INDIANAPOLIS -- Florida, the defending national champion, was named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship on Sunday when the NCAA Division I Softball Committee announced the 64-team field. The Gators will play Florida A&M, an automatic qualifier from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Thirty-two conferences were awarded an automatic qualification, while the remaining 32 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket. The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and will play at campus sites this weekend.
Team pairings were determined by geographic proximity, with the exception that teams from the same conference were not paired during regional competition.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) led all leagues with 11 teams selected to the championship tournament. The Pac-12 Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference each placed seven teams in the championship tournament, respectively. Seven teams are making their first appearance in the tournament: Binghamton, Central Arkansas, Fairfield, Indiana State, Pittsburgh, St. John’s (N.Y.) and Weber State.
Only 12 schools have been crowned the NCAA Division I softball champion since the tournament started in 1982, and 11 will compete in this year’s bracket.
The championship will be three weekends of competition. Four teams will participate at each of 16 campus sites in a double-elimination tournament.
The committee held selections for the 2015 NCAA Division I Softball Championship May 8-10. The 64-team field was selected from 295 NCAA Division I institutions sponsoring softball. Of the 64 teams, 32 teams received an automatic qualification with the remaining best 32 teams were selected on an at-large basis.
Regionals for the NCAA Division I Softball Championship will be held May 14-17 on 16 campus sites. At each campus site, a four-team, double-elimination tournament will be conducted and the 16 winning teams advance to the Super Regionals.
Super Regionals for the championship will be held May 21-24 on eight campus sites. At each site, two teams play in a best-of-three tournament format. The winners from each site advance to the NCAA women’s College World Series.
Florida won its first national championship, defeating the University of Alabama 6-3. It was the first time that two SEC teams met in the championship series.