May 12, 2002

NCAA Region 6 Bracket in PDF Format
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 20 Ohio State softball team, one day removed from taking second place in the Big Ten tournament held at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Mich., found out Sunday evening it will make a return trip to the home of the Wolverines when the NCAA Region 6 tournament begins Thursday at the University of Michigan. The third-seeded Buckeyes (53-12) will face No. 4 seed Central Michigan (38-14) in the third game of the tournament following games pitting No. 1 seed Washington (43-16) against No. 6 seed Oakland (24-35-1) in the opener and No. 2 Michigan (46-9) against No. 5 Canisius (33-14) in the second contest. The regional event runs Thursday through Sunday with the winner advancing to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., May 23-27

“Our first feeling was relief,” Linda Kalafatis, OSU head coach, said. “Then our thoughts turned to what we needed to do to get ready for the teams we could face, but at this point in the year, you just hope you can play well that weekend. Central Michigan has made the tournament four years in a row and have a lot of experience in this situation. The fact that we have some familiarity with several of the teams in the region is good. We have played Michigan and Oakland this year and that works to our benefit. We just have to go out there and beat the team we are playing and take it one game at a time.”

The Buckeyes and the Mid-America Conference tournament champion Chippewas have faced off twice with CMU holding a 2-0 advantage in the series. The Buckeyes fell, 6-0, in the last meeting between the schools in a contest played at the Capital Classic in Sacramento, Calif., March 19, 1998. The other loss was a 1-0 CMU decision in 1982 at the AIWA National Tournament. Game times will be released once Michigan and the NCAA finalize the schedule for Alumni Field.

OSU will practice Monday and Tuesday at Buckeye Field (weather permitting) and travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday. Members of the media wishing to conduct interviews with the team will have the opportunity to do so at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

NCAA Region 6
Alumni Field, Ann Arbor, Mich.
May 16-19

No. 1 seed Washington (43-16)
No. 2 seed *Michigan (46-9)
No. 3 seed Ohio State (53-12)
No. 4 seed Central Michigan (38-14)
No. 5 seed Canisius (33-14)
No. 6 seed Oakland (24-35-1)
* indicates host institution