The Seward County Community College softball team will open play at the Region VI Tournament on Friday afternoon against Cloud County Community College at 3 p.m. in Wichita at the Two Rivers Sports Complex. The Lady Saints will be pursuing the programís third Region VI title, after winning back-to-back championships in 2005 and 2006. Seward enters post-season play after winning its last eight games, including seven in run-rule fashion. Freshman ace pitcher Courtney Auger was recently named the Jayhawk West Conference Most Valuable Player and Freshman of the Year by Kansas Jayhawk Community College. A total of seven SCCC players received All-Conference recognition, including Auger and sophomore catcher Melissa St. Clair, who were named to the first team.

The Lady Saints first opponent in Wichita, Cloud County, has had little success this season with a 1-38 overall record. The Lady Saints posted back-to-back five-inning run-rule wins over the Lady Thunderbirds in Liberal (10-0, 17-2), and Cloud County was forced to forfeit both games to SCCC on April 15 in Concordia.

Seward registered a 20-4 record this season against its six possible Region VI Tournament opponents. A victory in the first round of the playoffs for Seward County would place them in the winnerís bracket quarterfinals against the winner of No. 3 seed Garden City (32-15) and No. 6 seed Neosho County (13-34). The Lady Saints recorded a 3-1 record against Garden City and a perfect 4-0 mark against the Lady Panthers.

At the top of the bracket sits defending Region VI Tournament champion and tournament No. 1 seed Butler, who is currently No. 7 in the nation with a 45-6 overall record. Midway through the season it looked as though Butler would be unstoppable winning 36-of-37 games, including 23 games in a row. The Lady Grizzlies then struggled the final week of the season dropping two of its last five games. Seward County and Butler split a doubleheader in Liberal (Seward County won 5-4, lost 3-2) and Butler came away with a sweep in El Dorado (1-0, 10-2).

Last season was the third straight year Seward County made an appearance in the Region VI championship game, as they finished their season with a 7-3 loss to Butler.

Seward County Top Hitters (sorted by batting average):
Jennifer Collins (.491, 83 Hits, 23 2B, 9 HR, 61 RBI)
Alicia Gonzales (.420, 8 2B, 31 RBI)
Lindsay Garchinski (.400, 68 Hits, 17 2B, 6 HR, 45 RBI)
Jamie Gilbert (.383, 69 Hits, 21 RBI)
Katelyn Glenn (.382, 55 Hits, 12 RBI)
Melissa St. Clair (.359, 60 Hits, 11 2B, 5 HR, 50 RBI)

Seward County Top Pitchers (sorted by wins):
Courtney Auger (21-7, 1.14 ERA, 177.2 IP, 280 SO, 79 BB)
Cara Russell (15-10, 3.71 ERA, 141.1 IP, 76 SO, 26 BB)