MINNEAPOLIS - Having the best record in the nation apparently doesn't mean much to those responsible for seeding the NCAA softball tournament.
Despite finishing the season with 50 wins and just 3 losses, and winning their final 25 in a row, the Gophers go into the tourney unseeded, which means the committee believed there were at least 16 teams in the tournament better than Minnesota.
Reactions came in fast and furious from around the country, most of them summed up in a tweet by ESPN softball writer Graham Hays.
In covering something like 40 brackets between sports, not sure I've ever seen worse committee blunder than unseeded Minnesota. Inexcusable.— Graham Hays (@grahamhays) May 15, 2017
Hays added in his recap of the tournament field that the decision to not seed the Gophers, sending them to Alabama and a track that would have them on a collision course with defending national champion Florida "defies common sense."
Gophers coach Jessica Allister acknowledged the snub at a press conference Monday morning, but said her club wouldn't dwell on it. "That's all out of our control, and I think that it's by far not the biggest injustice done to anyone in the world yesterday," Allister said with a chuckle. "You know life's not fair. So now we turn our attention to Louisiana Tech, we bet back on the field and we get ready."
It appears the Gophers are doing just that. The women met and talked as a team after the seeding and brackets were announced to digest and acknowledge what had happened, and to, as one player said, "hit the reset button." Pitcher Sara Groenewegen summed up their resolve by posting a picture on her Twitter feed with a sign on the locker room door. "Win anyway," it says simply.
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