The U.N.I. and Drake softball teams are both assured of playing in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and this weekend will try to improve their seeding. The Panthers and Bulldogs are tied for fifth at 11-11 heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
U.N.I. coach Ryan Jacobs says coming from a past where they always had to fight to the end of the season to get a tournament bid, it is nice to know they are in, and now it’s a matter of fighting for a seed. He says getting a top four seed in the conference tournament is a big advantage.
Jacobs says the three and four seeds don’t have to play two games on the first day as you get a first round bye. So if you win that one game you get into the double elimination portion of the tournament. U.N.I. hosts Missouri State in a three game series beginning on Saturday.
The Bears are 12-10 and currently hold fourth place. Jacobs says the good thing is they are going up against the team that is currently in the fourth spot and they are coming to Cedar Falls. Jacobs says the Panthers hope to close out their home schedule on a positive note.
He says the way they’ve had to adjust to playing at home was new to the team after playing the first 20 games on the road. Jacobs says with finals ending, they should be upbeat and ready to go for the weekend. Drake hosts a three game series against Valley leader Southern Illinois beginning Friday. The Conference tournament is next week in Des Moines.