The championship of the American Southwest Conference and a berth in the NCAA Division III national tournament will be on the line as the ASC Softball Tournament gets under way Wednesday at Suddenlink Field on the UT Tyler campus.
The tourney is double-elimination and continues until Sunday’s championship game. The winner receives an automatic bid into the NCAA tourney.
UT Tyler by virtue of its regular season championship earned the right to hose the eight-team event.
UT Tyler (31-2, 37-3) enters the ASC tournament winning 18 of its last 19 games and ranked No. 1 in the NFCA top 25 poll. Since making their first ASC Tournament appearance in 2008, the Patriots lead the conference with 19 wins in the league’s postseason event and have claimed two championships (2009, 2012).
The Patriots have appeared in three NCAA World Series and this year’s championship tournament will be at UT Tyler.
East Texas Baptist (29-4, 35-5), the defending ASC champions, took the No. 2 seed after winning its last 18 games to close out the regular season. The Tigers have won two of the last three tournament titles and lead all teams with seven conference championships and a 34-17 record in tournament play.
The tournament begins Wednesday as No. 4 Louisiana College (21-12, 21-13) will play No. 5 Hardin Simmons (18-15, 21-17) at 4p.m. and No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor (23-10, 28-12) will play No. 6 UT Dallas (16-17, 23-17) at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats ended their season on a high note in an upset win (3-0) over No. 1 UT Tyler Saturday. Louisiana College is the only team to shutout the Patriots all season. The Cru and Comets enter the tournament riding season-high win streaks at 15 and nine games, respectively.
On Day 2 of the tournament, the Patriots will play No. 8 LeTourneau (11-22, 16-24) at 10 a.m. as the YellowJackets make their first appearance in the ASC tournament. No. 2 East Texas Baptist will play No. 7 Concordia-Texas (14-19, 17-23) at 1 p.m. The Tornados make their second consecutive tournament appearance and fifth overall.
The ASC champion will earn the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Championship. The regionals of the NCAA DIII Championship will be played May 9-11, with the Super Regionals scheduled to be played May 16-17. The NCAA DIII Championship will be played May 22-27 and will be hosted by UT Tyler at Suddenlink Field.
Tickets for the ASC tournament are available on game days at the Suddenlink Field ticket office. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.
Mississippi College is ineligible for participation in ASC Championship Tournaments in sports where the conference holds an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championship due to its ineligibility for the national tournament as a Division II reclassification candidate. The Lady Choctaws (24-9, 29-10) finished ASC play in third place.
ASC Championship Schedule
April 30-May 4
Suddenlink Field, Tyler
Hosted by: The University
of Texas at Tyler
Wednesday, April 30
Game 1: No. 4 Louisiana College vs. No. 5 Hardin Simmons, 4 p.m.
Game 2: No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor vs. No. 6 UT Dallas, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 1
Game 3: No. 1 UT Tyler vs. No. 8 LeTourneau, 10 a.m.
Game 4: No. 2 East Texas Baptist vs. No. 7 Concordia-Texas, 1 p.m.
Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (elimination), 4 p.m.
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 (elimination), 7 p.m.
(6 teams remain)
Friday, May 2
Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3, 10 a.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4, 1 p.m.
Game 9: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7 (elimination), 4 p.m.
Game 10: Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8 (elimination), 7 p.m.
(4 teams remain)
Saturday, May 3
Game 11: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, noon
Game 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10 (elimination), 3 p.m.
Game 13: Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 11 (elimination), 6 p.m.
(2 teams remain)
Sunday, May 4
Game 14: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 13, 1 p.m.
Game 15: If Necessary, Game 14 teams 30 minutes after Game 14