Missouri made the field Sunday for the NCAA Division I softball tournament for the 11th straight season.
The Tigers, 29-26, were placed in the Eugene, Ore., regional and open postseason play at 8 p.m. Friday against Wisconsin, 33-15, on ESPN.
No. 3 overall seed and host Oregon, 47-6, plays Illinois-Chicago, 38-20, in the other half of the bracket.
The Ducks were MU’s inaugural opponent at Mizzou Stadium when it opened this year and handed the Tigers a pair of losses, 10-3 and 7-2, in March.
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The tourney selection extends the program record for consecutive postseason appearances, which was only three straight (2003-05) before coach Ehren Earleywine was hired in 2007.
Mizzou’s run of eight consecutive seasons as a regional host came to an end, making the road the Super Regional tougher.
The Tigers have qualified for a Super Regional in eight of Earleywine’s previous 10 seasons.
The lone exceptions were his first year in 2007 when Mizzou was the runner-up to DePaul in the Southern Illinois-Carbondale regional and 2014 when Earleywine’s crew was upset at home in the regional final by Nebraska.
Three of the Tigers’ six all-time appearances in the Women’s College World Series have come during Earleywine’s tenure (2009-11).
This is the first season under Earleywine that the program failed to win at least 30 games during the regular season and MU is unlikely to reach at least 40 wins for only the second time during his tenure.
Mizzou endured a tumultuous 14 months after a departmental investigation into Earleywine’s conduct led to a brief player protest in May 2016 and a protracted inquiry that dragged into August.
Former athletic director Mack Rhoades seemed poised to fire Earleywine, who was cleared by MU’s Office for Civil Rights and Title IX, in a separate investigation.
It wasn’t until after Rhoades abruptly left for Baylor last July and new athletic director Jim Sterk was plucked from San Diego State as his replacement that the investigation ended and Earleywine was retained.
Still, the Tigers’ top two pitchers, Paige Lowary (Oklahoma) and Tori Finucane (Minnesota), transferred during the summer as part of a seven-player exodus that started last spring.
As the No. 11 seed for the conference tourney, the Tigers, who finished 7-16 in conference, lost 6-5 on Wednesday in the opening round, but the team still earned a spot in the national tourney with a top-35 RPI rating and nine top-25 victories.
Senior right-hander Cheyenne Baxter, a transfer from Nebraska-Omaha, has emerged as Mizzou’s ace with a 16-9 record and 2.30 ERA in 36 appearances, including 27 starts this season.
Sophomore Regan Nash (team-high .348 average), senior Kirsten Mack (nine home runs, team-high 13 doubles) and freshman Braxton Burnside (team-high 12 home runs) lead the Tigers’ offense.
Florida is the No. 1 overall seed and seven other SEC teams — Auburn (7), Tennessee (8), Texas A&M (9), Mississippi (12), LSU (13), Kentucky (14) and Alabama (16) — also drew national seeds.
All 13 SEC teams — Vanderbilt doesn’t have a softball team — made the tournament, with Georgia, Mississippi State, Arkansas and South Carolina qualifying as non-host at-large teams.
No. 10 seed Oklahoma, No. 15 seed Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas are the only Big 12 teams in the field.