NEWPORT NEWS, Va. —Fordham claimed its second straight Atlantic 10 softball regular season title, and will be the top seed for the upcoming Atlantic 10 Softball Championship. The Rams will be looking for their fifth straight A-10 crown in the double-elimination tournament, which begins Wednesday at George Mason's Softball Complex.
The first two days of the 2017 A-10 Softball Championship will be streamed on the A-10 Network while Friday and Saturday's games will air on the American Sports Network. Those games will also be streamed on the A-10 Network. The winner of the A-10 championship will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.
Fordham finished the regular season with a 18-5 (.783) mark in the A-10 and 42-14 (.750) overall. Led by pitcher Lauren Quense, and infielder Jessica Hughes, the Rams will get a first-round bye and will open championship play Thursday at noon.
Second-seeded Massachusetts receives the other first round bye and plays Thursday at 2:30 pm. The only team other than Fordham to win the A-10 Championship in the last 12 years, the Minutewomen finished with a regular season mark of 26-22 (.542), 13-6 (.684) in Atlantic 10 games.
Third-seeded Saint Joseph's will begin its championship run Wednesday at 2:30 pm, facing sixth-seeded George Mason. The Hawks were 14-8 (.636) in conference play and 23-26 (.469) overall. Mason won a suspended game Sunday against SJU to secure the final spot in the six-team championship field and finished 12-11 (.522) in league play and 21-31 (.404) overall. Saint Joseph's won the season-ending series with the Patriots, taking 2-of-3 Sunday. The winner of their first-round championship matchup will play UMass Thursday at 2:30 pm.
No. 4 Dayton, which closed out the regular season at 13-10 (.565) in the A-10 and 29-25 (.537) overall will open the championship Wednesday at noon against No. 5 Saint Louis. The Billikens were 24-23 (.511) overall and 12-10 (.545) in conference games this season. The UD/SLU winner plays Fordham Thursday at noon.
There will be three games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, including at least one consolation bracket elimination game each day. The championship final will be played Saturday at 1:00 pm on the American Sports Network (ASN). The if necessary game will take place immediately after the first final, if needed.