Dixie State softball headed to Monterey Bay for NCAA Tournament

File photo from Dixie State University vs. Montana State University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 6, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State softball team was hoping to host a subregional in the upcoming NCAA Division II Tournament being held later this week. The Trailblazers needed to finish in the top two of the West Region to be assured playing at home. They hit that mark in late April. Yet, despite the only team in the top 10 of the West Region to win out since that ranking, the Blazers still dropped two spots to No. 4 for the NCAA Tournament.

Dixie State will travel to Monterey Bay in California to play in its subregional. The Blazers will face the No. 5-seeded Sonoma State Seawolves in the first game of their bracket. SSU finished fifth in the CCAA and was another at-large selection. Game time is scheduled for noon Pacific Time on Thursday.

“Sonoma State always has a good team,” said Dixie State head coach Randy Simkins. “We faced them in the Super Regional two years ago. They are always solid on defense and very quick on the bases. They don’t put up big numbers offensively, but they have good slappers that can get around the bases in a hurry. And they have benefited this year from good, timely hitting.”

Dixie State’s Janessa Bassett (1), file photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

If the Blazers advance, they will play the winner between No. 1 seed CSU-Monterey Bay and No. 8 seed Western Washington.

“It doesn’t matter where you are seeded,” said Simkins. “If you are invited to the tournament, you are a very good team. We will have to play well against everyone. We closed well with our pitching and defense. We need to continue that into the tournament.”

The subregionals are double-elimination brackets for four teams. The two winners of the subregionals will then meet for a super regional, where the first team to win two games will be crowned West Region champion.

The eight region champions will then travel to Salem, Va., and play at the Moyer Sports Complex for the NCAA Softball College World Series Championship May 25-29. Dixie State has played in two of the last four College World Series, finishing second in the nation two years ago.

“Obviously we would have rather been hosting,” said Dixie State Assistant Coordinator for Media Relations Keric Seegmiller. “But we like our draw. The two hottest teams, Cal Baptist and Humboldt State, are in the other bracket.”

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