FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab
Rock softball team earns first-ever NCAA tournament berth
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Rock softball team will make its first-ever appearance in NCAA postseason competition later this week.
Division II Mid-Atlantic Regional competition in Kutztown and will meet second-seeded Bloomsburg (48-9) in first-round action at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. The Rock will then meet either third-seeded Kutztown (45-12) or sixth-seeded Shippensburg (27-25) in second-round action Thursday.
The loser of the Rock vs. Bloomsburg game returns at 11:30 a.m. Thursday to meet the loser of the Kutztown vs. Shippensburg game, while the winner of the Rock-Bloomsburg game and the winner of the Kutztown-Shippensburg game battle at 2 p.m.
All games involving The Rock are scheduled to be broadcast live via the Internet at www.rockathletics.com.
The eight-team, double-elimination regional tournament continues through Saturday with the regional champion advancing to the national tournament next week in Houston, Texas.
Defending national runner-up Lock Haven (43-6) is the top seed in the regional tournament and will face eighth-seeded Bowie State (25-12) in opening-round action at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
The other first-round game will pit fourth-seeded California University of Pennsylvania (26-16) against No. 5 West Chester (31-20) at 4:30 p.m.
Not only is The Rock making a first-ever appearance in NCAA postseason competition, the Green and White is also making its first postseason appearance of any kind since 1984, when SRU competed in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoffs.
SRU's last trip to regional competition was in 1982, when the Green and White won the EAIAW (Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) regional title and earned a berth in the AIAW national tournament. That was the third straight EAIAW regional title and AIAW national berth earned by SRU. The Rock placed fifth in both the 1980 and 1981 national tournaments.
The Rock set a school record for wins this spring as it bettered the 2007 mark of 26 by one win. This is the fourth consecutive season in which SRU has won 20 or more games and only the sixth time a Rock team has reached that milestone since softball became an intercollegiate varsity sport at SRU in 1977.
The Rock is 4-7 against this year's regional field (4-0 vs. Bowie State, 1-3 vs. California, 0-4 vs. Lock Haven).
Fifth-year Rock head coach Vashion Johnson owns a 112-107 career record and ranks second on SRU's all-time wins chart.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.