May 13, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. -
Big West Conference softball champion Long Beach State will open NCAA Tournament play on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the Tempe Regional at Arizona State where the 49ers will meet Syracuse in the opening game.
The 49ers enter the double elimination regional with a 28-23 record, while Syracuse is 40-14. No. 3 Arizona State and LIU-Brooklyn will meet in the other game on Friday. LBSU faced LIU-Brooklyn earlier this season in Cathedral City, Calif., losing to the Blackbirds 5-2.
Long Beach State holds a 3-0 advantage over Syracuse in the all-time series. The 49ers last faced the Orange on March 8, 2009, when LBSU picked up a 3-0 win in Long Beach. Long Beach State also has a 12-3 win over SU on Feb. 10, 2007 and a 15-2 victory on March 11, 2006.
The 49ers have faced Arizona State (46-7) 29 times since 1982 with the Sun Devils holding a 17-11-1 lead in the series. It's the second straight season Long Beach State will travel to Tempe for the NCAA Regional, with ASU, the eventual national champion, handing LBSU a 8-0 defeat in the winner's bracket game on day two of the regional. LIU-Brooklyn (25-33) and Long Beach State have played twice, including this year's game, with LBSU winning the first matchup 5-1 on Feb. 27, 2010.
Long Beach State will be making its 21st appearance in an NCAA Regional Tournament, and the fourth in the Kim Sowder era. In addition to last year's Tempe Regional, where LBSU went 1-2, the 49ers appeared in the Los Angeles Regional at UCLA in 2009 where they finished 1-2 and at the Iowa Regional in 2008 where LBSU finished 1-2.
The 49ers last won a regional tournament in 1993 when they finished 3-1 at the California Regional and advanced to the College World Series with a 2-1 win over the Golden Bears. LBSU is 24-34 all-time in NCAA Regional Tournaments.
The link with all the times, ticket buying links and prices for NCAA softball in Tempe this weekend are available here...
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