BANGOR, Maine — The Husson University softball team, which recently won its fifth consecutive North Atlantic Conference championship, is headed back to the postseason.
Coach Amanda Bourgoin’s Eagles earned the NAC automatic bid and learned Monday they are bound for Babson Park, Mass., for the first round of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship.
Husson (31-10-1) has been seeded No. 7 and plays No. 2 Rowan (37-7) in Thursday’s 4 p.m. game at Babson College.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference champion Saint Joseph’s College of Standish also has garnered a spot in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship.
The fifth-seeded Monks (33-11) face No. 4 Springfield College (26-18) at noon Wednesday in the first round of the tourney at Babson.
In other matchups, No. 1 Tufts (38-3) plays No. 8 Lesley (24-17) at 10 a.m., and No. 3 Babson (32-12) takes on No. 6 Bridgewater State (24-15) at 2 p.m.
Husson and Saint Joseph’s are among 62 teams in the NCAA tournament, which features eight regionals that will use a double-elimination format.
The Monks are making their third straight NCAA tourney appearance, all via winning league titles.
Forty-one conferences received automatic qualification (Pool A). Two institutions were selected from Pool B, which includes independent institutions and institutions from conferences that do not meet the automatic qualification criteria.
The 19 remaining teams were selected on an at-large basis from automatic qualifying conferences and the remaining institutions in Pool B.
The national championship will be May 17-21 at Carson Park in Eau Claire, Wis., with the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire serving as the tournament host.
UNE to play in ECACs
The University of New England in Biddeford will continue its season in the ECAC New England Division III Softball Tournament.
The 22-17-1 Nor’easters, who compete in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, are the No. 6 seed and play at No. 3 Keene State (21-16) Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Keene, N.H.
First-round winners advance to play in a four-team, double-elimination event Saturday and Sunday on the home field of the highest remaining seed.
USM to host LEC baseball tourney
By virtue of its Little East Conference top seeding, the University of Southern Maine has earned the right to host the LEC Baseball Championship starting Wednesday at USM Baseball Stadium.
The six-team, double-elimination tournament runs through Saturday. The champion will earn the automatic qualifier into the 2013 NCAA Division III tournament.
Southern Maine (33-7, 12-2 LEC), Eastern Connecticut State (28-11-1, 10-4), Keene State (18-21, 7-7), the University of Massachusetts Boston (15-21, 7-7), the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (15-21, 6-8) and Western Connecticut (17-22, 5-9) complete the respective seeding order.
The top-seeded Huskies play No. 6 WCSU at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Second-seeded ECSU plays No. 5 UMass Dartmouth at 12:30 p.m., followed by No. 3 Keene State and No. 4 UMass Boston 3:30 p.m.
Southern Maine has won three league titles in the last five years and is gunning for its 20th trip to the NCAA tourney.
USM lacrosse gets ECAC bid
The Eastern College Athletic Conference announced Monday afternoon the University of Southern Maine women’s lacrosse team has received a berth in the 2013 ECAC Division III New England Championship Tournament.
The Huskies, 12-7, are the third seed in the five-team, single-elimination tournament that begins Wednesday.
The Huskies play second-seeded Mount Holyoke College (11-4) on Saturday (1 p.m.) at Western New England University (Springfield, Mass.). WNEU (14-5) is the top seed and will play the winner of the game between fifth-seeded Worcester State (12-5) and fourth-seeded Curry College (14-5) in the second semifinal round game (4 p.m.). Worcester State travels to Curry for a first-round game on Wednesday (6 p.m.).
This is the first trip to the ECAC tournament in the history of the USM women’s lacrosse program (1972-79; 2001-13).