The Utes are making their 12th NCAA Regional appearance.
May 18, 2004
At The Plate
The Utah softball team will make its 12th NCAA Regional appearance this weekend when it takes on No. 8 Stanford. The Utes, who drew the eighth seed for region seven, will face the No. 1 seeded Cardinal on their home field Thursday, May 20 beginning at 5:30 p.m. (PT).
Games Available For Viewing
The regional games will be available for viewing using Game Tracker. Go to the Utes' schedule page and click on the game you wish to view.
Previewing The Tournament
Game One No. 3 Fresno State (47-18) vs. No. 6 Southern Illinois (42-15) 10 a.m. Game Two No. 2 Auburn (42-15) vs. No. 7 Hofstra (34-19) 12:30 p.m. Game Three No. 4 Pacific (34-21) vs. No. 5 Southern Mississippi (32-24) 3 p.m. Game Four No. 1 Stanford (43-16) vs. No. 8 Utah (23-31) 5:30 p.m. Game Five Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 8 p.m.
Stanford is ranked No. 8 in the latest USA Today/NFCA poll, while Fresno State is No. 16. Southern Illinois also received votes, but failed to crack the top 25.
Utah Versus The Field
Utah has not played Stanford this season. However, Utah has faced Fresno State and Pacific. The Utes fell to then-No. 15 Fresno State 3-2 in the Clovis Auto Row Classic in Fresno, Calif., on March 13. Utah beat then-No. 22 Pacific 4-3 on April 23 at Ute Field. Utah was 1-13 against ranked opponents this season.
The Last Time Out
The Utes went 3-0 last week at the Mountain West Conference Tournament to win the league title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Utah opened the tourney with a 1-0 victory over UNLV on Friday. Later that day, the Utes upset No. 1 seed Colorado State 2-1 to advance to the championship game. On Saturday, Utah's Brianna Gourdin held the Aztecs scoreless en route to a 3-0 Ute victory. Gourdin was named MVP of the tournament, with her teammates Glennis Donnelly, Kate Nygaard and Jackie Wong also earning all-tournament team honors.
Quoting Head Coach Mona Stevens
On Winning The MWC Tournament
"Brianna Gourdin, who only gave up eight hits this weekend, was the reason our team played so loose," said Head Coach Mona Stevens. "I'm not at all surpised about this victory, as funny as that sounds. Our biggest frustration this season has been not playing up to our potential."
On The NCAA Regional Draw
"We're excited to be going to California because we have quite a few athletes from there," said Head Coach Mona Stevens. "Starting off with Stanford at Stanford is going to be quite a challenge. We are excited about the fact we've already played and beaten Pacific, along with having played Fresno State tough earlier this year. We're positive about our chances because of the bracket and because our athletes are playing well right now. We've already played several of the top teams and just need to stay on the roll we are on."