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Cal Dances Into The Playoffs

May 13, 2018

BERKELEY – California softball players will have to add some more moves to their nationally recognize dance routine as they bring the party to the national stage. The Golden Bears will begin their road to the 2018 Women's College World Series, making their 32nd all-time postseason appearance.

Last season, Cal took a trip to Auburn, Ala., and fell in the Regional Final to the host team. This time, the Golden Bears (34-19, 7-16 Pac-12) will head to the Athens Regional, to open against Northwestern (36-17, 14-8 Big 10) on Friday at 9 a.m. (PT) in the double elimination round.

Cal last faced the Wildcats in 2017 during the regular season, falling 3-2 in Fullerton, Calif.; the Bears lead the all-time series 14-11.

Competition will be broadcast on ESPNU with in-game updates available on Cal's Twitter account (@CalSB).

No. 7 seed and host-team Georgia (43-11, 16-8 SEC) will open against Harvard (23-16, 14-7 Ivy League) on Friday at 11:30 a.m. (PT) with broadcast on ESPN SEC Network.

The last time the Golden Bears visited Athens was in 2010 in the NCAA Super Regional when Cal fell in both games to Georgia, with the Bulldogs leading the all-time series 1-2. The visit to Athens marks the third consecutive postseason that the Bears will play an NCAA Regional in SEC territory, also playing in the Tuscaloosa Regional in 2016. The Bears have not advanced to a Super Regional since 2012, when they hosted the first two rounds of the playoffs in Berkeley.

Cal was 1 of 32 at-large teams in a 64-team bracket selected by the Division I Softball Committee announced on ESPN live stream of the NCAA Division I Softball Selection broadcast Sunday.

Marking its 30th post season appearance under head coach Diane Ninemire, who celebrated her 30th season and 1,300th career win in March, the Bears head into tournament play unseeded. The Bears have appeared in all but five NCAA Softball tournaments since the sport became sponsored by the organization in 1982.

After finishing seventh in the potent Pac-12 league, Cal is 1 of 6 conference teams to reach post season.

The Bears regular season was highlighted by Lindsay Rood's offensive know-how as the junior led the conference with seven triples and 30 stolen bases. For the second consecutive season, Rood also leads the team with a .339 batting average, with Jazmyn Jackson following with a .326.

Cal ended another battle-tested regulation season with strong showings against the top-two teams in the country, league opponents No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Oregon, but were unable to pick up any wins across the two series. However, critical series sweeps against Utah and Stanford lifted the Bears to a higher conference finish than last season, when they finished eighth.  For more information on Cal softball, follow the team @CalSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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