May 6, 2013
Allendale, Mich. - After a season that saw the team win a second consecutive GLIAC regular season championship, the Grand Valley State softball team was rewarded with a #2 seed in this week's NCAA Tournament. For the third straight year, the Lakers will also host a four-team bracket in the Midwest Region, as GVSU will take on seventh-seeded Ferris State on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
The NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament is broken up into a pair of four-team "sub-regional" brackets, which are hosted at separate sites. Grand Valley State's bracket includes the #2 Lakers, #3 Missouri-St. Louis, #6 Southern Indiana, and #7 Ferris State. The other four-team bracket is at #1 Indianapolis and features #4 Lewis, #5 Ashland, and #8 Wayne State.
The winners of both the Grand Valley State regional and the Indianapolis regional will meet in the Midwest Super Regional on May 17-19. That will be a three-game series at a site to be determined.
Both of the opening day match-ups are between conference opponents. Grand Valley State and Ferris State are West Michigan and GLIAC rivals and met twice this season. On Apr. 7 in Allendale, the Lakers swept FSU by scores of 4-2 and 1-0. Missouri-St. Louis and Southern Indiana are both out of the Great Lakes Valley Conference. In their only meeting this season, UMSL defeated Southern Indiana, 3-1 and 16-1, on Mar. 16 in Evansville, Ind.
Here is the listing of games for this weekend at the GVSU Softball Field in Allendale, Mich.:
Friday, May 10
Game 1 - #3 Missouri-St. Louis (39-11) vs. #6 Southern Indiana (29-20), 12:00 p.m.
Game 2 - #2 Grand Valley State (39-6) vs. #7 Ferris State (29-14), 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 11
Game 3 - Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 11:00 a.m.
Game 4 - Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 1:30 p.m.
Game 5 - Loser of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 12
Game 6 (Championship game) - Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5, 12:00 p.m.
Game 7 (Championship game, if necessary) - Same teams as above, 2:30 p.m.
Grand Valley State is making its 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in school history. This is the third straight year that the Lakers have advanced to (and hosted) the Midwest Regional. In 2011, GVSU won all three games and advanced to the Midwest Super Regional at Saginaw Valley State. Last season, the Lakers went 1-2, losing to eventual regional champion Saint Joseph's.
In NCAA Tournament play, Grand Valley State is 28-20 all-time, with all 11 playoff appearances coming since 1999. The Lakers have advanced to five regional championship games/series (2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2011). This season, GVSU is 39-6 and won the conference regular season title with a 24-2 record.
The Lakers had eight players earn All-GLIAC honors last Friday, as junior Miranda Cleary (third base), senior Nellie Kosola (outfield), senior Katie Martin (designated player), senior Hannah Santora (pitcher), and junior Briauna Taylor (at-large) were all named to the All-GLIAC First Team. Freshman Sara Andrasik (pitcher) was a Second Team All-GLIAC choice, while seniors Kayleigh Bertram (second base) and Emily Holt (catcher) were tabbed as All-GLIAC Honorable Mention.
Martin was named the 2013 GLIAC Player of the Year, while Andrasik was voted as the GLIAC Freshman of the Year. Head coach Doug Woods also captured his seventh GLIAC Coach of the Year award.
A full tournament preview will be released later this week.