OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- With a pair of wins over 12th-seeded Stanford the 5th-seeded Aggies punched their ticket to their second consecutive NCAA Women’s College World Series May 29-June 4 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Texas A&M will take on Virginia Tech in opening round action Thursday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.
The winner will advance to play the winner of top-seeded Florida and Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday at 6 p.m. The loser will face the loser of the Florida and ULL game on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Virginia Tech (49-17) posted back-to-back victories over Michigan in the Ann Arbor Regional on Sunday earning its first ever trip to the WCWS. With their backs against the wall after falling 1-0 to the Wolverines in game one on Saturday, the Hokies defeated the Wolverines 1-0 with a 15-strikeout performance by pitcher Angela Tincher in game two. Tech then pounded out seven hits to secure a 6-1 victory in the final game of the best-of-three series.
A&M (54-7), behind the strong arm of Megan Gibson and hot-hitting Aggie bats, defeated Stanford, 6-1 and 9-4, to clench its second-consecutive, seventh overall trip to the WCWS.
Gibson registered her 37th and 38th victories on the season working 14 complete innings in the circle, fanning 11 Cardinal hitters and walking five. The two-time All-American has recorded double-digit strikeouts in 14 games this season, including four of her last five outings.
The Aggie offense exploded for 20 hits on the weekend with five different Aggies posting multi-hit games. Holly Ridley and Erin Glasco each went 4-for-7 at the plate, combining for eight of the Aggies’ 15 runs.
Thursday’s match-up will mark the first ever meeting between the Aggies and Hokies.
Gibson and Tech’s ace Tincher were two of the three remaining finalists for USA Softball’s National Player of the Year award. During opening ceremonies on Tuesday night, Tincher was announced as the sixth pitcher in a row to win the nation’s top honor.
The remaining six members of the eight-team field include No. 3 seed Alabama, No. 7 seed Arizona, No. 6 seed Arizona State, No. 1 seed Florida, Louisiana-Lafayette and No. 2 seed UCLA.
Alabama (56-6) swept its two game series against Missouri, 6-1 and 7-1, in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional to earn its fifth trip to the Women's College World Series.
The Aggies are 0-3 all-time against Alabama. The two teams last met in 2005 in the College Station Super Regional. Alabama defeated the host Aggies 4-1 and 6-5 to advance to the WCWS.
Arizona (41-17) advanced to its 20th WCWS after posting 3-1 and 5-2 wins in its best-of-three series with Oklahoma in the Tucson Super Regional. The Wildcats claimed their eighth overall and second consecutive NCAA Championship in 2007 marking the third time in program history that UA has won back-to-back titles, as well as just the fifth occurrence in Division I Softball history for a program to win consecutive national championships.
A&M is 8-23 all-time against Arizona including a 3-2 win over the then top-ranked Wildcats earlier this year at the Kajikawa Classic.
Arizona State (61-5) earned its third consecutive trip to the WCWS after defeating Northwestern 3-1 and 9-0 in the Tempe Super Regional.
The Aggies are 5-10 all-time against the Sun Devils. ASU posted a 5-3 victory over A&M in the last meeting between the two schools at the Kia Classic in Fullerton, Calif. in 2004.
After defeating Cal with a pair of 4-2 wins in the Gainesville Super Regional and tying a NCAA record for wins in a season the Florida Gators (67-3) are making their first ever appearance in the WCWS.
A&M is 2-1 all-time against Florida. The two teams met for the first time last year in the College Station Super Regional with A&M winning the best-of-three series with a pair of 2-0 wins.
Louisiana-Lafayette earned its fifth trip to the Women’s College World Series and its first since 2003 after defeating Houston 6-4 and 4-0 in the Houston Super Regional.
The all-time series between the Aggies and Cajuns is tied at 11-11. The two schools split their two games at the Aggie Classic earlier this season with A&M winning the first meeting 1-0 and the Cajuns’ taking the second 2-1 in extra innings.
UCLA is making its 23rd appearance in the Women’s College World Series. Since the inception of the NCAA in 1982 the Bruins have been absent just three times from the WCWS. UCLA was not selected to the NCAA tournament field in 1986, was ineligible in 1998 and was eliminated in regionals last season. The Bruins have won 11 NCAA Championships, including consecutive titles on three different occasions.
A&M is 6-8 all-time against the Bruins. The two teams last met in 2007 when A&M defeated a then third-ranked UCLA 5-4 in its undefeated run through the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.