FLORENCE, SC – For the third consecutive year, Francis Marion University will serve as host for the Peach Belt Conference Softball Tournament. The double-elimination event will take place Friday through Sunday (April 16-18) at the Freedom Florence Recreational Complex.
This season only the top eight finishers during the PBC regular season qualified for the tournament. The PBC office announced the tournament seeds on Wednesday night. Top-ranked and unbeaten North Georgia College & State University (41-0) is the top seed, while Francis Marion (31-12) is the third seed.
The 2010 All-Conference Team will be announced at a banquet on Thursday evening.
Daily admission to the tournament will be $6 for ages 13 and above, $4 for ages 6-12, and ages under 6 free. Tournament passes will be available for $15 (adults) and $10 (children).
The tournament gets underway on Friday with two games each at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Action resumes on Saturday with two games at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and one game at 4 p.m. The championship game is set for noon on Sunday.
Scores will be available on the web at http://www.fmupatriots.com/sports/sball/2009-10/news/SB_PBC_2010_Tournament
Francis Marion will play sixth-seeded UNC Pembroke (29-17) in its first game on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Win or lose in that 1:30 p.m. contest, the Patriots will play again at 6:30 p.m.
The tournament winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
FMU split a doubleheader at UNCP last weekend, losing the opener 2-1 and winning the second game 4-3. The Patriots lead the all-time series 33-14.
Senior southpaw Michaela Wolf leads the Patriot pitching staff with a 17-6 record and a 1.51 earned run average. Junior righty Cea Knox is 14-5 with a 3.37 ERA.
Sophomore second baseman Ashley Jaramillo leads the Patriots with a .378 batting average, 11 doubles, five home runs, and 40 runs batted in. Wolf is batting .370 with three homers and 30 RBIs, while junior right fielder Chelle Phillips is hitting .367 with a team-leading 45 runs scored in only 43 games.
Sixth-year FMU head coach Stacey Vallee is one victory shy of 200 for her career. She has a 199-93 mark and has guided the Patriots to 30-win campaigns in five of her six years.
Francis Marion has finished third in each of the past two tournaments, the third time FMU has gotten to within one game of the title contest (also accomplished in 2004). The Patriots have an all-time record of 27-30 in tournament play. FMU also hosted the tournament in 1997.
The top seed has won four of the past six tournaments.
2010 Peach Belt Conference Softball Tournament Schedule at Freedom Florence
Friday, April 16, 2010
Game 1: Field 2 11 am #1 North Georgia (41-0) vs. #8 Lander (22-22)
Game 2: Field 3 11 am #4 Armstrong Atlantic State (31-16) vs. #5 Flagler (28-22)
Game 3: Field 2: 1:30 pm #2 Augusta State (37-13) vs. #7 USC Aiken (20-21)
Game 4: Field 3: 1:30 pm #3 Francis Marion (31-12) vs. #6 UNC Pembroke (29-17)
Game 5: Field 3: 4 pm Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser
Game 6: Field 2: 4 pm Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner
Game 7: Field 2: 6:30 pm Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser
Game 8: Field 3: 6:30 pm Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Game 9: Field 2 11 am Game 5 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser
Game 10: Field 3 11 am Game 7 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser
Game 11: Field 3: 1:30 pm Game 6 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner
Game 12: Field 2: 1:30 pm Game 9 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner
Game 13: Field 2: 4 pm Game 12 Winner vs. Game 11 Loser
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Game 14: Field 3: 12 pm Game 11 Winner vs. Game 13 Winner
Game 15: Field 3: 2:30 pm (If necessary)
Other Tournament Notes.............
North Georgia has been the No.1-ranked team in the nation for the past seven weeks and are the only NCAA softball team, in Divisions I, II or III, to be undefeated on the season. Now 41-0 overall and 20-0 in conference play, the Saints broke Kennesaw State’s PBC record of 40 straight wins with their sweep of Lander. NGCSU advanced to the semifinals of the DII World Series last season after winning their first PBC tournament title. The Saints have appeared in the last two PBC championship games and want to become the first team to repeat as tournament champions since Columbus State won three in a row from 2005-07.......Augusta State enters the tournament as the #2 seed. The Jaguars are ranked #15 in the nation this week and have been as high as #10 this season.......AASU is the fourth seed, although the Pirates joined Flagler and UNC Pembroke in finishing 10-10 in PBC play, but won a three-way tiebreak with a sweep of UNCP and a split with Flagler. Once AASU earned its seed, Flagler and UNC Pembroke went to the next step of the tiebreaker: record against the top teams. Both were swept by North Georgia, but Flagler split their DH with Augusta State, while UNCP was swept giving Flagler the fifth seed.