Tennessee softball will host a Regional as the No. 8 national seed in the NCAA tournament. For co-head coach Ralph Weekly, the team's postseason seeding is due mostly to a challenging regular season schedule.
"We think we earned it," said Ralph, "the key to getting a seed like that is the schedule you play. Even our mid-weeks were tough."
Co-head coach Karen Weekly would like to remind everyone that she was responsible for the difficult 2017 slate.
Part of that difficult schedule comes with playing in the Southeastern Conference. For the first time in its history, all 13 schools from the SEC will be participating in the NCAA tournament.
"It just says a lot for the SEC," said Karen Weekly.
The conference's depth was on display during the SEC Tournament this past weekend. Tennessee fell to LSU in its first game. Karen Weekly said she believes her team has learned a lot from the early exit.
"I think the mood has been very good, I see a real sense of resolve in understanding what we didn't do well last Thursday in the SEC tournament, but also understanding we are good. "It's constantly building the confidence."
Both Weekly's agree, this young team is still learning, but has the full confidence of its coaches. The Vols have the opportunity to reach their goals this postseason.
"You have to keep throwing punches," said Karen Weekly. "I didn't feel like we did that as a team, but I think we have done that well at times this year and I think that's why we're seeded where we are. It was just a good reminder that if you fail to do that, even for one game, your season is over."
As for the goals of the postseason, Ralph Weekly made that clear.
"Our goal is to go to the College World Series every year. We may not make it every year, but we're fighting for it every year."
Tennessee's first game in the Knoxville Regional will be on Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Longwood.