By Shehan Jeyarajah
After finishing second in the Big 12, with a record of 42-13, Baylor softball earned the right to host the NCAA Regionals round of the softball NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. The No. 13-seeded Bears will host Northwestern State, Houston and Tulsa over May 16-18 at Getterman Stadium.
The four teams will play each other in a double-elimination tournament, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Houston advances the tournament after posting a 32-21 record in the American Athletic Conference. The Bears are 14-8 all-time against Houston, including splitting a double-header in Houston earlier this season.
Northwestern State reached the tournament after winning the Southland Conference Softball Championship and defeating No. 1 McNeese State 11-0 in the championship game. Baylor is 20-2 all-time against the Lady Demons.
Tulsa claimed its fourth Conference USA Championship to qualify for the tournament with a dominant 8-0 win over Marshall. Baylor is 6-1 all-time against the Golden Hurricane.
Baylor qualified for the tournament for the fourth straight season and eighth time under Baylor softball coach Glenn Moore. The Bears are 20-6 in first round tournament games, including 8-5 in games played in Waco.
Baylor will open against Northwestern State on Friday, and are expected to host Houston and Tulsa at a later time.