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Four-time Summit League tournament champion North Dakota State (37-20) opens NCAA Division I Softball tournament play vs. 13th-seed and eight-time national champion Arizona (35-17) at 7 p.m. Friday.
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Courtesy: Bob Nelson
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Bison Softball Heads to Tucson for Fourth Straight NCAA Tournament Appearance

Courtesy: NDSU Athletic Media Relations
Release: May 15, 2012

Complete release attached

Four-time Summit League tournament champion North Dakota State University (37-20) will open NCAA Division I Softball tournament play against 13th-seed and eight-time national champion University of Arizona (35-17) at 7 p.m. (Central) Friday, May 18, in Tucson, Ariz. ... The Wildcats have 23 regional titles under head coach Mike Candrea ... The NCAA Tucson Regional will be nationally-televised on ESPNU/ESPN3 with Pam Ward and Michele Smith describing the action ... Notre Dame (38-14) plays Hawai'i (44-7) at 4:30 p.m. in Friday's first game ... North Dakota State is 3-6 in NCAA Division I tournament play ... NDSU is making its 11th appearance overall with a 27-21 record ... It's the fourth straight season North Dakota State travels to a Pac-12 school in NCAA tournament play -- Arizona State (2009 Super Regional), Washington (2010 Seattle Regional) and Arizona State (2011 Tempe Regional) ... North Dakota State is 2-7 against teams that have advanced to the NCAA tournament this season -- Alabama (0-2), Arizona State (0-1), Baylor (0-1), Coastal Carolina (1-1), Florida State (0-1), Long Beach State (1-0) and Texas A&M (0-1) ... Here's the tournament schedule:

NCAA Tucson Regional
(Hillenbrand Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.)
All times converted to Central
Friday, May 18
Game 1--Hawai'i vs. Notre Dame, 4:30 p.m.
Game 2--13th-seed Arizona vs. North Dakota State, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 19
Game 3--Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 5 p.m.
Game 4--Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5--Winner G4 vs. Loser G3, 10 p.m.
Sunday, May 20
Game 6--Winner G3 vs. Winner G5, 4:30 p.m.
*Game 7--Loser G6 vs. Winner G6, 7 p.m.
*If needed
Tucson Regional Winner advances to play winner of Norman Regional

Ticket Information
Visit the McKale Ticket Office, or call 520-621-CATS to purchase tickets ... Ticket prices are as follows: $27 and $21 for all sessions for reserved and general admission, respectively ... Single game prices are $10 for reserved seating and $8 for general admission.

The Series
North Dakota State is 0-4 against Arizona ... The Bison lost 10-0, 9-2 and 12-0 at the Wildcat Invitational in February 2009 and 6-0 to the Wildcats at the 2010 Arizona State Kajikawa Classic ... The Bison are 2-16 vs. current members of the Pac-12 (Arizona State 0-4, Cal 0-2, Oregon 0-1, Stanford 0-2, UCLA 0-2, Utah 2-0, Washington 0-1) ... North Dakota State split a doubleheader at Notre Dame on April 22, 2009 ... The Bison won the first game 2-1 on a Brea Konz two-run single in the seventh inning, and the Fighting Irish defeated NDSU 5-0 in the second game ... The Bison are 2-3 vs. current members of the Big East (Providence 1-0, Syracuse 0-1, South Florida 0-1) ... This would be the first meeting between North Dakota State and Hawai'i ... The Bison are 6-8 vs. current members of the Western Athletic Conference (BYU 0-1, Fresno State 0-1, Nevada 0-3, New Mexico State 1-0, San Jose State 3-1, Utah State 2-2).

Quickly Around The Horn
Seniors Brea Konz, Taylor Mortensen and Randi Parks are making their fourth NCAA tournament appearance ... In the NCAA statistics released May 14, Krista Menke is 16th in shutouts (10), and Whitney Johnson is 21st in hits allowed (4.52 avg/7) ... Junior righthander Whitney Johnson tossed the first no-hitter of her career vs. UMKC on April 21 ... Johnson struck out 10 and walked two ... It was NDSU's second no-hitter of the season and the 22nd in the program's history ... Freshman infielder/catcher Amanda Grable tied a school single-game record with two home runs at IUPUI (3-16-12) in North Dakota State's 11-0 second-game win ... The record had been tied 13 times previously by eight different athletes, the last Melissa Chmielewski vs. Jackson State (2-13-09) ... Grable had a team-high 10-game hitting streak ... Senior Taylor Mortensen's grand slam at IUPUI (3-16-12) was the program's first since Melissa Chmielewski vs. Drexel (2-25-10) ... Mortensen leads the team hitting .391 with runners in scoring position and 16 two-out RBI ... Senior Cristina Borek hit a grand slam in the fourth inning against Oakland (3-24-12) ... Whitney Johnson recorded a career-high with 19 strikeouts in the 3-1 win over Toledo (2-9-12) ... Lindsey Graham set the previous record with 16 vs. Oklahoma City (3-8-03) ... Johnson has seven double-figure strikeout games this season and 25 in her career ... Johnson has five shutouts this season and has 25 in her career ... Johnson has three one-hitters this season and 16 in her career ... With 727 career strikeouts, Johnson is one of NDSU three pitchers to record over 700 ... Freshman pitcher Krista Menke's no-hitter vs. Liberty (3-10-12) was the program's 21st overall and the first since Andi Padilla's five-inning effort vs. UMKC on March 21, 2009 ... Padilla had a seven-inning diamond gem vs. Creighton on March 18, 2009 ... Menke reached double-figure strikeouts for the first time in her career with 11 vs. IPFW (3-30-12) ... Menke has 10 shutouts and nine two-hitters this season ... Senior utility player Katie Tamayo had a pair of doubles in a game for the second time this season in the first game at Texas-Arlington (3-14-10) ... Tamayo was named College Sports Summit League Player of the Week on March 26 ... Outfielder Taylor Mortensen and pitcher Whitney Johnson were named to the Easton Bama Bash all-tournament team ... Mortensen hit .375 (6-16) with two home runs, a pair of doubles, three runs scored and five RBI ... Mortensen led off the Alabama (2-25-12) and East Carolina (2-26-12) games with a home run ... Johnson compiled a 1.57 ERA with one shutout, 26 strikeouts and 12 walks in 22.1 innings pitched at Alabama ... With the 6-4 12-inning loss to UMKC on April 22, the Bison are 3-3 this season and 35-25 in extra innings under head coach Darren Mueller since 2002 ... The 12-inning game was the longest played at the Ellig Sports Complex and tied the program's record for the longest game, set three times previously ... North Dakota State is 48-46 overall in extra innings overall ... Collectively, the Bison are hitting .260 with a 2.16 earned run average and is fielding at .967 ... NDSU opponents are hitting .190 with a 3.40 ERA and fielding at .964 ... The Bison are averaging 4.11 runs scored per game, while opponents are averaging 2.70 ... The big inning has been the sixth for North Dakota State with 47 runs scored ... The Bison are 30-1 when leading after six innings.

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