NCAA softball: Big Sky champ Weber State to face Texas in first-round matchup; Utah and BYU fail to get at-large bids
BYU went 42-10 and tied LMU for the WCC championship, but the Lions got the league’s automatic bid into the Big Dance and the Cougars will miss the tourney for the first time since 2004
Despite winning a piece of the West Coast Conference title on Saturday, the BYU softball team will not be playing in the NCAA Softball Championships this year.
The Cougars (42-10) were hoping to get an at-large bid after sharing the title with Loyola Marymount, but were left out of the Big Dance for the first time since 2004. No tournament was held in 2020, due to COVID-19.
Loyola Marymount (36-15), which won its series 2-1 against BYU to earn the league’s automatic bid, will face Ole Miss (39-17) in the Los Angeles Regional. No. 5 seed UCLA faces Grand Canyon in the regional’s other first-round matchup on Friday.
Not having BYU in the field saved the NCAA from having to move the start date for one of the regionals up to Thursday so the Cougars could avoid playing on Sunday if they had advanced to a regional final.
BYU was a bubble team, with an RPI of 52.
Utah (27-27) was also hoping for an at-large bid after edging Oregon State 5-3 on Saturday and finishing 9-15 in the Pac-12, but the Utes did not hear their name called during the Selection Show on ESPN2 Sunday evening.
Utah’s RPI is 46; Both BYU vs. Utah games this season were canceled due to inclement weather.
However, one team from the Beehive State will be playing in the tournament.
Big Sky champion Weber State (38-10) earned that league’s automatic bid by dominating the conference tournament and is back in the NCAAs for the first time since 2019.
The Wildcats of Ogden will face Texas (38-17-1) on Friday in the Seattle Regional. Washington (35-15) is the No. 13 overall seed and will host Lehigh (30-18-1) in the nightcap Friday.
Weber State will be making its fifth NCAA appearance, having also played in 1973, 1974 and 1975 before winning its first-ever Big Dance game in 2019 against Cal State Fullerton.
Weber State’s RPI is 50.
The Wildcats went 13-1 in conference play and won all three of their Big Sky tournament games via the mercy rule, beating Idaho State 10-0 in five innings, Sacramento State 9-0 in five innings and Sacramento State 8-0 in five innings in the championship game in Ogden on Saturday.
Weber State has won eight straight games.
The Wildcats went 1-2 against Utah this season, losing 5-1 and 6-2 in Salt Lake City and beating the Utes 9-5 in Ogden.
BYU and Weber State did not meet this season.