Big Ten Softball Weekly Release - May 8
May 8, 2012
Five Big Ten squads enter the final weekend of the regular season with an opportunity to clinch a share of the conference crown. Michigan, with its 15-5 Big Ten record, maintains a 1.5 game lead over second-place Iowa at 14-7. Purdue is two games back at 13-7, while Nebraska and Wisconsin are three back at 12-8.
The final weekend of play pits four of the conference’s top five teams in season-ending matchups, including Michigan-Purdue and Wisconsin-Nebraska, while Iowa travels to face Minnesota. Michigan can clinch the outright Big Ten Championship and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championship on Friday with a victory over Purdue coupled with a Minnesota victory over Iowa. Games 1 and 3 of the Michigan-Purdue series will be televised by BTN.
Eleven conference teams rank in the top 100 of the latest NCAA RPI report released Monday, making the Big Ten the only conference in the country to boast 11 top-100 teams. The Wolverines are the conference leader in the RPI at No. 27, followed by No. 46 Illinois, No. 49 Wisconsin and No. 51 Purdue.
Enjoying the most nationally distributed softball games of any conference, the Big Ten is scheduled to have 10 contests televised or streamed to a national audience this week. This season, Big Ten softball saw nearly 100 matchups broadcast on BTN or BTN.com. Friday and Saturday will each feature BTN tripleheaders, opening the weekend with opening games of the Ohio State-Penn State, Purdue-Michigan, and Iowa-Minnesota series. Sunday will feature Games 2 and 3 of the Indiana-Michigan State set, while the finale between Purdue and Michigan will air at 7:30 p.m. ET.