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UH softball team to face Minnesota in NCAA tournament

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:28 a.m. HST, May 13, 2013

Next stop, Seattle.

The University of Hawaii softball team was placed in the regional hosted by Washington in the NCAA tournament bracket released Sunday.

The Rainbow Wahine, the Big West Conference champions, face Minnesota on Friday in their first game of the double-elimination regional.

Washington faces Portland State in the other first-round game on Friday.

The winner of the Seattle regional faces the survivor of the regional hosted by Missouri in next week's super regionals.

UH (43-11 overall, 20-4 Big West) clinched the Big West title and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on Friday. The team stayed in Stockton, Calif., after closing the regular season with a series sweep against Pacific on Saturday.

UH secured its 11th appearance in the NCAA tournament, and third in the last four years, by winning the Big West title and enters the tournament on a five-game winning streak.

UH's game against Minnesota (35-17, 14-6 Big Ten) will be the first meeting between the programs since 1990.

Host Washington (38-15, 16-8 Pac-12) is the tournament's 11th seed. UH split two games with the Huskies in the season-opening Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic. The Wahine beat the Huskies 5-2 on Feb. 8 and lost 3-1 in the tournament final the next day.

UH also played Portland State (25-29, 14-4 Big Sky) twice in the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in March and won both meetings.

The Wahine went to the Tucson, Ariz., regional last season and were eliminated in two games.

Oklahoma was given the overall top seed in the 64-team tournament, followed by Florida, Oregon, Texas and Arizona State.

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