The 2011 NCAA softball tournament bracket was announced on Sunday night. The Michigan softball team found out it is the 10th overall seed in the tournament, which means it will get to host one of the 16 regionals set to take place this upcoming weekend.
Michigan's regional includes Western Michigan, Kentucky and Notre Dame. The Wolverines, which went 51-4 during the regular season, will take on the 25-28 Western Michigan Broncos. Kentucky will play Notre Dame, which is making its fourth straight appearance in the Ann Arbor Regional. Each of the last three years Notre Dame has played Michigan in the NCAA softball tournament and has lost, and the last two years Notre Dame has lost to the Wolverines twice.
The format for the opening regionals in the NCAA softball tournament is double-elimination. If Michigan wins its regional, the Wolverines will move on to the Super Regional round next weekend. Although Michigan is only a No. 10 seed and could face No. 7 California in the Super Regional round, the Wolverines would play host to the series next weekend because California can't host. The Super Regional is a best two out of three format with the winner advancing to the Women's College World Series.
Michigan's entire regional will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. Friday's game at 5:30 p.m. between Notre Dame and Kentucky will be on ESPN2. Michigan's game against WMU later that night at 8 p.m. will be on ESPN. The rest of the schedule will depend on which teams win and lose on Friday.