No. 19 Cats get 9th overall seed, set to take on Albany in 1st game

Paul Tenorio

SOFTBALL

No. 19 Northwestern (38-15) garnered its highest-ever NCAA tournament seed Sunday when it was selected as the No. 9 overall seed.

The Wildcats are in the South Bend, Ind., region with Albany (35-12), Notre Dame (44-13) and Louisville (42-18). NU will open the round against Albany on Friday.

“We are thrilled,” senior Erin Mobley. “To get the ninth seed is a huge step for Northwestern softball.”

The Cats gathered at coach Kate Drohan’s home to watch the show, which aired on ESPNews at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Drohan said she wanted to bring the team back to her house as a chance to regroup after the loss to Iowa on Saturday. She joked that they chose to watch at her house because she “just got a new TV.”

The Cats said they were excited with the selection because of NU’s proximity to South Bend and their experience playing the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame beat NU earlier this year, 4-3, but both associate head coach Caryl Drohan and Kate Drohan were unable to attend the game for personal reasons.

“I think having played on the field is a huge advantage for us, and I think that playing them this year was also a huge advantage,” junior pitcher Courtnay Foster said. “We learned a lot from our loss and we’re going to know how to throw their batters (and) we’re going to know what their pitchers are going to have to throw at us. So I think it’s just a great situation all around.”

Kate Drohan said she does not know much about Albany but she expects the team to be a tough opponent. The Great Danes received an automatic bid after winning the America East conference title.

If NU wants to be successful in the regional round, it will have to do a better job of scoring runners, Kate Drohan said. The Cats left 10 on base against Iowa on Saturday in the Big Ten tournament and struggled to put up runs in a 2-0 first-round victory over Purdue.

“We’ve talked a lot about focusing on one game at a time,” Kate Drohan said. “We’ve talked a lot about being aggressive and really putting a team away and not being happy with a 1-0, 2-0 lead, and really taking advantage of scoring those runners that we’re getting on.”

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