After winning their second Colonial Athletic Association championship, the James Madison softball team is traveling to the University of Kentucky to play in the Lexington Regional in the NCAA Tournament opening round. The Dukes take on DePaul in its opening game on Friday, May 16 at 5 p.m. in the Bluegrass State.
Joining the Dukes and Blue Demons in Lexington are regional site-host Kentucky and Ohio in the double elimination bracket.
JMU is the CAA Champion after posting a school record 44 wins as it enters postseason play with a 44-13 mark. Madison swept through the CAA tournament, winning all three games at Veterans Memorial Park. It knocked off Towson in the championship game, 4-0, to earn the league's automatic berth.
This is the Dukes third appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their second consecutive showing. Last year, they went 1-2 in the Knoxville Regional at the University of Tennessee, beating Longwood 5-0 while dropping two tight games against North Carolina State. Overall, they are 1-4 in NCAA play.
JMU owns a 4-0 record all-time against opponents in their regional, going 2-0 against both DePaul and Ohio. Madison has faced the Blue Demons in each of the last two season, beating them 3-1 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla., earlier this season and 7-5 at that same tournament a year ago. Both meetings between JMU and Ohio occurred in 2004. The Dukes beat the Bobcats 7-0 and 6-2 in tournament games played at East Carolina University. They have never faced the University of Kentucky.
The Lexington Regional is paired with the UCLA Regional for Super Regional competition. The winner of the bracket between Kentucky, JMU, DePaul and Ohio faces the winner of UCLA, Notre Dame, Long Beach St. and Southern Utah.
Hofstra received an at-large bid, giving the CAA two bids for the second consecutive season.