The Forester softball team advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the third year in a row and the College will now serve as a regional host for the second straight season. The entire 62-team field was announced during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on NCAA.com on Monday.
Lake Forest rattled off three consecutive victories on Saturday to win the Midwest Conference Tournament and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Foresters, who are now 28-12 overall this season, had also claimed the 2016 MWC regular season title with a record of 18-2 in conference play.
The Foresters reached the super regional round in the 2015 NCAA Tournament by knocking off the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, North Central College, and Hope College at the regional tourney. They were eventually defeated in two games by visiting Alma College in the super regional. This year's trip to the NCAA Tournament is the eighth in program history for the Foresters, who are 20-15 in their first seven appearances combined. The 2002 team had the most success, advancing to the national championship game.
Lake Forest's opening round opponent this year will be Aurora University. The Spartans are 32-12 and captured the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference regular season championship with a league mark of 19-3.
The other first round game will feature the University of St. Thomas and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. St. Thomas is 38-6 overall and claimed both the regular season and tournament titles in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Tommies posted a 20-2 MIAC record. Whitewater enters the NCAA Tournament at 28-12 overall. The Warhawks were 8-5 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play and won the WIAC Tournament over the weekend.
The opening round games in the double-elimination regional tournament will be played on Friday and all four teams will be in action again at least once on Saturday. The championship will be played on Sunday.