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U of A in NCAA Softball Regional

Posted at 10:46 PM, May 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 01:46:17-04
Arizona softball will begin its postseason road in Tennessee, where it compete in the Knoxville Regional, along with the host Volunteers, Ohio State and Marist. Arizona opens up the regional vs. Ohio State on Friday at 1:30 MST on ESPNU.
The Wildcats' postseason appearance marks Arizona's 30th straight selection. The 30 consecutive seasons marks the longest active streak and ties Fresno State for the longest streak in the sport's history. Arizona has been invited to postseason play every season since 1987, head coach Mike Candrea's second year on campus.
Arizona will hit the road for NCAA Regionals for the 12th time and first time since 2013. 
The Cats open the event on Friday, May 20 vs. Ohio State, an at-large selection from the Big Ten. The Buckeyes went 33-18-1 (13-9-1 Big Ten) in 2016. A win would likely mean a rematch with the regional host Tennessee; Arizona defeated the Volunteers 1-0 on Feb. 27 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Tennessee finished the season 41-14 (16-7 SEC). 
The Wildcats finished the regular season 36-19 (13-11 Pac-12). UA is led by a dominant pitching staff that finished second in the Pac-12 in ERA (2.73). Danielle O'Toole leads the conference in victories (22) and is third with a 2.14 ERA. Offensively, the Wildcats are led by a very productive top-half of the order that includes the Pac-12 co-leader in home runs - Katiyana Mauga (20) - and Mo Mercado, who leads the team with a .387 average.
Arizona has advanced out of 26 of the 29 regionals since 1987 and owns an 85-10 record in the round overall. Arizona has advanced to the super regional round in 10 of the 11 seasons since they began in 2005.