The first year under new softball coach has been a rousing success at Texas A&M, with the team going 33-19 overall, including 12-12 in SEC. They were rewarded for that success on Sunday with a return to the NCAA Softball Tournament. But what will make bigger headlines is where they’ll be playing next weekend, as the Aggies will play in the Austin regional along with Seton Hall, Texas State and the host Texas Longhorns.
It should come as no surprise that the Aggies are paired up with the Longhorns in the postseason, as it has seemingly become standard practice in recent years. The Aggies and Longhorns have faced off in baseball regionals in 2014 an 2018, a softball regional in 2016 2019, a soccer game in 2022, a second round volleyball matchup in 2012, and the basketball teams have been paired up for a potential matchup twice, which were both foiled by a first upset (Texas losing to Northern Iowa in 2016, A&M losing to Penn State in 2023). And there are probably more of these in other sports I’m overlooking. Part of it is obviously geography (sports with regional sites often look to fill it with teams relatively close by), but there’s also a lot the NCAA shoehorning matchups to create drama. You may not like it, but the good news is it will likely cease soon with the Longhorns joining the SEC.
The Aggies will begin play vs Texas State at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 19, then face either Texas or Seton Hall on Saturday in the double-elimination regional.