ST. GEORGE, Utah – Butler softball has received the top seed in the 2017 NJCAA Division I National Tournament, as pairings and seeding were announced Sunday.
The Grizzlies (53-1) will face 16th-seeded Snead State, Ala. (30-39), the District I champion, in Wednesday's opening round at 5:30 p.m. CST in St. George.
Win or lose, Butler will play either No. 8 Tyler, Texas (50-17) or No. 9 Howard, Texas (46-12) the following day. If Butler wins, the Grizzlies would play in Thursday's second round at 3:30 p.m., while a loss would force an elimination game at 6:00 p.m.
Butler enters the 16-team field as one of the top offenses in the country as the Grizzlies lead the nation in batting average (.418), home runs (118), runs batted in (562), runs scored per game (11.2), on-base percentage (.491) and slugging percentage (.758).
The Grizzlies also have one of the nation's top pitching staffs with a 1.16 earned-run average and a .186 batting average against, with both marks ranking second in the nation. Butler leads all teams in strikeouts per 7 innings (8.43) and has 384 strikeouts on the season, which ranks third.
Overall, Snead State is hitting .297 (103rd among NJCAA D-I teams) with 47 home runs (36th), 304 runs batted in (37th) and averaging 5.0 runs per game. The Parsons' pitching staff has a 3.33 earned-run average (60th) with 321 strikeouts (10th). Opponents are hitting .292 against them.
Snead State had four players make the All-Alabama CC Conference North Division squad, with sophomore catcher Mallory Walker (.327, 10 HRs, 39 RBI, 12 doubles) making the first team. Earning All-ACCC North second-team honors were freshman third baseman/outfielder Callie Kay (.349, 0 HRs, 18 RBI, 40 runs), pitcher/third baseman Rilee White (14-11, 2.08 ERA, 158.0 IP, 95 SO, 16 CGs) and sophomore pitcher/outfielder Anna Lee Mitchell (.304, 14 HRs, 41 RBI).
Snead State is coached by Tracy Grindrod, who is 102-139-1 in his fourth season with the Lady Parsons.
Video for Wednesday's contest can be found at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/butlercc and live in-game updates can be seen at http://www.twitter.com/butlergrizzlies
NOTES: This marks the second time in program history Butler is the No. 1 overall seed in the national tournament. In 2013, Butler went 4-2 as the top seed and made its first NJCAA Final Four appearance... Butler is 2-0 against this year's tourney field, having beat No. 8 Tyler, Texas (13-1 on Feb. 24 at Beaumont, Texas) and No. 13 North Central Texas (8-3 on Jan. 28 at Gainesville, Texas)... Butler is 11-12 all-time in NJCAA D-I Tournament play and 4-3 in first-round games... Butler is 1-0 all-time against Snead State, winning 13-2 on Feb. 6 last season in Fort Worth, Texas... Butler and Snead State faced six common opponents this season – all against Texas schools. Snead State went 0-7, while Butler was undefeated at 7-0.
|at North Central TX||Jan. 28||W, 8-3||vs. Alvin (TX)||Jan. 27||L, 13-3|
|vs. Galveston (TX)||Feb. 3||W, 7-6 (9)||at Galveston (TX)||Jan. 27||L, 8-4|
|vs. Navarro (TX)||Feb. 3||W, 9-7||vs. Kilgore (TX)||Jan. 28||L, 14-9|
|vs. Lamar State-Port Arthur (TX)||Feb. 4||W, 12-5||vs. North Central TX||Feb. 3||L, 11-3|
|vs. Alvin (TX)||Feb. 17||W, 3-0||vs. Lamar State-Port Arthur (TX)||Feb. 3||L, 6-4|
|vs. Kilgore (TX)||Feb. 25||W, 11-1 (6)||vs. Navarro (TX)||Feb. 4||L, 9-4|
|vs. Navarro (TX)||Feb. 26||W, 7-1||vs. Lamar State-Port Arthur (TX)||Feb. 18||L, 9-6 (8)|