TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 12, 2012) - Tallahassee Community College's softball team will close out Panhandle Conference play on Friday when it travels to Northwest Florida State College for a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. eastern.
Both teams have already qualified for the NJCAA Region 8B/FCSAA Gulf District Tournament in Pensacola, Fla., April 27-29. In fact, all four of the PC's postseason berths have been decided - Chipola College and Gulf Coast State College round out the quartet - but only Chipola knows where it will be seeded in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.
Chipola (42-9, 10-4 PC), who has locked up a share of the PC Championship and owns the head-to-head tie-breaker with second-place Tallahassee, will be the PC's No. 1 seed and can win the conference championship outright with a victory in either game of Friday's doubleheader against last place Pensacola State College (20-23, 3-11). The Indians, however, were swept at Gulf Coast State on Wednesday evening, thus allowing Tallahassee (31-11, 8-6) to enter the final day of conference play with a chance to claim a share of its first PC crown since 1998. Sweeps by Tallahassee and Pensacola State would leave the Eagles and Indians with identical 10-6 conference records.
If the conference championship falls by the wayside, Tallahassee must concern itself with protecting the PC's No. 2 seed - the Eagles have a one-game lead over both Northwest Florida State (34-13, 7-7) and Gulf Coast State (33-14, 8-8), whose conference schedule is complete.
The Tallahassee-Northwest Florida State showdown has a trio of possible seeding outcomes: Tallahassee will be seeded no lower than third; Gulf Coast State will be seeded no higher than third; Northwest Florida State can land anywhere between two and four.
Tallahassee needs only one win to clinch the No. 2 seed while two victories would drop the Raiders to the No. 4 seed. If Northwest Florida State pulls off the sweep, Tallahassee and Gulf Coast State would both finish 8-8, but the Eagles would win the head-to-head tie-breaker and grab the No. 3 seed.
Tallahassee and Northwest Florida State split its doubleheader in Tallahassee on March 27 - the Eagles won game one, 6-0, and dropped game two in 11 innings, 6-5.
If Tallahassee enters postseason as the PC's No. 2 seed, it will play the No. 3 seed from the Suncoast Conference. If the Eagles go to Pensacola as the No. 3 seed, they will hook up with the SuCon's No. 2 seed.
Tallahassee maintained its No. 2 ranking in this week's FCSAA Softball Coaches' Poll. The Eagles received two first-place votes and 171 total points and have now been ranked in the top two for ten straight weeks. Chipola is ranked No. 1 for a second straight week while Northwest Florida State is No. 5 and Gulf Coast State, No. 7.
Tallahassee came in at No. 8 in the NJCAA Softball poll, released on Wednesday.