Mizzou softball eyes berth in SEC conference tournament

By Karl Roskamp

After defeating No. 11 Louisiana State 6-1 in Baton Rouge, La. Friday, No. 12 Missouri is projected as the No. 4 seed in next month’s Southeastern Conference softball tournament.

The 10-team tournament, which will be held in Lexington, Ky. May 8-11, seeds teams based on regular season conference winning percentage.  The team with the highest winning percentage against conference foes will be the No. 1 seed.  The remaining teams will be seeded accordingly.  The bottom three teams in the SEC do not get to play in the tournament.

If the tournament were to start today, Missouri (25-6, 10-5 SEC) would play Arkansas (29-16, 7-9 SEC).  During the regular season, the Tigers were 1-2 against the Razorbacks.

Missouri has eight games remaining in conference to help or hurt its seeding.  The team will face LSU two more times this weekend, No. 17 Kentucky (33-13, 9-7 SEC) three times and No. 5 Tennessee (40-6, 13-3 SEC) three times.  All of the games will be on the road except for the series against Tennessee.

Moving up in the seeding will be difficult as all three remaining conference opponents are ranked.   Competition in the SEC is deep as seven of the 13 teams are ranked in the top 25.  Two more, Arkansas and Mississippi State (29-14, 7-9 SEC), received votes in the last poll to be in the top 25.

To make things harder, the teams above Missouri have easier schedules.  Only LSU has to play another ranked team outside of Missouri in its remaining games.  LSU will face No. 4 Alabama (38-7, 10-6) in a three game series at home next weekend.

At best, Missouri could be a No. 3 seed, and at worst, a No. 7 seed.

Currently, Tennessee and No. 3 Florida (42-5, 14-4 SEC) are the only teams to have clinched berths in the tournament.  At the moment, they are also the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds respectively.

The top two teams get first round byes in the tournament.  The No. 1 seed will play the winner of the game between No. 8 and No. 9 and the No. 2 will play the winner of the game between No. 7 and No 10 seeds.

Missouri will face LSU at 6 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La.

Standings as of April 19, 2013

Team

Record in SEC

Games Back

Games Remaining

1) Tennessee*

13-3

8

2) Florida*

14-4

1

6

3) LSU

11-5

2

8

4) Missouri

10-5

2.5

8

5) Alabama

10-6

3

8

6) Kentucky

9-7

4

8

7) Georgia

9-7

4

8

8) Mississippi State

7-9

6

8

9) Arkansas

7-9

6

8

10) Texas A&M

6-9

6.5

8

Games behind 10th

11) Auburn

6-13

2

5

12) South Carolina

3-13

3.5

8

13) Mississippi

2-17

5

5

* = teams have clinched berth in SEC Tournament

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