Monday, April 30, 2012

UIS softball team earns spot in NCAA Division II tournament

Technical difficulties kept the University of Illlinois Springfield softball team from hearing the Prairie Stars’ name announced among the at-large selections for the NCAA Division II Softball National Championship, but it didn’t dampen their joy Monday.

UIS is headed to a national tournament for the first time in any sport since joining Division II in 2010. The Stars (34-20) are seeded fourth in the double-elimination Midwest Regional and play fifth-seeded Northern Kentucky (35-19) at 11 a.m. Friday in Indianapolis.

UIS is 2-1 this season against Northern Kentucky, which is moving to NCAA Division I later this year.

The winner plays at 10 a.m. Saturday against host and top-seeded Indianapolis (49-7) or No. 8 seed Wayne State (34-20), which play at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The loser plays at 2 p.m. Saturday.

UIS players and coach Mat Mundell gathered Monday morning to watch an Internet broadcast of the selection show. Technical problems delayed the announcement, so several players left for their classes.

“(Associate Director of Athletics) Scott Reed and some of the other coaches were anxiously waiting to see,” Mundell said. “There was an outburst of joy when we found out we were in for use.”

Mundell used text messaging to notify his team of the good news.

The announcement was published in an May 1, 2012, article in The State Journal-Register.

Read the article online