From University of Rochester Athletics
The University of Rochester's foray into the 2016 NCAA Division III Softball Championships will keep the Yellowjackets about as close to home as they can get without playing on their own field.
Rochester will play in a three-team regional at St. John Fisher College on Friday and Saturday, May 13-14. The third team in the pod is Penn State-Behrend. St. John Fisher earned a Pool C (at-large) bid to the NCAA playoffs. The Cardinals lost to Ithaca College in the Empire 8 playoffs over the weekend.
Penn State-Behrend received a Pool A (automatic) bid by winning the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title. The Lions defeated D'Youville College in the championship game.
Rochester clinched its Pool A bid on Saturday by sweeping Skidmore College in the Liberty League playoffs at Southside Field.
Ticket prices and game times will be announced later this week.
The NCAA selected a total of 62 teams for the playoffs – 43 automatic qualifiers and 19 at-large teams. There are 14 four-team pods and two three-team pods. The other three-team group (besides this one) is at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. CNU is hosting Ferrum College of Virginia and Messiah College of Harrisburg, PA.
Rochester has played five of the teams selected for the NCAA tournament: Emory University and Washington University in the UAA Championship Tournament in Florida in March, St. John Fisher, Ithaca, and SUNY Cortland since coming north.
Penn State-Behrend enters the tournament on a hot streak. The Lions are 27-11 overall and were 4-0 in the AMCC playoffs. PSU-Behrend has won 16 of its last 17. Since mid-April, the Lions are 22-2. There are no common opponents between PSU-Behrend and Rochester.
St. John Fisher will carry a 33-10 record into the NCAA tournament. Both of SJFC's losses in the Empire 8 playoffs came against Ithaca College. Rochester and St. John Fisher split a doubleheader in Pittsford in late March. Fisher won, 1-0, in the opener. Rochester took the nitecap, 6-4.
In addition to their games against each other, Rochester and Fisher have played six common opponents this season: Utica, Brockport, RIT, Cortland, Nazareth, and Ithaca.
There is a brief NCAA playoff history between Rochester and the two opponents this weekend. Rochester played PS-Behrend in an NCAA Regional at Ithaca College on May 9, 2008 and won, 11-0. UR faced St. John Fisher in a 2012 regional at Eastern Connecticut State University with the Cardinals wining, 8-5. That proved to be the third meeting of the season between the foes that year. They split a doubleheader at Rochester in mid-March.
Rochester has played PSU-Behrend four times, starting in 2001 in Cocoa Beach, FL. Three of the four games have come in Florida during spring training trips. UR has won three of the four games. PSU-Behrend won the inaugural, 14-10, in Cocoa Beach, FL. Rochester and Fisher have a much lengthier rivalry – dating back to 1998, Rochester's inaugural season of softball. St. John Fisher won 14 of the first 15 games and holds a 27-16 series lead heading into the NCAA tournament.