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NCAA DII Softball Championship Tournament Central
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The NCAA Division II Softball Championship gets underway on Thursday, May 23, at the Moyer Complex in Salem, Va., as Central Oklahoma faces Armstrong Atlantic State at Noon ET.
To access NFCA.org's NCAA Division II Tournament Central page, please click the link below.
Opening day action continues at 2:30 p.m. ET as Molloy and defending national champion Valdosta State meet, followed by Grand Valley State vs. Kutztown at 5 p.m. ET and Texas Woman's aganst Humboldt State at 7:30 p.m. ET.
You can watch the NCAA Division II Softball Championship live through NCAA.com. Click this link to access the menu listing this weekend's DII softball broadcasts.
Below is a brief look at each of the eight competing institutions from an article at NCAA.com written by Steven Hemphill:
Valdosta State (46-11) The defending national champion Blazers are one of four No. 1 seeds to make it to Salem and was ranked No. 3 in the country in final coaches’ poll of the regular season. They did get a test in last weekend’s super regional, needing to go the distance in their best-of-three matchup with Gulf South Conference rival Alabama-Huntsville.
Armstrong Atlantic State (42-8-1) The fourth-ranked Pirates had to play its way out of its Southeast regional through the losers’ bracket. They avenged their loss to Columbus State by sweeping the Cougars by scores of 6-2 and 6-2 on the last day of the tournament.
Humboldt State (51-12) The West Region’s representative is ranked No. 5 and has won 16 consecutive games. Region player of the year Chrissy Stalf is batting .400 with 27 home runs.
Texas Woman’s (51-12) Ranked No. 6 at regular-season’s end, the Pioneers swept their way through the South Central region and earned the school’s first trip to championship tournament. TWU also got through the super regional by sweeping St. Edwards, the opponent that knocked the Pioneers out of the last year’s NCAA regional tournament.
Grand Valley State (44-7) The Lakers qualified for both the softball and baseball Division II championships. The softball team, ranked No. 9, earned its place by winning its super regional on the road against the nation’s top-ranked team, Indianapolis.
Central Oklahoma (47-11) The Bronchos did not reach the final in their conference tournament, but then traveled to the home field of Mid-American Intercollegiate rival Fort Hays State and won the regional. Central Oklahoma followed that up with a pair of wins against Winona State.
Molloy (52-12) One of two finalists not ranked in the final coaches’ poll, the Lions took advantage of being named the host team for their East Regional and advance to the super regional, where they swept host Adelphi. Molloy is as hot as any team in the tournament. The Lions’ last three games have been victories by scores of 6-0, 7-0 and 8-0.
Kutztown (34-21) Late bloomers? Perhaps. The Bears lost 14 of 17 games during March and early April. Still, the offense scored an average of more than five runs per game during the postseason, sweeping Kutztown through the conference, regional and super regional tournaments. The Bears will still be playing the underdog role. They’re unranked, while all three of the other teams on their side of the bracket were either No. 1 or No. 2 seeds.