NCAA Softball Tournament
Three schools from The Boot have qualified for the NCAA Softball Tournament.
LSU and Louisiana Lafayette are the top two seeds in the Baton Rouge Regional while McNeese State is headed to College Station, Texas.
Regional pairings were announced Sunday.
Earning a national seed for the fourth consecutive season, the 11th-ranked Tigers (41-14) are paired against Fordham (33-21) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the first round of the double elimination tournament.
Coach Beth Torino's Tigers split a pair of SEC Tournament games last week, with a 4-1 win over Ole Miss and a 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Tennessee.
LSU is led by senior right-hander Allie Walljasper (16-5, 1.00 ERA), the team's lone first-team All-SEC selection.
Sophomore outfielder Aliyah Andrews, a second-team All-SEC honoree, leads the Tigers offensively. She is batting .333 and leads the team in hits (64), runs (31) and stolen bases (38 in 39 attempts).
UL Lafayette (38-14) is making its 20th consecutive postseason appearance and its 28th in the past 29 years. First-year coach Gerry Glasco's Ragin' Cajuns received an at-large bid after dropping a 5-2 decision to Texas State in the Sun Belt Conference championship game.
Houston (36-20) and the Ragin' Cajuns fill face off in the tourney opener on Friday at 3 p.m. at Tiger Park.
Sophomore right-hander Summer Ellyson (21-8, 1.43), a hometown product out of Teurlings Catholic, is the staff ace.
Ellyson was joined on the first-team All-Sun Belt Conference squad by junior third baseman Kara Gremillion (.314 batting avarege, 1 HR, 21 RBI) and sophomore shortstop Alissa Dalton (.376-3-30). A transfer from Oklahoma, Dalton was recently chosen as the Sun Belt's Newcomer of the Year.
McNeese (40-19) earned an automatic bid for the third straight year by defeating Nicholls State 4-2 in the Southland Conference Tournament championship game Friday in Lake Charles.
In Friday's College State Regional, the Cowgirls are paired against Baylor (36-16) at 3:30 p.m., followed by SWAC Tournament champion Prairie View A&M (20-21) vs. Texas A&M (40-16) at 6 p.m.
McNeese is led by senior third baseman Erika Piancastelli, the four-time SLC Player and Hitter of the Year. Piancastelli is currently batting .384, with a .549 on base percentage, a .925 slugging clip, 147 total bases, 22 home runs, 18 doubles and 59 RBIs.
Senior shortstop Morgan Catron (.317, 15 HR, 55 RBI), the SLC Tournament MVP, complements Piancastelli offensively.
BYU (35-20) vs. Drake (43-10), 5 p.m.
Albany (32-14) vs. Oregon (47-7), 7:30 p.m.
Michigan (43-11) vs. Notre Dame (32-21), 11 a.m.
Ill.-Chicago (33-19) vs. Kentucky (31-19), 1:30 p.m.
Liberty (47-12) vs. Hofstra (40-12), 4 p.m.
North Carolina Greensboro (46-11) vs. South Carolina (45-14), 6:30 p.m.
Long Beach St. (42-12) vs. Ole Miss (30-23), 6 p.m.
New Mexico St. (29-22) vs. Arizona St. (43-11), 8:30 p.m.
Texas (32-24) vs. Minnesota (39-15), 8 p.m.
Boise St. (40-14) vs. Washington (44-8), 9:30 p.m.
Oregon St. (28-26) vs. Wisconsin (28-21), 6 p.m.
Middle Tenn. (39-20) vs. Alabama (33-18), 8:30 p.m.
Wichita St. (30-21) vs. Oklahoma St. (38-20), 1:30 p.m.
DePaul (35-15) at Arkansas (39-15), 4 p.m.
Missouri (28-27) vs. Tulsa (33-23), 3:30 p.m.
Boston U. (39-18) vs. Oklahoma (50-3), 6 p.m.
Los Angeles Regional
Cal St. Fullerton (33-23) vs. Texas St. (42-14), 7:30 p.m.
Sacramento St. (31-18) vs. UCLA (50-4), 10 p.m.
Mississippi St. (36-21) vs. North Dakota St. (33-17), 8 p.m.
St. Francis, Pa. (39-17) vs. Arizona (40-14), 10:30 p.m.
Baton Rouge Regional
Houston (36-20) vs. Louisiana Lafayette (38-14), 3 p.m.
Fordham (33-21) vs. LSU (41-14), 5:30 p.m.
Auburn (40-15) vs. Kennesaw St. (39-15), 11 a.m.
Jacksonville St. (33-23) vs. Florida St. (47-10), 1:30 p.m.
Northwestern (36-17) vs. California (34-19), 11 a.m.
Harvard (23-16) at Georgia (43-11), 1:30 p.m.
James Madison (42-12) vs. Ohio (38-15), 2 p.m.
Monmouth (32-14) vs. Tennessee (45-12), 4:30 p.m.
College Station Regional
McNeese (40-19) vs. Baylor (36-16), 3:30 p.m.
Prairie View (20-21) vs. Texas A&M (40-16), 6 p.m.
Ohio St. (34-14) vs. South Florida (38-21), 4 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman (31-24) vs. Florida (50-8), 6:30 p.m.