When the NCAA held its selection for the NCAA Division II Softball Playoffs Monday, the Lady Statesmen, at 30-29, heard some great news as they were selected to compete in the South Region 2 Tournament as a No. 7 seed in Tampa, Fla. beginning on Friday. DSU’s opponent will be second seeded Tampa University (31-6) at 6 p.m. EST/ 5 p.m. CST. The tournament is double-elimination.
The region appearance for Delta State is historic as it marks only the team’s second ever NCAA Playoff appearance. The last time DSU earned a berth in the NCAA Playoffs was in 2002.
The Lady Statesmen saved their best softball for last. DSU went 16-11 over its last 27 games, including a strong record 3-2 in the Gulf South Tournament that put the team in the final day. Heading into the GSC Tournament, DSU was 10th in the region . One of DSU’s wins in the GSC Tournament was a 6-4 win over GSC Champion Valdosta State, who won the tournament. Another win was a 17-0 triumph over West Florida, who was ranked No. 8 in the region at the time. During the season, the Lady Statesmen won three out of four games from Southern Arkansas, who ended up winning the Great American Conference Title and won two out of three against West Florida in a regular season series. The Lady Statesmen also managed to get a win over Alabama-Huntsville during the regular season. DSU’s two losses in the tournament came against Alabama-Huntsville, who is the No. 1 ranked team in the region. Huntsville will host the South Region 1 Tournament this weekend.
“We’ve been playing pretty good in the second half of the season,” Delta State head softball coach Casey Charles said. “We’ve taken two of three conference series in four of the last five we’ve played. We’re playing better down the stretch and swinging the bats better. We’re getting some better pitching performances.”
Charles said the win against Valdosta really opened some eyes.
“We had a huge awesome, exciting win over Valdosta State,” Charles said. “Adcock had two home runs including a walk off home run to win it. We played perfect that game. It showed what this team is capable of. I think they did it when it mattered. We had to jumped from ten to seven with what we did this weekend. I’m thankful the regional committee felt fit to give us the opportunity.”
The winner of the South Region 2 Tournament will play the winner of the South Region 1 Tournament in the Super South Regional, beginning May 16.