Pairings announced for the 2010 NJCAA women’s softball national tournament; No. 8 Lady Saints to face No. 9 Seminole State
ST. GEORGE, Utah —Top-ranked Salt Lake (Utah) Community College will serve as the No. 1 seed in the 2010 National Junior College Athletic Association Div. I Fast Pitch Softball Tournament, hosted by St. George this Thursday through Saturday at The Canyons Sports Complex.
The No. 1-ranked Salt Lake Bruins, who won their first 39 games and enter this weekend’s double-elimination tournament with a 59-3 overall record, will make the four-hour drive south to St. George to square off against No. 16-seed Pitt (N.C.) Community College (39-11) in the first session of the tournament’s opening round beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday. Three other games featuring ranked teams will take place in the first session, including 11th-ranked and No. 8 seed Seward County (47-12) against 17th-ranked and No. 9 seed Seminole State (Okla.) (43-12), No. 5-seed and defending national champion No. 13 Yavapai (Ariz.) College (50-14) will face No. 12 seed Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College (33-22), and eighth-ranked and No. 4 seed Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.) Community College (56-7) will take on No. 13 seed John A. Logan (Ill.) College (38-9).
The other end of the bracket features five more nationally-ranked teams, including third-ranked and the No. 2 seeded Chipola (Fla.) College Lady Indians (47-11), who open play against No. 15 seed Georgia Perimeter College (28-13) in the first round’s second four-game session at 1:30 p.m. Also highlighting the second session is second-ranked Miami Dade (Fla.) College (45-6-1), which earned the No. 3 seed in the tournament and will face 20th-ranked and No. 14 seed Western Nebraska (43-19), while 10th-ranked and No. 6 seed Blinn (Texas) College (44-9) will play No. 11 seed Temple (Texas) College (33-20), and seventh-ranked and No. 7 seed Chattanooga (Tenn.) State Community College (51-12) will square off against No. 10 seed Odessa (Texas) College (33-27).
The on-field action continues Thursday evening with four consolation bracket elimination games at 5:30 p.m., followed by four championship-bracket quarterfinal games at 8 p.m. The tournament continues Friday with an 11-game schedule starting at 11 a.m. The tourney will wrap up on Saturday featuring the loser bracket semifinal and final beginning at 11 a.m. The first national championship game will then take place at 3 p.m., followed by game two (if necessary) at 5 p.m.
Seven of the 16 qualifying teams played for the title in St. George last year, including Wallace State, which won the 2008 national title and was the national runner-up to Yavapai in 2009. Meanwhile, Salt Lake, Blinn College, Seward County, Seminole State and Odessa College join Yavapai and Wallace State in making their second consecutive national tourney appearance.
This year, the NJCAA has partnered with Panhandle Sports Broadcasting to provide live streaming video/audio play-by-play coverage of the entire 2010 NJCAA Div. I Women’s Softball Championship. PSB will have cameras and announcers at all four fields for the three-day tournament. For more information and a complete broadcast schedule, please visit www.psblive.com.
This is the second year of a three-year agreement between the City of St. George and the NJCAA to host the annual championship tournament. Last year, the NJCAA tournament was the first sports national championship at any collegiate level to be hpsted by the City of St. George at The Canyons Softball Complex, which is an eight-time “Complex of the Year” award winner.
The festivities get under way on Wednesday with individual team practice sessions at the complex. In addition, a special welcome banquet to honor all the teams and participants will take place that evening at 7 p.m., at the St. George City Town Square, featuring a keynote address by Michelle Delloso, a three-time All-American infielder at the University of South Carolina and former member of the Colorado Silver Bullets women’s professional baseball team, which has been inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Tickets can be purchased at the St. George City Recreation Center at 285 S. 400 E., or by telephone by calling (435)627-4560.