May 6, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. - With regular-season play completed Sunday, the bracket for the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship is set. The three-day event begins Thursday, May 10, and concludes Saturday, May 12. North Carolina, which will host the event at Anderson Stadium in Chapel Hill, enters the championship as the No. 1 seed after wrapping up its first regular-season title since 2008 and third overall.
Fans unable to attend the event can watch the action as all seven games will be televised. Thursday’s and Friday’s games will be split between the league’s regional sports network and ESPN3, and the championship game on Saturday will be on ESPN. Live statistics will be available throughout the event on the championship website.
North Carolina (40-12, 13-4) grabbed the top seed in the tournament by taking two of three at Boston College (23-29, 3-18) in the final weekend of the regular season. The Tar Heels will get a rematch with the Eagles in the first round of the tournament at 5 p.m. on Thursday. North Carolina won its only conference championship in 2001 under head coach Donna Papa, while Boston College will be looking for its first title since joining the league.
Florida State (45-13, 16-5), ranked 20th in the latest USA Today/NFCA poll and the tournament’s second seed, will open play against No. 7 NC State (23-30, 5-15) on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The Seminoles have won a league-high 10 championships, including last season when they beat North Carolina for the title. NC State won the championship in 2006, the last time it was held in Chapel Hill, N.C. Florida State swept the Wolfpack in their regular-season meeting.
Georgia Tech (33-21, 12-8), the third seed in the tournament, will take on No. 6 Virginia (26-24, 8-13) in the opener on Thursday at noon. The Yellow Jackets were regular-season champions the past three seasons and will be looking to win their fifth conference title. Virginia has won one championship in program history when they beat Florida State in 1994. The Cavaliers swept the Jackets in Atlanta in early march.
Fourth-seeded Virginia Tech (38-18, 12-8) has won two championships since joining the league and will open play in 2012 against No. 5 Maryland (34-19, 10-8) Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The Hokies won all three meetings against the Terrapins this season.
2012 ACC Softball Championship Schedule
Thursday, May 10
Game 1: #3 Georgia Tech vs. #6 Virginia, Noon, RSN
Game 2: #2 Florida State vs. #7 NC State, 2:30 p.m., RSN
Game 3: #1 North Carolina vs. #8 Boston College, 5 p.m., ESPN3
Game 4: #4 Virginia Tech vs. #5 Maryland, 7:30 p.m., ESPN3
Friday, May 11
Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner, 1 p.m., RSN
Game 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 3:30 p.m., RSN
Saturday, May 12
Championship Game: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 4 p.m., ESPN