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AP photo by Colin E. Braley / Tennessee softball players huddle before a March 13 game against SEC foe Missouri. The Lady Vols will host an NCAA regional that starts Friday and includes Campbell, Ohio State and Oregon State.

For the 17th consecutive NCAA Division I softball tournament, there will be a Knoxville Regional.

The Tennessee Lady Volunteers are among the 16 host teams for this week's regionals, with coach Karen Weekly's program the No. 11 national seed for the 64-team event that will be whittled to 16 for super regionals the following week and trimmed to eight for the Women's College World Series that starts June 2 in Oklahoma City.

Tennessee is 39-16 overall and went 15-8 against Southeastern Conference competition in the regular season. Former Meigs County High School standout Ashley Rogers pitched the Lady Vols to a 1-0 victory in a 13-inning epic in their SEC tournament opener this past Thursday in Gainesville, Florida, but they lost 3-0 to Missouri in the quarterfinals the next day.

Missouri then lost 4-0 to Arkansas in the SEC title game, but both of those teams are among the league's five national seeds. Arkansas (44-9) is seeded fourth, Alabama (41-11) is sixth, Florida (43-16) is 14th and Missouri (36-20) is 15th, meaning they'll join the Lady Vols as regional hosts from the SEC.

Alabama's regional will include the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (29-25) — which won the Southern Conference tournament as a No. 3 seed — Murray State (40-16-1) and Stanford (36-19).

Other SEC teams in the bracket are Auburn (39-15) in the Clemson Regional, Georgia (40-16) in the Durham Regional, Kentucky (35-17) in the Blacksburg Regional, LSU (34-21) in the Tempe Regional, Mississippi State (33-24) in the Tallahassee Regional, Ole Miss (39-17) in the Los Angeles Regional and Texas A&M (29-26) in the Norman Regional.

All regionals follow a double-elimination format and start Friday, and the Lady Vols will be joined at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium by Campbell (37-17), Ohio State (35-15) and Oregon State (33-19). Ohio State faces Oregon State at 4 p.m. in the Knoxville opener, with the Campbell-Tennessee matchup the second of the day. Play is set to resume at noon Saturday, with the regional scheduled to finish Sunday.

It's the 18th consecutive and 19th overall NCAA tourney appearance for the Lady Vols, who will begin a quest for the program's eighth Women's College World Series appearance but first since 2015. Their best results were runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2013.

Oklahoma (49-2), which won last year's WCWS for the program's fifth national championship, is the No. 1 seed. Other regional hosts are No. 2 Florida State (52-5) — last year's runner-up — No. 3 Virginia Tech (41-7), No. 5 UCLA (43-8), No. 7 Oklahoma State (41-12), No. 8 Arizona State (39-9), No. 9 Northwestern (40-10), No. 10 Clemson (39-15), No. 12 Duke (41-8), No. 13 Washington (35-15) and No. 16 Central Florida (46-12).

Georgia Tech (37-16) is in the Gainesville Regional.

Compiled by Marty Kirkland. Contact him at mkirkland@timesfreepress.com.

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