2012 Horizon League Softball Championship Bracket
INDIANAPOLIS – With a record-setting regular season, Valparaiso claimed the No. 1 seed for the 2012 Horizon League Softball Championship. The regular season softball title was the first for Valparaiso, giving the Crusaders their third regular season crown this season.
With a 19-5 mark in Horizon League play, Valparaiso will be the No. 1 seed and host for the championships, which run May 9-12 at the Valparaiso Softball Park. The Crusaders’ 37 wins set a new program record.
Loyola (24-21, 15-8 Horizon), who claimed the No. 1 seed in 2011, is the No. 2 seed and was one of two League teams to take a series from the Crusaders in conference play. The Ramblers will turn to three-time League pitcher of the week Brittany Gardner to carry the team on the rubber.
Defending conference champion UIC (25-25, 12-9 Horizon) enters the tournament having won seven of its last nine games, including a series victory over Valparaiso. The Flames clinched the No. 3 seed on the final day of the regular season; last year, UIC captured the League crown from the No. 5 seed.
Youngstown State (28-19-1, 12-10 Horizon) returns to the League Tournament after missing out in each of the last two years. The Penguins claimed the No. 4 seed with a victory over Green Bay on the last day of the regular season.
Butler (23-30, 13-11 Horizon) suffered through an injury-plagued season, but held on to grab the No. 5 seed in the tournament. Last year, the Bulldogs rode hot pitching to the League championship series, falling in the championship to UIC.
Green Bay (22-26, 11-12 Horizon) is back in the League Championship after a one-year hiatus. The Phoenix wrapped up their spot in the final weekend of play and will be out to grab their first League championship since 2005.
The first games on Wednesday, May 9 will see the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds play at 11 a.m. CST, with Youngstown State and Butler getting the tournament underway. No. 3 UIC and sixth-seeded Green Bay will wrap up the day at 1:30 p.m. CST. The Butler-YSU winner will draw Valparaiso on Thursday, with Loyola taking on the UIC-Green Bay victor. Losers of those games will play in elimination games later in the afternoon.
The Horizon League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will be decided on Saturday, May 12, with first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m. CST. If necessary, a second game will be played at 2 p.m. CST. Saturday’s games will be carried live on the Horizon League Network.