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Cathi Aradi

Final Eight Teams Set for NCAA DIII Championship

LOUISVILLE, Ky - The final eight teams have made their way through the regional round to land in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to compete for the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. Beginning Friday at 11:00 a.m., Salisbury and SUNY Cortland will square off in the first game of the NCAA championship bracket.

From there, Luther will face off with Anderson at 1:30 p.m. in game No. 2. Tufts and Texas-Tyler are scheduled to compete at 4 p.m., and Central and Montclair State will square off to finish the day at 6:30 p.m.

No. 1 Salisbury, winners of the Salem Regional, went undefeated in regional play, knocking off Penn State-Altoona (5-1), Christopher Newport (7-3), and Piedmont (3-0, 8-0) twice en route to winning the Salem regional as the No. 1 seed. 

Coming from the Ithaca Regional, No. 4. SUNY Cortland took wins against TCNJ (11-4), Western Connecticut State (10-2) and Lebanon Valley (4-0) before falling to Lebanon Valley by a score of 6-3. SUNY Cortland bounced back, winning the Ithaca regional over Lebanon Valley by a score of 7-0 in the third matchup of the two teams.

Luther started their journey to Eau Claire in the Whitewater Regional, entering the tournament as the No. 5 seed in the region. With four straight wins over Carthage (6-4), Wisconsin-Whitewater (5-4), North Central (4-2) and a finals victory over NCC again (7-0) they advanced to Eau Claire as part of the final eight teams.

No. 8 Angola Regional see Anderson came away with what many would consider a big upset, knocking off Trine (5-1) to start the Angola Regional. Anderson then fell to Aurora (6-2) but bounced back to defeat Thomas More (9-6), Aurora (4-3) and Allegheny twice (16-4, 5-1) to march out of the Angola Regional and into Eau Claire.

Ranked No. 1 in the Babson Park Regional, Tufts University swept through the competition, taking wins against Lesley (12-5), Springfield (8-2), Babson (9-1) and Rowan (4-1) to move on to the championship bracket.

Experiencing their own four-game sweep of regional play is Texas-Tyler, who entered the Tyler Regional as the No. 1 team in the region. With victories over Southwestern (4-1), Linfield (4-1), ETBU (4-1) and a second victory against ETBU (7-6), the Patriots moved on to the final bracket.

Central College entered regional play as the host of the Pella Regional and ranked No. 2 in the region. Central narrowly defeated Cornell (1-0) to start regional play, but followed it up with a win against Fontbonne (3-1) and two against St. Thomas (9-1, 2-1) to reign supreme in the Pella Regional and move on.

No. 1 Montclair State started regional play as the host of the Montclair Regional and came away with four wins to sweep through the region and move on to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Montclair State defeated Staten Island (7-3), Desales (1-0), and Virginia Wesleyan twice (2-1, 3-2) to advance.

For more information and a Championship Bracket, visit http://www.ncaa.com/news/softball/article/2013-05-07/2013-division-iii-softball-regionals.