Notre Dame softball: Irish headed West for tourney

Staff reports
ND Insider

After finishing with 17 wins in its last 20 games and reaching the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament final, the Notre Dame softball team has earned an at-large bid to the 2014 NCAA Championship.

The No. 20 Irish (39-11) were selected to play in the Los Angeles Regional. Notre Dame faces Long Beach State Friday at 6 p.m. (ET) on ESPN3. Also in the region are host UCLA and Southern Utah.

Notre Dame has qualified for the NCAA Championship 19 times in 26 seasons, including each of the past 16 national tournaments. Head coach Deanna Gumpf has directed the Irish to NCAA Regional appearances in each of her 13 seasons at the helm of the program.

Notre Dame posted a 16-5 record in its first ACC season, finishing second to tournament champion Florida State for the conference regular-season championship.

The Irish closed the regular season ranked among the top five teams nationally in batting average, doubles, doubles per game and runs scored per game.