Pitt Softball reaches first ever NCAA Tournament
By: Andrew Stern
For the first time in program history, the Pittsburgh Panthers have reached the NCAA Softball Championships.
This past season, the Panthers posted a strong 33-19 regular season record (one shy of the program record of 34), won 11 Atlantic Coast Conference games, and placed three players on the All-Conference teams for the first time since 2011.
At the end of the season, Pitt finished conference play at 11-13, earning the sixth seed in last weeks ACC Tournament. This marked the first time since 2011 that the Panthers participated in the Postseason Conference Tournament.
In the Tournament, the Panthers defeated third seed Notre Dame 8-1 (#21 overall) on Wednesday evening, and two seed North Carolina 4-0 on Thursday afternoon.
The victories advanced the Panthers to the Championship game against number one overall seed Florida State.
The game, which was televised nationally on ESPN, was tied through five innings, before Florida State regained the lead in the sixth inning.
Despite Saturday’s Championship loss, victories over UNC and Notre Dame helped the Panthers earn an at-large bid to this year’s national tournament.
The Panthers will play in the Ann Arbor regional. Pitt’s first opponent will be Pac-12 member Cal (38-16) on Friday Afternoon.
The game will be televised live on ESPNU, with first pitch scheduled for 3:30 PM EST. The winner will face either Oakland University or University of Michigan.
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