TUCSON, Ariz. -- Just a week after earning the program's first ever BIG EAST Championship title, the St. John's softball team (28-17, 16-2 BIG EAST) will head out to Tucson, Arizona, for the 2015 NCAA Regionals where it will join Minnesota (46-9, 20-13 Big Ten), New Mexico State (46-14, 14-1 WAC) and the 12th-seeded No. 16/18 Arizona Wildcats (38-17, 13-11 Pac-12). Leading Off
The Red Storm will open the Tucson Regional with a game against host-Arizona at 10 p.m. ET.
If St. John's wins, it will take on the winner of the New Mexico State vs. Minnesota game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. If St. John's loses, it will play in the elimination game of the other losing team at 6 p.m. Saturday.
All of the games in the Tucson Regional will be aired for free on Arizona's Pac-12 Network Online with a link available on RedStormSports.com.
Live stats for the game will be available on RedStormSports.com and fans can always join in the conversation on Twitter (@StJohnsSoftball) by using #SJUSB.
Named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2015 BIG EAST Championship, freshman Krystal Puga is off to an impressive start to her rookie campaign. The first-baseman holds a .375 batting average with seven doubles, 11 home runs and 35 RBI for a .708 slugging percentage and has successfully reached base in 37 of the 40 games she has played in.
Sophomore Brittany Garcia has been a steady force at the plate over the last 15 games for the Red Storm, posting up a .449 batting average with a three doubles, her first career triple, and three home runs for a .735 slugging percentage and a .471 on-base percentage.
Named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, junior Tori Free led the Red Storm pitching staff in conference play, holding a 0.90 ERA with a 7-1 record after throwing seven complete games, striking out 43 batters in 54.2 innings of work.
Senior Francesca Carrullo was also a dominant force in the circle in conference play this season for the Red Storm, holding an 8-1 record with a 1.63 ERA after throwing a five-inning no-hitter against Creighton on Sunday, April 26.
SCOUTING REPORT: No. 16/18 Arizona Wildcats
Arizona earns the 12th overall seed in the NCAA Tournament after finishing the 2015 season with a 38-17 overall record and a 13-11 mark in Pac-12 play.
The Wildcats will be making their 29th consecutive-appearance in the NCAA Tournament dating back to 1987.
This year, the Wildcats have been led by Kellie Fox who is batting .405 with nine doubles, three triples, 15 home runs and 62 RBI while working a team-best 39 walks.
The Arizona pitching staff is made up of the duo of Michelle Floyd (18-12, 3.51 ERA) and Trish Parks (14-5, 4.60 ERA) who combined for 212 strikeouts in 278.0 innings of play this year.
Arizona is led by head coach Mike Candrea who has been with the program for 30 years, leading the Wildcats to 25 regional titles and eight national championships during his tenure.
SCOUTING REPORT: Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota will be making its third-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament after earning an at-large bid with a 46-9 overall record this season, finishing Big Ten play with a 20-3 conference mark.
This weekend marks the 10th NCAA Tournament appearance for the Gophers after making its first-ever Super Regional appearance last year, defeating Auburn in the Minneapolis Regional before falling to top-seeded Oregon in the next round.
The entire Minnesota starting lineup is batting above the .300 mark this season, with Danielle Parlich leading the squad at .409.
Sara Groenewegan leads the Gophers in the circle, posting up a 28-5 record with a 1.54 ERA while striking out 344 batters in 209.1 innings of play for a .163 opponent batting average.
Minnesota is led by Jessica Allister who is in her fifth season at the helm of the Gophers.
SCOUTING REPORT: New Mexico State Aggies
New Mexico State enters the NCAA Tournament after earning an automatic bid as the winners of both the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) regular season and WAC postseason tournament, finishing the year with a 46-14 record, including a 14-1 mark in conference play.
The Aggies are led by Staci Rodriguez who enters the weekend with a .408 batting average that includes 16 doubles, 15 home runs, 56 RBI and 47 walks for a .769 slugging percentage and .535 OBP.
New Mexico State has relied heavily on the pitching duo of Karysta Donisthorpe (21-5, 3.16) and Dallas McBride (18-5, 4.67) while Makayla McAdams (7-4, 4.39 ERA) has also started in 14 games this year.
The Aggies are led by head coach Kathy Randolph who is in her 12th season with New Mexico State.
For all the latest news on the St. John's softball team, log on to RedStormSports.com and follow the team (@StJohnsSoftball) on Twitter. You can join the conversation with the hashtag, #SJUSB. If you would like to be added to the St. John's softball mailing list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Softball Mailing List."
The Last Meeting
March 13, 2010
St. John's Defeats Minnesota, Falls To No. 2/2 Arizona
The St. John's softball team split its second day of games at the Wildcat Invitational at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium, topping Minnesota, 6-5, in eight innings and falling to tournament host No. 2/2 Arizona, 16-1.