Release courtesy of the MIAC
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Last week, all 12 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) softball teams learned they’d be in the 2013 MIAC Softball Playoff field when the league decided to alter its format after the regular season was decimated by inclement weather. Thursday, all 12 teams learned their seed, pool assignment and first-day matchups when the conference determined and announced the seeds. The tournament will be hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Caswell Park in Mankato, Minn.
St. Thomas (33-5, 20-0 MIAC) – which captured its fourth-straight MIAC regular-season championship with a perfect 20-0 mark in conference games – will enter the 2013 MIAC Softball Playoffs as the top seed, and will headline one of the four three-team pools that will open the postseason with round-robin play Friday. No. 2-seeded Bethel (23-13, 14-6 MIAC), No. 3-seeded St. Olaf (5-13, 8-8 MIAC) and No. 4-seeded Saint Mary’s (18-13, 11-9 MIAC) headline the other three pools.
In the new format, which will be exclusive to 2013, Friday’s action will feature the four three-team pools engaging in round-robin play, with the winner of each pool advancing to the usual four-team, double-elimination format, which will play out on Saturday and Sunday to determine the MIAC’s postseason champion, and the recipient of the league’s automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament.
Because teams completed varying numbers of conference games this season, the coaches elected to adopt a seeding method that takes into account winning percentage in both conference and overall games, and the NCAA’s in-region strength-of-schedule number. Each team’s conference rank in each of the three categories were added together to determine the 12 seeds.
The four pools were then determined by grouping the top eight together as assigned with No. 1 and No. 8 in Pool A, No. 2 and No. 7 in Pool B, No. 3 and No. 6 in Pool C and No. 4 and No. 5 in Pool D. Then, teams seeded No. 9-12 were randomly assigned to one of the four pools.
The Tommies will be joined in Pool A by No. 8 St. Catherine (9-15, 7-11 MIAC) and No. 10 Macalester (11-13, 5-15 MIAC). The Royals were joined in Pool B by No. 7 Saint Benedict (19-17, 8-12 MIAC) and No. 11 Augsburg (12-26, 5-15 MIAC). No. 6 Hamline (17-15, 12-8 MIAC) and No. 12 Concordia (7-17, 3-7 MIAC) joined the Oles in Pool C, and Pool D saw No. 5 Gustavus and No. 9 Carleton join the fourth-seeded Cardinals.
In each pool, the top seed will take on the lowest seed at 3 p.m., followed by the two lower seeds playing at 5 p.m. and the top two seeds meeting at 7 p.m. The winner from each pool will advance to the four-team, double-elimination tournament. The conference coaches have established tiebreaker criteria in pool play, and that criteria is available on the 2013 MIAC Softball Playoff home page.
The four-team double-elimination portion of the tournament begins with two first-round games at 3 p.m. The two winners advance and meet at 5 p.m., and the two first-round losers also meet at 5 p.m. in an elimination game. An elimination semifinal will take place Sunday at 9 a.m. with the championship slated for 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., if a second game is needed. Original seeds will carry over to seed the double-elimination portion.
Complete details for the 2013 MIAC Softball Playoffs are available on the tournament’s home page. Host school Gustavus plans to provide live stats for all 12 round-robin pool games Friday, and live video/audio for the remainder of the tournament, weather and staff permitting. The MIAC will update the Softball Playoff home page throughout the tournament with results, box scores, updated schedules, recaps, photos and more.
2013 MIAC Softball Playoff seeds
No. 1 – St. Thomas (33-5, 20-0 MIAC)
No. 2 – Bethel (23-13, 14-6 MIAC)
No. 3 – St. Olaf (8-8, 5-13 MIAC)
No. 4 – Saint Mary’s (18-13, 11-9 MIAC)
No. 5 – Gustavus (12-17, 9-9 MIAC)
No. 6 – Hamline (17-15, 12-8 MIAC)
No. 7 – Saint Benedict (19-17, 8-12 MIAC)
No. 8 – St. Catherine (15-16, 7-11 MIAC)
No. 9 – Carleton (13-18, 8-10 MIAC)
No. 10 – Macalester (5-15, 13-15 MIAC)
No. 11 – Augsburg (12-26, 5-15 MIAC)
No. 12 – Concordia (7-17, 3-7 MIAC)
2013 MIAC Softball Playoffs Schedule
No. 1 St. Thomas vs. No. 10 Macalester – 3 p.m.
No. 8 St. Catherine vs. No. 10 Macalester – 5 p.m.
No. 1 St. Thomas vs. No. 8 St. Catherine – 7 p.m.
No. 2 Bethel vs. No. 11 Augsburg – 3 p.m.
No. 7 Saint Benedict vs. No. 11 Augsburg – 5 p.m.
No. 2 Bethel vs. No. 7 Saint Benedict – 7 p.m.
No. 3 St. Olaf vs. No. 12 Concordia – 3 p.m.
No. 6 Hamline vs. No. 12 Concordia – 5 p.m.
No. 3 St. Olaf vs. No. 6 Hamline – 7 p.m.
No. 4 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 9 Carleton – 3 p.m.
No. 5 Gustavus vs. No. 9 Carleton – 5 p.m.
No. 4 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 5 Gustavus – 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 4
Game 1: Fourth-remaining seed vs. Top-remaining seed, 3 p.m.
Game 2: Third-remaining seed vs. Second-remaining seed, 3 p.m.
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 5 p.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 5
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 9 a.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 11:30 a.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 2 p.m.
*Playoff Champions win the MIAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament