Lady Jags Clinch Third Seed

The steady climb of Jag softball during it's fifth season has resulted in unprecedented success. After beating Troy 4-3 in the season finale, Becky Clark's team finished with a 35-15 overall record and their 14-10 conference mark has given the team a third seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, highest in the program's history.

As the third seed, USA will play in Game 1 on Wednesday at 10am against six seed ULM. ULM finished the season with a 27-25 record, 10-13 in the SBC with a five game conference losing streak. ULM was USA's opening conference opponent this season back in mid-March. The Jags took the series 2-1 with victories of 3-1 and 5-2 but a 3-11 loss that was called after five innings. Considering the way the season has progressed since then, USa would have to be considered a solid favorite in this opening matchup.

Should the Jags win the first game, their next would in Game 7 on Thursday at 3pm against the winner of Game 2 between two seed FAU and seven seed WKU. Should the Jags lose, they would play in Game 8 Thursday morning at 10am against the loser of Game 2. Advancing through either of these games would put USA in Game 11 on Friday at 3pm and a possible Game 13 on Saturday, if needed, for a chance to play for the championship.

On the other side of the bracket 1 seed ULL will face 8 seed MTSU while 4 seed FIU meets 5 seed Troy. UNT finished ninth in the conference and will not participate in the tournament. The championship game will be held on Saturday at a time still to be determined. The possibility of additional Saturday games to decide who plays in the championship game will depend on if a team advances through the loser's bracket and defeats the winner's bracket team in their first meeting.

ULL will be the host team in their almost-renovated stadium. In order to meet regional-hosting qualifications, Lamson Park is undergoing $2.1 million in upgrades that are about 90% completed. The facility is playable for these games, so the incompleteness of the work should not affect the tournament.

This is easily the best softball team in Becky Clark's tenure at USA. Jag fans will be paying attention this week to see if USA can get to their first NCAA tournament.

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