UPLAND, Ind. – The 2017 Crossroads League softball tournament is set to commence on Wednesday, May 3, at Gudakunst Field, as No. 2 seed Taylor (35-14, 27-7 CL) will host half of the eight games on the first day of the double-elimination tournament. Top-seeded Marian (40-4, 31-2 CL) will host the other half of the Wednesday games, as well as the remainder of the tournament contests on Thursday and Friday.
TU will take on No. 7 seed Mount Vernon Nazarene (19-29, 13-23 CL) in the opening game at 10:00 am on Wednesday at Gudakunst Field, followed by No. 3 seed Indiana Wesleyan (38-11, 25-8 CL) facing off with No. 6 seed Saint Francis (18-34, 13-23 CL) at noon. The winners of the 10:00 am and 12:00 pm games will then play each other at 3:00 pm, while the losers of the 10:00 am and 12:00 pm games will play each other at 5:00 pm.
At Marian, the Knights will lead off the slate of Wednesday games with a 10:00 am matchup with No. 8 seed Spring Arbor (18-34, 13-23 CL). Fourth-seeded Huntington (29-16-1, 24-12 CL) will then take on No. 5 seed Grace (23-26, 16-18 CL) in the following game at 12:00 pm, with the winners of the 10:00 am and 12:00 pm games playing at 3:00 pm and the losers of the 10:00 am and 12:00 pm games facing off at 5:00 pm.
After Wednesday's games are complete at both sites, two of the eight tournament teams will have been eliminated from title contention.
The Trojans roll into Wednesday's games riding a seven-game win streak, toppling No. 4 Marian and completing season sweeps of USF, Bethel and SAU to end the regular season. Taylor took three-of-four against its first-round opponent, Mount Vernon Nazarene, during the regular season, sweeping the doubleheader at home in the first matchup before splitting a pair of 3-1 outings at MVNU in the final two games between the squads.
Thursday features single games at 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm at Marian University to determine the three squads who will challenge for the tournament title on Friday. An 11:00 am contest on Friday will set the stage for the championship matchup at 1:00 pm, with another game scheduled for 3:00 pm, if necessary, to declare a tournament champion.
The host Knights, ranked No. 4 in the national rankings, have already secured one of the Crossroads League's two automatic bids to the NAIA National Tournament. The remaining seven teams will be battling for a tournament championship and the second automatic bid to nationals.
The Trojan Sports Network will be providing live video and stats of all four games at Gudakunst Field on Wednesday, with live audio being added to the coverage for TU's two Wednesday contests. Follow @TaylorTrojans on Twitter and the Crossroads League Tournament Central page at www.CrossroadsLeague.com for further updates throughout the tournament.