ELMHURST, Ill. – North Dakota State will carry the top seed into The Summit League Softball Championship after winning its seventh regular season title. Joining the Bison in the championship field are South Dakota State, Western Illinois, South Dakota, Omaha and Fort Wayne.
The 2018 Summit League Softball Championship will be played May 9-12, at Ellig Sports Complex on the campus of North Dakota State University. The championship game(s) will be televised by Midco Sports Network and ESPN3. All games can also be streamed, free of charge, on thesummitleague.org.
North Dakota State (30-17, 10-3) earned the No. 1 seed after sweeping Western Illinois on the last weekend of league play. The Jackrabbits (32-14, 10-4) hold the No. 2 seed and both squads earned a first-round bye.
Wednesday's first game will pit No. 4 South Dakota (17-37, 5-9) and fifth-seeded Omaha (18-29, 5-9) with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. The second game between No. 3 Western Illinois (17-30, 9-6) and No. 6 Fort Wayne (18-33, 3-11) will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. CT.
North Dakota State will play the winner of USD/UNO in Thursday's winners bracket at noon CT, followed by South Dakota State facing the winner of Western Illinois and Fort Wayne at approximately 2:30 p.m.
The double-elimination tournament concludes with Saturday's championship game at 1 p.m. CT. If necessary, a second championship game would be played immediately following. The winner claims The Summit League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Softball Championship Schedule
Wednesday, May 9
Game 1: (4) South Dakota vs. (5) Omaha – 3 p.m.
Game 2: (3) Western Illinois vs. (6) Fort Wayne – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 10
Game 3: (1) North Dakota State vs. Game 1 Winner – Noon
Game 4: (2) South Dakota State vs. Game 2 Winner – 2:30 p.m.
Game 5: Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser – 5 p.m.
Friday, May 11
Game 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner – 1 p.m.
Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 12
Game 8: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner – 1 p.m.
*Game 9: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser – 3:30 p.m.
NOTE: Games 1 & 2 will be single elimination with the remainder of the tournament being double elimination.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.