College Sports

Division II conference tournaments begin Thursday in baseball, softball

Chris Anderson is the baseball coach at Belmont Abbey, the No. 2 seed in the Conference Carolinas tournament. The Crusaders are ranked No. 25 in the NCAA Division II poll.
Chris Anderson is the baseball coach at Belmont Abbey, the No. 2 seed in the Conference Carolinas tournament. The Crusaders are ranked No. 25 in the NCAA Division II poll. Belmont Abbey College

Baseball and softball teams from the Carolinas’ Division II conferences will begin their push toward possible national championships in league tournaments that begin Thursday.

Conference Carolinas will hold both tournaments in Burlington, while the South Atlantic Conference baseball tournament is in Kodak, Tenn., and the softball tournament is in Hartsville, S.C.

Last year, Catawba of the SAC reached the finals of the Division II Baseball World Series, losing to Tampa University.

This season, Belmont Abbey and Erskine of Conference Carolinas are nationally ranked in baseball, while Lenoir-Rhyne is nationally ranked in softball.

Tournament champions gain automatic berths in NCAA Division II Regional tournaments in May.

SOUTH ATLANTIC BASEBALL

Site: Smokies Stadium, Kodak, Tenn.

When: Thursday through Monday, with title game at 1 p.m.

Favorites: Catawba is the top seed, with Carson-Newman the No. 2 seed. But fifth-seeded Newberry is a darkhorse.

Thursday games: No. 5 Newberry vs. No. 8 Lenoir-Rhyne, 4 p.m.; No. 6 Wingate vs. No. 7 Coker, 7 p.m. On Friday, No. 1 Catawba plays the lower-seeded Thursday winner, and Carson-Newman plays the higher-seeded Thursday winner. Also, No. 3 Tusculum plays No. 4 Lincoln Memorial.

SOUTH ATLANTIC SOFTBALL

Site: Byerley Park, Hartsville, S.C.

When: Thursday through Sunday, with title game at 1 p.m.

Favorites: Top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne is ranked third in the Southeast Region and 19th nationally. Catawba and Wingate also are ranked in the Southeast.

Thursday games: No. 3 Wingate vs. No. 6 Queens, 10 a.m.; No. 2 Catawba vs. No. 7 Newberry, 12:30 p.m.; No. 1 Lenoir-Rhyne vs. No. 8 Anderson, 3 p.m.; No. 4 Carson-Newman vs. No. 5 Lincoln Memorial, 5:30 p.m.

CONFERENCE CAROLINAS BASEBALL

Site: Burlington Athletic Stadium.

When: Thursday through Sunday, with title game at 1 p.m.

Favorites: Top seed Erskine is ranked 19th nationally, with second seed Belmont Abbey ranked 25th.

Thursday games: No. 5 Mount Olive vs. No. 2 Belmont Abbey, 11 a.m.; No. 5 Barton vs. No. 4 North Greenville, 3 p.m.; No. 6 Pfeiffer vs. No. 1 Erskine, 7 p.m.

CONFERENCE CAROLINAS SOFTBALL

Site: Springwood Park, Burlington.

When: Thursday through Saturday, with title game at 2 p.m.

Favorites: Limestone is the top seed, with a 17-4 regular-season conference record. But Pfeiffer finished 17-5 and is the league’s hottest team. Pfeiffer is ranked eighth this week in the Southeast Region.

Thursday games: No. 4 Erskine vs. No. 5 North Greenville, 10 a.m. on Field 4; No. 3 Mount Olive vs. No. 6 Belmont Abbey, 10 a.m. on Field 1; No. 1 Limestone vs. No. 8 Barton, noon on Field 1; No. 2 Pfeiffer vs. No. 7 King (Tenn.), noon on Field 4.

Erskine-North Greenville winner vs. Limestone-Barton winner, 2 p.m.; Mount Olive-Belmont Abbey winner vs. Pfeiffer-King winner, 2 p.m.

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