CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marshall's softball team, fresh off its Conference USA tournament championship, will open its first NCAA tournament at Kentucky.The Wildcats (38-18), 12th-seeded in the 64-team tournament, host the four-team region, which also includes Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. The Marshall-UK game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, and is available online on ESPN3.
The teams played April 9 in Lexington, with the Wildcats coming away with a 4-3 win. The Herd had a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but UK took advantage of two errors and a won on a Ginny Carroll bases-loaded single. The Thundering Herd (35-20) came from the No. 4 seed to win the C-USA tournament last week in Tulsa, Okla. Pitcher Andi Williamson pitched 21 innings without an earned run, helping the Herd earn a 5-4 win over East Carolina, a 1-0 win over Alabama-Birmingham, and the nationally televised 3-1 triumph over Houston.
The Southeastern Conference has been the sport's powerhouse this spring, and is represented by seven seeded teams. The Eastern Division was particularly powerful - Kentucky was fifth of sixth teams and lost to a 10th-seed in the SEC tournament.