CARBONDALE -- For the 13th time in program history, the Southern Illinois University softball team is going dancing. The Salukis found out their placement during tonight's selection show on ESPN2.
Joining SIU (37-14) in the Tempe Regional will be Arizona State (32-14), Virginia Tech (33-13) and BYU (36-15). The double-elimination regional starts Thursday, May 20 through Saturday, May 22.
The Salukis will open against the Arizona State Sun Devils on Thursday, May 20 at 9 p.m. CDT in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State went 32-14 this season and finished fourth in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils were selected to host after they finished with the No. 14 RPI and tallied 13 Top-50 wins, including eight against Top-25 teams.
Thursday's matchup between the Sun Devils and Salukis will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two programs. The Sun Devils took the first-ever meeting between the two programs- 10-2 on March 17, 1982. Three years later, SIU got revenge with a 2-0 extra inning win. The two squads most recently met in 2006, when the No. 10 Sun Devils eeked out a 2-0 win over the Salukis on March 11.
SIU will make its third NCAA Regional appearance in five years after a regular season in which it finished with a No. 45 RPI and totaled 11 top-100 wins, which included a 6-5 extra inning win over No. 29 RPI Mississippi State on Feb. 21. Southern's 37 wins are its most in a single-season since 2010.