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Illinois earns at-large bid for 2017 NCAA Tournament

For the sixth time in program history and the second consecutive season, the Illinois softball team earned a berth into the 2017 NCAA Tournament and was selected as one of the 32 at-large bids, as announced on the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday (May 14) night.

The Illini will travel to the Kentucky Regional, hosted by overall No. 14 seed Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., and will face Marshall (41-10) on Friday (May 19) at 11 a.m. CT in the opening round at John Cropp Stadium. The double-elimination regional will be held on Friday, Satutday and Sunday, with the host Wildcats (36-17) facing off against DePaul (29-21) in the other first round contest at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

ESPN will provide coverage from all 16 Regional sites for the first-time ever which was announced during the NCAA Division I Softball Selection Show. The Illini's first-round contest against Marshall will be broadcast on ESPN2, with the Wildcats-Blue Demons airing on ESPN3.com.

All-session tickets include admission to all six/seven games of the tournament. All-session tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday (May 15) morning at 8 a.m. CT. Patrons requiring accessible seating should call the UK Ticket Office at (800) 928-2287.

Single-session tickets include admission to individual sessions (May 19-21). Each session will consist of a single day of games. Single-session tickets will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, May 19 at 8 a.m. CT, based on availability.

Fans can find all Lexington Regional information at Tourney Central here: http://bit.ly/Regional_TourneyCentral17

Illinois is making their sixth overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and owns an 8-10 record in postseason play with appearances in 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010 and 2016. The Illini advanced to the Regional Final once in program history, falling to No. 3 seed LSU in the Waco, Texas Regional in 2004.

The Illini enter the 2017 NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 37-18 and finished in fourth place in the Big Ten Conference standings with a 14-8 mark. This past weekend, the Illini advanced the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2004 with a 3-0 win over Penn State, before falling to eventual champion Minnesota, 6-5 on Saturday.