The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Missouri Southern Sports

April 20, 2012

Lions must win their way into MIAA softball tournament

It’s win or else for Missouri Southern’s softball team this weekend for the Lions to qualify for next week’s conference postseason tournament.

The Lions complete regular-season play with road doubleheaders against Washburn at 2:30 p.m. today and Fort Hays State at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Coach Bill Gray’s Lions (15-32) are 10th in the conference standings with a 4-12 record. They swept Truman State and Northwest Missouri State in their first two league twinbills but have gone 0-12 in league play since. The top eight teams advance to postseason play.

The Lions can assure themselves a tournament spot if they go 4-0 this weekend. That would put them in a sixth-place tie with Washburn, which split with Pittsburg State on Friday, and Southwest Baptist (6-12) could make it a three-way tie if the Bearcats win twice today at Lincoln.

Should the Lions win three games and finish 7-13 in the league, that ties Northwest Missouri and puts the Lions in the tournament unless SBU splits with Lincoln.

A three-way tie at 7-13 involving the Lions, SBU and Northwest Missouri for the last two tournament berths would be determined by the final standings since those three teams went 2-2 head-to-head — MSSU swept Northwest, Northwest swept SBU and SBU swept MSSU.

Should the Lions go 2-2 this weekend, their tournament hopes would be over since they would lose every tiebreaker involving six-win teams.

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Missouri Southern Sports