Monday, May 10, 2010

UMD Softball Qualifies For NCAA Regional

Good news for one of our local spring sports teams. The UMD softball team made the NCAA Division II regionals.

Here is the info from UMD:

For the fourth time in school history and the second time in Jen Banford's five-year head coaching tenure, the University of Minnesota Duluth has secured a berth in the NCAA Division II softball playoffs.

The Bulldogs, who have won six of their last eight games and own a 32-15 overall record, are among 64 teams chosen to compete in the 2010 event and will begin play this Friday (May 14) in the Central Regional in Wayne, Neb. UMD and host Wayne State College (40-12), which captured last weekend's Northern Sun Intercollegiate Sun Conference Tournament, are scheduled to meet in one first round matchup while the other will feature another pair of NSIC rivals -- Augustana College (42-10) and Concordia University-St. Paul (34-15). The winner of the three-day double-elimination tourney will meet the champion from the other Central Regional bracket. which is comprised of host Metropolitan State College (Denver), Mesa State College, Minnesota State University-Mankato and Winona State University, in a best two-of-three Super Regional series the following weekend (May 21-22). The NCAA II Championships are set for May 27-31 in St. Joseph, Mo.

UMD and Wayne State traded wins in their only two meetings of 2010 with the host Wildcats taking the opener 2-1 before the Bulldogs rebounded with a 4-2 victory on April 25. UMD was 0-2 versus Augustana College this spring and 1-2 against Concordia-St. Paul.

The Bulldogs also advanced to NCAA postseason play in 2007, 2002 and 1996 and made three appearances in the NAIA National Tournament (1991, 1990 and 1988).

You don't think of the Twin Ports as an area where spring sports teams can thrive. However, St. Scholastica has very successful baseball and softball programs, and UWS' baseball program is waking up after a long dry spell.

(Worth noting: the CSS softball team won their 14th UMAC title Sunday, beating Northland College in the championship game. Their season is over, but next year, the UMAC champion will finally get an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tourney.)

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