Phoenix College is proud to announce that the PC Softball team has officially secured the top seed in the Region I Division II Softball Tournament for the 4th consecutive season. That means the Bears have also earned the right to host every game of the four-team tournament at the Bears' Softball Stadium on Friday and Saturday, May 9th & 10th. Tournament action will begin at 10AM Friday morning, and continue on until a champion is determined Saturday afternoon.
The practice of hosting this tournament has become ‘old hat' for the Bears, who have entered this postseason tourney as the #1 seed in all but one year in this millennium. In fact, the Bears barely focused on it when they officially clinched the #1 spot on the Division II side three weeks ago, since they've been battling Arizona Western and Eastern Arizona for the ACCAC Regular Season title most of the season.
The only suspense for PC Head Softball Coach Heinz Mueller and his charges over the past week was who their first-round opponent would be. That was determined Saturday when South Mountain's sweep of Mesa officially clinched the #3 seed for the Cougars, and dropped idle Glendale (who finished their regular season schedule on Tuesday) to the fourth seed by virtue of a lost tiebreaker with SMCC.
Like the Gauchos, the Bears also had the luxury of sitting back and watching things play out this weekend, since their regular season came to a close Thursday afternoon at Eastern Arizona College. The Bears finished the regular season with a 48-12 overall mark, tagging them with the distinction of owning the most overall wins of any team in the ACCAC this season.
Their 36-8 mark in conference play was good enough for 3rd-best in the conference standings. Completing the four-team tournament bracket is #2 Scottsdale (38-21 overall, 24-18 ACCAC), #3 South Mountain (29-29 overall, 19-25 ACCAC) and #4 Glendale (26-28 overall, 19-25 ACCAC). The Bears are seeking their 13th Region I Division II title and 13th trip to the national tournament since 2000 when they take the field for the first time Friday afternoon. The winner of this year's tournament won't have much time to celebrate, since this year's NJCAA Division II Softball Tournament begins just four days after the completion of the Region I Tournament (on May 14th) in Clinton, Mississippi. The Bears have won nine national titles during the 24-year tenure of Mueller and ten national championships in the program's history.
First pitch for the Region I Division II Softball Tournament is scheduled for 10AM Friday, May 9th at the Bears' Softball Stadium on the PC main campus (1202 West Thomas Road in Phoenix). The Friday schedule is as follows:
Game 1 10AM #3 South Mountain vs. #2 Scottsdale
Game 2 12:30PM #4 Glendale vs. #1 Phoenix
Game 3 3PM Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser
The double-elimination tournament will pare the 4-team field down to 3 before the end of the first day. The remaining three teams will play on Saturday at 9AM, 11AM & 1PM (and at 3PM, if necessary) to determine the Region I Division II Champion. Under Region I Playoff rules, no passes are allowed, so admission prices for each day are $5 for all adults and $3 for PC students. The single admission allows fans to watch all games during that day's action.
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