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MSUB Ready for Postseason Return

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-GNAC Sports-

PORTLAND, Ore. - The pairings are set for the third annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Softball Championships.

A scheduled doubleheader Sunday in Billings between Western Oregon and Montana State Billings was canceled because of unplayable field conditions leaving the Yellowjackets (26-21, 14-8) in third place one game ahead of the fourth-place Wolves (21-26, 13-9).

The games will not be rescheduled as Sunday was the final day games could be played under GNAC regulations.

Both teams will travel to Yakima this week to compete in the GNAC Championships.

The championships begin Thursday at the Gateway Sports Complex.

In the opening game of the tournament at 4:30 p.m. second-seed Western Washington (28-16, 17-7) will play third-seed MSUB. The second game at 7 p.m. will match defending champion Western Oregon against GNAC regular-season champion Saint Martin's (40-16).

The winner of the double-elimination tournament will earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Division II West Regionals, which begin either Thursday, May7 or Friday, May 8. Each of the two NCAA sub-regionals will be four-team double-elimination events.

Joining the champions of the GNAC, PacWest and California Collegiate Athletic Association will be five at-large teams, based on the NCAA West Regional rankings.

In last week's regional rankings, Saint Martin's was ranked sixth and Western Washington was ranked 10th.

The NCAA will announce the eight qualifiers and the two sites for the regional on Monday (May 4) at 7 a.m. Pacific with a news release on

GNAC Softball Championships (April 30-May 2 at Gateway Sports Complex, Yakima, Wash.)

Thursday: 4:30 p.m. - #2 Western Washington (28-16) vs. #3 Montana State Billings (26-21). 7 p.m. - #1 Saint Martin's (40-16) vs. #4, Western Oregon (21-26).

Friday: 2 p.m. - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2. 4:30 p.m. - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (loser-out). 7 p.m. - Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 7 p.m. (loser-out).

Saturday: Noon - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, noon. (If necessary a second game will follow at 2:30 p.m.).