The University of Scranton softball team will play in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 1983 on Friday, as the Royals will travel south to top-ranked and two-time defending National Champion Virginia Wesleyan for the Regional Round. In their first game, the Royals will take on the host Marlins at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Virginia Beach, Va.
Scranton, who finished the season with a 32-13 record, qualified for the field of 62 after winning three games in one day at the Landmark Conference Championships this past Saturday, en route to the program's first ever Landmark Conference title. The conference title was also the first for Scranton since winning the MAC Northern Division in 1991.
The other two teams making the trip to Virginia Wesleyan (41-4) are Lynchburg (32-12) and 15th-ranked Manhattanville (40-2). Lynchburg and Manhattanville will also play on Friday at a time to be announced.
To view the full bracket for the 2019 NCAA Division III Softball Championships, click here.
On Friday, the Royals will face a stern test in the host Marlins of Virginia Wesleyan, as they finished the regular season with a 41-4 overall mark. Posting an 18-2 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), the Marlins captured the ODAC Championship to earn an automatic bid into the field in defense of their two-time National Championship.
Scranton earned the right to go to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 36 years after a banner performance at the Landmark Conference Championships over the weekend that saw the team beat then 10th-ranked Moravian twice on their own field, before knocking off Susquehanna in back-to-back games in the championship series by scores of 5-2 and 7-2.
Earning MVP honors for Scranton in the Landmark Championships was sophomore Meaghan Dowdell (Parlin, N.J./Old Bridge), who tossed back-to-back complete games in the championship series against Susquehanna to improve her record on the year in the pitching circle to 18-5 overall.
More information will be posted on this weekend's NCAA Division III Softball Regionals at Virginia Wesleyan as it becomes available on athletics.scranton.edu. Fans are also reminded to follow Scranton Athletics on Twitter @RoyalAthletics, as well.