Saint Mary's Teams Reach NCAA Tournaments a Record Number of Times in 2009-10

The 2010 Pacific Coast Softball Conference Champion Gaels.Saint Mary's student-athletes have shattered the school's record for teams going to NCAA tournaments in Division 1 sports this year, with women's softball earning the Gaels' fifth NCAA postseason bid during the 2009-10 academic year.

The softball team beat Portland State two games-to-one on Saturday in the inaugural Pacific Coast Softball Conference Championship Series. On Monday, the conference named head coach Jessica Hanaseth the Coach of the Year, sophomore right-hander Britany Linton the Pitcher of the Year and senior catcher Jenna Smith the Co-Player of the Year.

The softball team will play UCLA on May 21 in the Los Angeles Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

Earlier this year, the men's basketball, women's volleyball, men's soccer and women's tennis teams earned bids to NCAA tournaments. The most successful was the men's basketball team, which upset Richmond and Villanova in the first rounds in Providence and made it to the Sweet 16 in Houston, where they lost to Baylor. The women's volleyball team beat UC Santa Barbara, advancing to the second round of its tournament, where it lost to Stanford.

The women's basketball team also went to the postseason, earning a bid to the National Invitation Tournament.

Saint Mary's previous high for NCAA postseason appearances occurred in 2005, when three teams – men's basketball, women's volleyball and men's golf – earned tournament bids.

"It's truly been a remarkable year for Saint Mary's athletics," Athletic Director Mark Orr said.

To keep up with the women's softball team in the tournament, go to where you can also find news about all the sports teams and players at Saint Mary's College.