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UK softball earns 12th overall seed, will host NCAA Tournament regional

Kelsey Nunley pitched as UK softball played the University of Florida on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Photo by Mark Ashley
Kelsey Nunley pitched as UK softball played the University of Florida on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Photo by Mark Ashley Herald-Leader

Kentucky's softball team earned the 12th overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host a regional for the first time in school history. The Cats (38-18) will open against Marshall (35-20) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at John Cropp Stadium.

The double-elimination regional's other opening pairing has Virginia Tech (35-19) playing Notre Dame (43-13) at 5 p.m. Friday. All Lexington regional games will be broadcast online at ESPN3.com. The regional will continue Saturday with the championship game scheduled for Sunday.

"After the crowds we had this week for the SEC Tournament, I know the Big Blue Nation is going to come out in droves to provide us with a home-field advantage," Coach Rachel Lawson said. "Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Marshall are three very good teams that present a lot of challenges. We are going to work hard this week in practice to get ready to go Friday night."

All-session passes will be available to purchase at 9 a.m. Monday. Reserved seats (age 2 and up) are $30. General admission (age 2 and up) are $20. The passes will be available for purchase online at UKathletics.com, in person at the Joe Craft Center ticket office or by phone at 1-800-928-2287.

Single-session passes will go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday based on availability.

■ Louisville earned the 15th overall seed and will host IPFW on Friday. UAB will face UCLA in the other matchup in that regional.

■ Western Kentucky, in the tournament for the first time in school history, will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to play South Carolina Upstate in its NCAA opener at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Host Alabama, the 10th overall seed, will play Jacksonville State at 7 p.m.

■ Oklahoma (47-4) earned the top overall seed.

■ Eleven Southeastern Conference schools made it into the field. Besides Kentucky and Alabama, there was Florida (seeded second overall), Missouri (sixth), Tennessee (seventh), LSU (ninth), Texas A&M (16th), Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi State and South Carolina.

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