NEW ORLEANS – The seeds and matchups for this week's 2017 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship, hosted at the Troy Softball Complex in Troy, Ala., have been determined following the conclusion of the conference's regular season on Sunday evening.
The tournament begins on Wednesday, May 10, and ends with the championship game on Saturday, May 13. All games of the tournament will be available on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. The tournament format combines single and double-elimination play. Two single elimination first round games on Wednesday precede the start of double elimination play between the remaining six teams. The top (8) teams, based on conference winning percentage will compete for the tournament title.
The No. 15/16-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (42-6, 23-1) earned the top seed after they set a new Sun Belt record with 23 conference wins this season. The Ragin' Cajuns topped the 40-win mark for the 19th consecutive season and have won 37 straight Sun Belt series dating back to March 2013.
Texas State (39-13, 18-8), Georgia State (33-21, 18-9) and South Alabama (32-18, 14-12) earned the second, third and fourth seeds, respectively. The Bobcats earned a bye to the second round of double elimination play and will play their first game on Thursday. The Panthers and Jaguars earned a first round bye and will play their first games in the double elimination portion of the tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
The tournament begins on Wednesday with single elimination games between No. 5 seed UTA (29-24, 14-13) and No. 8 seed Coastal Carolina (32-22, 10-16) at 10 a.m. CT and No. 6 seed Georgia Southern (24-28, 12-15) and No. 7 seed ULM (29-26, 11-16) at 12:30 p.m. CT.
The Sun Belt champion will earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
2017 Championship Schedule
Wednesday, May 10 (Single Elimination) G1: No. 5 UTA vs. No. 8 Coastal Carolina (ESPN3), 10:00 a.m. CT (ESPN3) G2: No. 6 Georgia Southern vs. No. 7 ULM, 12:30 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
Wednesday, May 10 (Start of Double Elimination)
G3: No. 4 South Alabama vs. Winner Game 1, 3 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
G4: No. 3 Georgia State vs. Winner Game 2, 5:30 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
Thursday, May 11 G5: No. 1 Louisiana vs. Winner Game 3, 10 a.m. CT (ESPN3)
G6: No. 2 Texas State vs. Winner Game 4, 12:30 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
G7: Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 5, 3 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
G8: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 6, 5:30 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
Friday, May 12 G9: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 11 a.m. (ESPN3) G10: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)
G11: Loser Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 5 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
Saturday, May 13 (Championship Game) G12: Winner G9 vs. Winner G11, 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
* - All times C T and subject to change
2017 Championship seeds and Sun Belt records
1. Louisiana (23-1, .958)
2. Texas State (18-8, .692)
3. Georgia State (18-9, .667)
4. South Alabama (15-12, .538)
5. UTA (14-13, .519)
6. Georgia Southern (12-15, .444)
7. ULM (11-16, .407)
8. Coastal Carolina (10-16, .385)