WSB

Alabama's softball team celebrates after being selected for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

For the 21st consecutive season, Alabama softball will play in the NCAA Tournament. The Crimson Tide earned a No. 8 national seed in this year’s field of 64 and will host Arizona State, Lipscomb and Alabama State this upcoming weekend in Tuscaloosa.

NCAA Regional action at Rhoads Stadium begins 3 p.m. Friday. The winner of the Tuscaloosa Regional will match up against the winner of the Austin Regional, featuring No. 9 Texas, Houston, Texas A&M and Sam Houston State.

Alabama has qualified for the NCAA Tournament every year since 1999 and has earned a top-16 national seed 17 times, including a streak of 15-straight years starting in 2005. The Crimson Tide is 56-9 (.862) all-time in NCAA Regional play and has won every Regional round since 2005, the longest active streak in Division-I softball. Alabama has not lost a game in regional play since 2007, a streak of 37-consecutive games, and is also the only team in Division-I softball to play in every Super Regional round since its inception in 2005.

Alabama is the Southeastern Conference regular-season champion, owning a 52-7 record. The Tide is 23-3 at home this season, including a 5-0 mark against ranked opponents at Rhoads Stadium.

Arizona State enters the tournament with a 33-18 record, while Lipscomb earned the ASUN conference’s automatic bid for winning the league tournament, owning a 41-13-1 overall record. Alabama State is 24-23 heading into the tournament and earned the SWAC’s automatic bid.

For the Auburn Tigers, they’ll head to the University of Arizona for the Tucson Regional after being the lowest-seeded team to make the SEC Tournament semifinals last week.

The Tigers (37-19) will be the No. 2 seed in the regional and will face third-seeded Colorado State (38-10), which won the Mountain West Conference regular-season championship for just the second time in school history and will appear in the NCAA Tournament for only the third time in school history, at 8 p.m. Friday. The host Wildcats will face fourth-seeded Harvard immediately following.

“It’s a great place to play softball,” Auburn coach Mickey Dean said. “I’ve been there many times and usually the one thing you don’t have to worry about weather. It’s going to be warm and the people there treat you extremely well. I think our players and our team will enjoy this trip.”

Auburn has a 3-4 all-time record against Arizona, including winning the 2016 Super Regional in Auburn against the Wildcats, and a 1-2 all-time record against Harvard. The Tigers have never faced Colorado State.