BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – No. 6 Birmingham-Southern College softball is headed to Marshall, Texas to open play in the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament's strongest bracket. The Panthers will square off against No. 8 Texas Lutheran University (30-7) and host No. 2 East Texas Baptist University (39-4) this weekend for a chance to play in the Super Regional's.
There is no other bracket in the tournament where every team is ranked, let alone holds three top 10 teams. The only other bracket with three ranked teams has No. 1, No. 13, and No. 17.
BSC (34-5) recently won both the regular season and tournament titles of the Southern Athletic Association to earn its place at the dance. They are seeded third in the round robin bracket and will face second seeded Texas Lutheran first, before going up against top seed ETBU in the night cap on Friday.
The two remaining teams will play on Saturday and an if needed game will be played on Sunday. This is the Panthers third trip to the national tournament. Their first berth was in 2012 where they finished with a 2-2 record. Their last trip was in 2016. Despite belonging to the atlantic region, BSC will need to get through teams from the west region if it wants to make the programs first trip to the World Series.
Game 1: BSC vs. Texas Lutheran, Friday at 4 p.m.
The Panthers have seen TLU only once since moving to NCAA Division III. The teams met in Birmingham in 2017. BSC dropped both games of the doubleheader, 7-5 and 4-1.
Game 2: BSC vs. East Texas Baptist, Friday at 6:30 p.m.
This will be the third meeting of these two teams in the NCAA Division III era. ETBU leads the all-time series 3-1. BSC dropped their last meeting 5-3 in 2018. They split play the last time the Panthers were in Marshall in 2017 with BSC winning the first game 2-1 before losing in a 4-3 walkoff in the ninth inning of game two.
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