) will face UW-La Crosse (29-18) in a best-of-three format, Friday and Saturday May 17-18 at St. Thomas' South Field.
Friday's game is set for 4 p.m. Saturday's game are at 1 p.m., and if needed, at 3:30 p.m.
Ticket prices per day are $10 for adults ($8 for seniors) and $7 for students. No pets are allowed in the South Field facility.
The series winner advances to the eight-team national tournament in Tyler, Texas, set for May 23-28.
The Tommies had a 3-0 run through its regional last weekend at home, while the Eagles did it the hard way in its bid in Pella, Iowa, by going 4-0 in the losers' bracket after an opening-round loss to claim the first regional title in program history. La Crosse topped Lake Forest twoce on Sunday. The Eagles trailed 3-2 into the bottom of the fifth inning in the decisive game, but used a seven-run inning in a 10-3 victory.
These two teams played last month in La Crosse, with St. Thomas winning 10-0 and 7-3. The Eagles last played at South Field in March 2017 and fell 4-3 and 3-0 to St. Thomas.
Both teams are playing crisp softball of late: the Tommies have won 26 of their last 27, while La Crosse is 9-5 with two one-run losses in its last 14 contests.
This is the Tommies' fourth consecutive Super Regional trip and fifth in six yaers, but first played at home. Coach John Tschida's team won on the road in 2014 and 2016 to reach the national finals.
- This is the third sport in 2018-19 where the Eagles and Tommies will play in NCAA playoff competition: in women's soccer, the Eagles won a second-round game at home in a shootout after a 2-2 overtime tie; in men's hoops, the Tommies topped La Crosse in a first-round game in Lincoln, Neb.
- Since 2004, St. Thomas Softball is 103-32 in postseason play.
- This season, the Toms have outscored six postseason opponents by a 21-1 margin.
- Over the last six games, St. Thomas' infielders, pitcher and catcher -- Chase Shortly, Melissa Barry, Rachel Suter, Elise Barnes, Kierstin Anderson-Glass and Jenna Bromen -- have only one error and have built a streak of 166 consecutive defensive chances without an error.
- Junior Kierstin Anderson-Glass is 13-1 in career postseason games with an 0.79 ERA and 69 strikeouts and 10 walks.
- Anderson-Glass and senior second baseman Melissa Barry (222 career hits) are among 25 players named to the Schutt NFCA Watch List for National Player of the Year consideration.
- Anderson-Glass and Barry were voted first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District and are on the ballot for Academic All-America consideration.