HOUSTON – The University of Houston softball program returns to Austin for a second-straight year and faces Auburn in the opening game of the NCAA Regional.
Houston (34-22) and Auburn (33-21) are scheduled to play May 18 at 7 p.m. at Red & Charline McCombs Field. Northwestern (27-27) and host No. 6 national seed Texas (42-10) make the up the four-team region. The winner of the Austin Regional will face the winner of the Eugene (Ore.) Regional in the NCAA Super Regional to play for the right to advance to the 2012 Women's CollegeWorld Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Last year, the Cougars went 3-0 in the Austin Regional posting two wins over Louisiana Lafayette and defeating No. 6 Texas to advance to the Super Regionals. This is the first time in the program’s 12th year to make the postseason in consecutive years and fifth time overall to qualify for postseason play.
Houston finished tied for third with Marshall and UCF in the Conference USA league play with a 15-9 record this year. As the No. 5 seed in C-USA Championships, Houston defeated UCF in the opening round before falling 4-3 in the semifinals to eventual champions Tulsa.
The matchup marks a first in program history between the Cougars and Tigers. Houston has never played Northwestern and trail Texas 4-15 in the all-time series including at 15-4 loss at home during the Striking Out Breast Cancer game this season.