By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Finishing second in the conference tournament lifted Sonoma State back into the NCAA Division II Softball Championship Tournament that opens Thursday in Seaside.

Cal State Monterey Bay hosts the four-team regional. The other half of the West Regionals is at Dixie State, in St. George, Utah.

Sonoma State opens against California Baptist. Monterey takes on Western Oregon. The tournament runs through Saturday.

For the sixth straight year Sonoma State qualified for the national tournament. The Seawolves face a tough bracket. Monterey is ranked 3rd and California Baptist 23rd in the national poll.

Still the Seawolves are confident. Sonoma State has 38 wins, tied for second most in program history. And in the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament Sonoma state won three of five against Monterey and Humboldt State, the nation’s 6th ranked squad.