BARTLESVILLE - With a little help from mother - Mother Nature - the 2007 National Junior College Division I Regional II Tournament started today at Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium.
This is the fifth consecutive year Bartlesville has hosted the six-team event, which determines which squad moves on to the district tournament.
The six teams included top-seeded Northeastern A&M, Arkansas-Fort Smith, Connors State College, Eastern Oklahoma State College, Rose State College and Seminole State College.
A different team has won the regional championship each year it's been in Bartlesville.
The roster of crownbearers includes the Golden Norsemen, the Seminole Trojans, the UAFS Lions and the Connors State Cowboys.
All six teams met each other for four-game sets during the regular season.
NEO (26-27) posted the best inter-region regular season record at 13-7 and earned the No. 1 seed.
Connors State (39-15) is the No. 2 seed with a 12-8 inter-region mark.
Seminole State (32-21) finished 11-9 in region games and earned the No. 3 seed.
UA-Fort Smith (38-18) was dead even at 10-10 in the region and nailed down the fourth seed.
Eastern Oklahoma State (30-22) came in at 8-12 in region contests, falling to the No. 5 seed.
Rose State (19-26) rounds out the bracket at No. 6 seed with a 6-14 region mark.
The tourney is slated to start at noon with Seminole State and Fort Smith going head-to-head.
In the next game, Connors State and Eastern Oklahoma do battle at 3:30 p.m.
The Golden Norsemen square off against Rose State at 7 p.m.
The tourney continues through Sunday. The championship game is set for 1 p.m. with the “if necessary” game slotted for 4 p.m.
The regional is the first step in the NJCAA postseason, which ends with the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.
During the regular season, coach Roger Ward's Golden Norsemen won three of the four games against Rose State.
Sophomore catcher Marc Mimeault hit three home runs and collected seven RBIs to lead the Golden Norsemen to an 11-1 and 6-0 double-header sweep over the Raiders April 19 at Homa Thomas Field.
Rose State's only run on the day came in the top of the second inning of the first game. First baseman Nick Goodie hit a two-out home run over the left-field fence to give the Raiders a brief 1-0 lead.
The Golden Norsemen exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third inning. Doubles by Raymond Rivera and Carl Moniz started the outburst. After a single by Raymond Grant scored Moniz, Mimeault followed with his seventh home run of the year. Singles by Mike Sodders, Steve Anderson and Davey Froman gave NEO a 5-1 cushion.
Another marathon inning in the bottom of the sixth concluded with Anderson hitting his seventh home run of the season to end the game after the Norsemen scored five times.
Moniz, Mimeault, Sodders, Anderson and Froman each had two hits as the Golden Norse offense generated 13 safeties.
Single runs in the first-second and third innings propelled the Golden Norse to a 3-0 lead in the second game. A solo home run by Mimeault in the first inning and RBI singles by Sodders and Raymond Rivera helped create the NEO margin.
Back-to-back doubles by Moniz and Grant gave the Norsemen a 4-0 cushion in the fifth inning.
Mimeault hit his team-leading ninth home run in the bottom of the seventh inning after Grant had collected his second double of the game.