MIDWEST CITY — Seminole State College received the top seed in the Women’s Division I Fastpitch Region II Tournament set to begin a three-day run Friday, May 4, on the campus of Rose State Community College in Midwest City.
Ranked No. 10 in the final National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association national poll, the Belles enter the eight team, double elimination tournament with a 42-5 season record.
Seminole won the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 30-2 mark.
Eastern faces Seminole at 2 p.m., Friday, in the first round of the tournament. The winner plays at noon on Saturday, May 5, in the winner’s bracket quarterfinals. The loser plays in a 4 p.m., Saturday, in an elimination game.
Three-time defending Region II champion Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College is the No. 2 seed with a 38-14 record. Ranked No. 20 nationally, the Lady Norse posted a 26-6 conference record.
Over the past 12 seasons, the Lady Norse own eight regional titles, including six of the last eight. NEO has a string of eight consecutive victories in the last two regional tournaments.
Last year the Lady Norse defeated Seminole 6-0 in the regional final played at Coweta High School.
During the 2017 national tournament at St. George, Utah, the No. 6 seed Lady Norse dropped a 6-5 decision to No. 11 seed Lake Land, Illinois, in the first game.
Squaring off against Indian Hills, Iowa in the second round, NEO posted a 14-11 victory.
The Lady Norse gained a 1-0 shutout over Chipola, Florida, in the third round.
Facing Howard, Texas in the quarterfinals, the Lady Norse lost 6-5 in eight innings to finish eighth in the nation with a 44-10 record.
NEO opens Region II play at noon Friday against No. 7 seed Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa. The Lady Mavericks are 12-20 in the OCAC and 24-27 overall.
During the regular season the Lady Norse won a pair of five-inning games (15-6 and 8-0) in Miami against NOC-Tonkawa.
Then at Tonkawa, the Lady Mavericks won 3-0 before dropping a 13-2 decision in five innings.
The winner of the NEO-NOC-Tonkawa game plays at 10 a.m. Saturday while the loser plays at 8 p.m. Friday in an elimination game.
“We started the season with a lot of young, inexperienced kids,” head coach Eric Iverson said. “They’ve grown up against some very good competition.
“They found out that it takes a lot more to go win this thing than just a little bit more,” Iverson said. “I’m optimistic about our chances in the playoffs.
“I think we have a really quality club that will give us a great opportunity to go win another one,” Iverson said.
First game in the tournament starts at 10 a.m. Friday. No. 4 seed Carl Albert State College (17-15 and 30-19) faces No. 5 seed Northern-Enid (17-15 and 31-22). The winner plays the Seminole-yet to be determined winner at noon Saturday. The loser faces the loser at 6 p.m. Friday in an elimination game.
No. 3 seed Connors State College (20-12 and 33-14) plays No. 6 seed Rose State (14-18 and 18-31) at 4 p.m. Friday. The winner faces the NEO-Tonkawa winner at 10 a.m. Saturday. The losers of both games play at 8 p.m. Friday.
The winner’s bracket final game will be at 6 p.m. Saturday followed by the loser’s bracket semifinals at 8 p.m.
Action wraps up starting at noon Sunday with the loser’s bracket final. The championship game will be played at 2 p.m.
The Region II representative travels to St. George for the national tournament May 16-19.