MIAA playoff picture begins to take shape for Southern softball, baseball

Apr. 25—With just one regular season series left for both the Missouri Southern baseball and softball teams, its not too early to begin looking at possible seedings for each team for their respective MIAA tournaments.

The men, who play the first round in a best-of-three series May 3-5, with the highest-seeded team hosting, will complete the later rounds at Pittsburg State University. The top eight teams in the MIAA will compete to advance to round two, with the four winning teams advancing to play in a double-elimination format beginning May 9 at PSU.

The women will travel to Edmond, Oklahoma, for a single-elimination tournament hosted by Central Oklahoma that begins May 1 with the No. 8/No.9 and No. 7/No. 10 matchups. The top six seeds will receive first-round byes. The championship game is slated for May 4.


The MIAA softball scenario is slightly more convoluted.

Courtesy of an MSSU double-header split with UCO on Wednesday, the Pittsburg State Gorillas, ranked No. 9 in the nation, are now tied with nationally-ranked No. 5 UCO for the league lead at 21-3. They face off for their final game of the season on Saturday at PSU — a single game affair with the MIAA top seed and regular season title on the line.

Rogers State, ranked 12th in the nation, is two wins back at 19-3, but has four games left — doubleheaders against Nebraska-Kearney and Fort Hays State, which currently sit 10th and 11th in the MIAA, respectively. Should RSU win all four, they would finish 23-3 and pass both PSU and UCO for the MIAA regular season championship and the top seed in the tourney.

At 12-10, NWMSU (12-10) is currently in fifth place.

Washburn (17-7) is in fourth with two games left against Emporia State (12-12). ESU is currently in the No. 6 spot.

The Lions are currently in seventh place at 11-13 and will close out their season with a doubleheader against Newman (6-18) on Saturday at Pat Lipira Field.

MSSU could potentially move as high as No. 5 if Northwest Missouri (12-10) and Emporia State (12-12) falter in their final regular season games.

NWMSU closes out its regular season with two games each against Lincoln (4-18) and UCM, which will be fighting to make the 10-team tourney. UCM is currently tied with Missouri Western at ninth with a 10-12 league record. Before battling NWMSU in the finale, UCM will face Missouri Western for two games on Thursday.

Fort Hays State (8-14) is currently in the final 10th spot and has four games left — two each against Northeastern State and Rogers State.


The Southern men, currently ranked No. 9 in the nation, sit in second place in the MIAA, behind the regular season champions and the No. 2 team in the nation, Central Missouri. UCM (27-3 in the MIAA) has already locked up the top seed and will host MSSU in the regular season series finale this weekend.

The Lions should retain the No. 2 seed. At 23-7, MSSU has a three-game lead over both Pittsburg State and Central Oklahoma, which are 20-10. All three teams have three games left. Southern will battle UCM in Warrensburg this weekend, while PSU will host a Fort Hays State team playing for its post-season life. FHSU, Northwest Missouri and Northeastern State all sit tied for seventh in the league at 11-19, with just eight teams qualifying for the tourney.

Both PSU and UCO, which is currently ranked No. 20 in the nation, could conceivably tie the Lions for second, but MSSU won the regular season series against both teams, winning 2-of-3 games against each.

Washburn (18-12) is currently fifth and closes out the regular season with three games against NESU. Rogers State (12-18) is sixth and will travel to Missouri Western (9-21) for a three-game series this weekend.