COLUMBIA, Mo. — Larissa Anderson's first season as Missouri softball head coach saw the continuation of a program-record 13th consecutive NCAA postseason appearance.
The Tigers (32-23) are the No. 2 seed in national No. 2 seed UCLA's bracket, and will face California State-Fullerton (38-16) at 7:30 p.m. Friday on ESPNU. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Bruins (46-5) and Weber State (26-19), which is scheduled for a 10 p.m. start.
Missouri outperformed preseason expectations — the Tigers were picked last in the SEC and finished tied for sixth — thanks to a hitting corps and pitching rotation that both improved. A No. 7 in the conference tournament, Missouri lost 3-0 to Auburn in the first round Wednesday.
The Tigers are 2-6 all-time against the Titans, who went 18-3 in conference play to capture their fourth-consecutive Big West title. CSU-Fullerton enters the post-season on a seven-game winning streak. Missouri is 3-16 all-time against UCLA, most recently losing 11-3 in six innings Feb. 22 at the Mary Nutter Classic. The Tigers and Bruins last met in the postseason at Easton Stadium in the 2015 Super Regionals, which UCLA won 7-4 and 10-6. Missouri has never played Weber State.
The program has a 43-24 all-time record at regionals, and made the championship game of last year's Norman, Okla., Regional. The Tigers lost 9-1 to Tulsa in the opening round, rebounded 10-8 against Boston University in the elimination bracket and took a revenge 6-5 win against the Golden Hurricane before the Sooners advanced with a 7-0 win.
Anderson is 2-4 all-time in regionals, taking Hofstra to the Gainesville, Fla., Regional in 2015 and the Columbia, S.C., Regional in 2018.