Francis Marion earns invite to NCAA softball tournament

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University

FLORENCE, SC – The Francis Marion University softball program learned on Monday (May 10) that it has earned an invitation to the NCAA Division II national championships, the program's second bid in three seasons.

Francis Marion (34-14) will travel to Dahlonega, GA, for one of the two Southeast Subregionals.  The four-team, double-elimination tournament will be played Friday through Sunday (May 14-16) at North Georgia College & State University's Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.

The fourth-seeded Patriots will play fifth-seeded and 23rd-ranked Carson-Newman College (36-10) on Friday at 5 p.m.  The other first-round game will have the host Saints (45-0), the top-seed and top-ranked team in the country, playing eighth-seeded Queens University of Charlotte (26-23).

The winners from Friday's two game will play at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, while the losers will play at 5 p.m.  A second elimination game will follow at 7:30 p.m.  The championship contest is set for Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

The 64-team NCAA Tournament field was announced Monday morning. Four teams will participate at each of 16 sub-regional sites in double-elimination tournaments, with all competition taking place May 14-16.  The tournament at North Georgia is one of two host sites in the Southeast Region as Lenoir-Rhyne University will host four teams as well.

The winner of each sub-regional will advance to the NCAA II Super Regional, May 21-22 at on-campus sites.  The Super Regional champion will advance to the NCAA Division II College World Series, May 27-31, in St. Joseph, MO.

The Patriots enter the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid after finishing as the runner-up in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.  Two years ago, the Patriots won the regional title and advanced to the 2008 Division II World Series.

Carson-Newman was the runner-up in the South Atlantic Conference regular-season race and SAC Tournament.  The Lady Eagles are making their sixth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

FMU leads the all-time series 4-2, including a 4-3 win over the Lady Eagles in the 2008 NCAA Regional.

Lock Haven University is the two-time defending national champion.