May 13, 2012
2012 NCAA Championship Bracket
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The `Cats are back! Buoyed by the nation's No. 1-ranked nonconference strength of schedule and wins in eight of its last nine games to reach eligibility, Northwestern has earned a bid into the 2012 NCAA Championship field.
Northwestern will travel to the Austin Regional to face host and No. 6 overall seed Texas in the opening round at 4 p.m. CT Friday, May 18. The game will be televised on the Longhorn Network. Auburn and Houston are the other two teams in NU's four-team region. The winner of the Austin Region will face the winner of the Eugene Regional featuring host Oregon, Portland State, Mississippi State and BYU.
"Our postseason began six games ago when we traveled to Michigan State needing to win out," head coach Kate Drohan said. "Over the last month this team has really matured and we are excited to get down to Austin and take the field again together."
Northwestern completed the regular season with a 27-27 overall record, sweeping Big Ten series against both Michigan State and Illinois to finish the year and gain the .500 record necessary for an NCAA postseason bid. The six-game winning streak culminated in a 10-2 (6) run-rule victory over Illinois on Senior Day Saturday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
NU recorded wins over No. 8 seed Texas A&M and No. 9 seed Missouri during the year while playing seven total games against the top 16 seeds and 18 total games against the other 63 teams in the field -- all of them nonconference foes.
Northwestern is making its 13th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its eighth in the 11-year Drohan era. NU had won its Region four times and made two trips to the Women's College World Series under Drohan, compiling a 25-17 all-time record in NCAA play.
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