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Gophers softball wins 3rd straight Big Ten Tournament title, gain automatic bid to NCAA Tournament

They're just the second team to win three straight in the last 20 years.

UPDATE 9:30 PM

The NCAA Tournament bracket is set and the Gophers will play in the Seattle Regional along with five-seed Washington and at-large teams Boise State and Texas. 

Minnesota opens on Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN against Texas. 

The regional is double elimination. See the bracket here

Original story

The Gophers will head to the Seattle Regional where they will face Texas on Friday, May 18 at 8 p.m. CT. The game can be viewed live on ESPN.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers softball team is the Big Ten Tournament champion for the third consecutive season after beating Northwestern 9-4 in Sunday's title game. 

They're the first Big Ten team to win three straight tournament championships since Michigan did from 1996-98. 

Big Ten Player of the Year Kendyl Lindmann went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Maddie Houlihan was 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI en route to being named the tournament's most outstanding player. 

More importantly, the win gives the Gophers an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and they'll find out what regional they'll play in during the Selection Show at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. 

Fun fact: Minnesota is 22-2 in its last 24 games and has posted shutouts in 12 of those wins. 

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