While we get ready for the conclusion of the DII baseball season, let’s not forget, the DII softball selection show is here. Sixteen automatic bids have been claimed and the MIAA and PSAC wrap up their conference tournaments Sunday to crown the final two. The selection show will air right here on NCAA.com at 10 p.m. ET tonight, Sunday, May 16.
What else caught our eye this past week? Well, that’s what we’re here for, naturally. Sit back and relax, here comes this week’s DII Report.
What to watch: DII baseball conference tournaments to conclude this week
It is the final week of the DII baseball season. Those conference tournaments that have yet to start will commence, while several champions — and automatic bids to the DII baseball championship — have already been crowned. We’ll know who will keep playing after this week when the selection show airs right here on NCAA.com on Sunday, May 23 at 10 p.m. ET.
With the busy week of tournament action ahead, we made sure to put everything in one place for you. Track the automatic bids by clicking here.
So, what will we be watching?
- Colorado Mesa finished the regular season 37-3. This offense was simply absurd. Haydn McGeary, one of our preseason player of the year candidates, finished the slate hitting .500 with a 1.575 OPS, 21 doubles and 17 home runs. Matt Turner hit two home runs on Friday to tie for the DII lead at 21 and missed ten games. The Mavericks are still on record-setting pace, scoring 13.4 runs per game.
- The PSAC semifinals kick off Sunday and three of the best teams in the nation are in action. Bloomsburg must take on the Millersville Marauders high-octane offense. Bren Taylor, Tyler Wright, Luke Trainer, and Cole Friese are all hitting over .350 for a team hitting .332 overall. The Seton Hill vs. Mercyhurst battle on the other side of the bracket will be one to watch. The Griffins have the second-best ERA in DII baseball, while Mercyhurst is both tournament experienced and getting hot at the right time. This is a rematch of an early April series that had quite the interesting outcome, with Seton Hill taking two wins.
- Columbus State had quite the road ahead of it in the Peach Belt Conference tournament, but thus far, the Cougars have handled it rather well. After sweeping nationally ranked UNC Pembroke, Columbus State erupted for a PBC tournament record 25 runs in a 20-run victory over a North Georgia team that has been up and down the rankings all season. Isaac Bouton went 6-for-7 with five RBIs and four runs scored. The PBC will be decided on Sunday, May 16.
- Speaking of 20-run performances, how about St. Edward’s 21-2 victory over West Texas A&M, the No. 4 team in our last DII baseball Power 10 rankings? The Hilltoppers bounced back from a 16-3 rout by the Buffs in Game 1, setting up a very curious rubber match on Sunday.
- The NSIC semifinals are set, and what a group of teams are left standing. Minnesota State and Augustana (SD), two teams that have been in the Power 10 all season, are still dancing, while St. Cloud State and Minnesota Crookston figure out how to take them down.
- The Gulf South finale is going to be a good one. Delta State was No. 21 in our preseason rankings, and though it took the Statesmen a little bit to click, they are rolling. Jake Barlow and Hayden White are explosive bats to watch, while Hunter Riggins holds things down on the bump. West Florida may be the scariest team in DII baseball right now. The Argos have won seven in a row, including four against a Lee team that was ranked as high as No. 2 in the national top 25. They are just a well-balanced team doing serious damage right now.
- The GLVC finale should be a good one. Illinois Springfield, one of the most potent offenses all season long, faces Lindenwood, a team that has been nationally ranked all season. Zion Pettigrew and Kal Youngquist are the players to watch here. Both are hitting over .420 with a combined 40 doubles and 28 home runs.
- Other series to watch:
- St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Molloy in the ECC finals May 21-22.
- Southern New Hampshire plays Franklin Pierce in one NE10 semifinal while Le Moyne plays Adelphi on the other side of the bracket.
- Oklahoma Baptist, one of our preseason sleepers, is alive and well in the GAC semifinals. OBU will face Henderson State in one semifinal while Arkansas-Monticello squares off against one-seeded Arkansas Tech.
- West Virginia State and Concord will battle for the MEC on Sunday. West Virginia State has the best record in the conference, while Concord is looking to play the spoiler with an 18-21 record.
- Pittsburg State and Washburn play Sunday to see which team advances to the MIAA semifinals this week. Missouri Southern and Central Oklahoma also have a rubber match to decide who will advance to the semifinals. Central Missouri has already advanced as did No. 7 Rogers State in an upset over No. 2 Northeastern State.
Welcome to the Hall of Fame: Barbara Stevens by the numbers
Former Bentley head coach Barbara Stevens was inducted as a member of the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class this past weekend. Just how remarkable was Stevens’ career?
5: Times Stevens was named WBCA DII national coach of the year, most recently in 2014.
10: Trips Bentley made to the national semifinals under Stevens lead.
15: Times Stevens was named Northeast-10 coach of the year, most recently in 2018.
22: 25-win seasons Stevens’ Bentley teams had in her 34 years.
31: Times Bentley made the NCAA DII women’s basketball tournament in Stevens’ 34 years as head coach.
35-0: The Falcons record during Stevens’ lone national championship season in 2014. They were just the second team in DII women’s basketball history to run the table perfectly at the time.
901-200: Stevens’ record as Bentley’s head coach. That’s a win 82 percent of the time she spent there.
1058: Total wins Stevens ended with in her illustrious career. She was just the fifth women’s basketball coach to have 1,000 wins.
Program history: DBU wins first-ever DII women’s golf title
The Patriots made DBU history on Saturday, winning the DII women’s golf national championship. It came in pretty dramatic fashion with a birdie putt breaking the tie with No. 2 Lynn. It could be considered a big upset for the fifth-seeded Patriots, especially as Lynn is no stranger to national championship matches, winning in both 2013 and 2014. DBU first took down No. 4 UIndy 3-1-1, before defeating Grand Valley State, 3-2. See the game-winning putt and relive all the action in the DII women’s golf championship recap.