Poly to open tournament in Utah

Cal Poly’s softball team will travel to Provo, Utah, for its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance at the Division I level.

The Mustangs (39-15) learned their tournament fate Sunday. The Big West Conference champion Mustangs will open regional play Thursday against Mountain West Conference champion and host school BYU (41-18). Cal Poly split two games against the Cougars during the regular season.

Joining Cal Poly and BYU at the regional are Arizona State (49-15) and Southern Utah (29-29). Arizona State, the No. 7 overall seed and Pac-10 runnerup this season, is led by former San Luis Obispo High pitching star Katie Burkhart.

Sixty-four teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament, including five from the Big West. One team will emerge from the Provo Regional, which runs Thursday through Saturday, to the Super Regionals on May 25-26. The eight Super Regional winners advance to the College World Series, which is May 31-June 6 in Oklahoma City.

For more on Cal Poly’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, see the print edition of Monday’s Tribune.