The 2011 Big South Champion Liberty Lady Flames, who received an automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Division I Softball Championship, have been selected to participate in the Knoxville Regional this upcoming weekend.
The Lady Flames will first face Tennessee, the championship's overall No. 14 seed, in the first round on Friday. Also at the Knoxville Regional will be Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech. Liberty (30-28) will be competing in its first NCAA Regional since 2002. The Lady Flames claimed the Big South Championship on Saturday, defeating No. 1 seed Radford, 3-1, in the title game. Arizona State University was named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship when the 64-team field was announced on ESPNU this evening. Senior Tiffani Smith held the No. 1 seed Highlanders to just four hits in the game, a day after tossing her second career no-hitter to eliminate No. 7 Winthrop. The right-hander was named the 2011 Big South Championship Most Valuable Player. The Lady Vols (47-10) are coming off of an exciting SEC Championship game, where Shelby Burchell hit a solo home run in the of the eighth inning to clinch the title over Georgia. Liberty was scheduled to face Tennessee during the regular season, but the March 8 contest was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Lady Flames made the trip to Knoxville, but a heavy rain came through right at game time. The 20th-ranked Oklahoma State softball team closed out the regular season with a 3-1 loss to No. 16 Nebraska earlier this afternoon. The Cowgirls are 37-17 on the season and where 8-10 in Big 12 play. Georgia Tech (44-10) will make its 10th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Yellow Jackets won the ACC regular season title, but were upset by Virginia in the first round of the conference tournament on Friday night. The winner of the Knoxville Regional will match up with the winner of the Austin Regional which features No. 3 seed Texas, Texas State, Houston and Louisiana-Lafayette in the Super Regionals.
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