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SIU Softball Defeats Drake

SIU players huddle between innings Saturday at Charlotte West Stadium.

ST. LOUIS — Northern Iowa and Illinois State finished with an identical record (20-6), but the Panthers won the season series Sunday, making them the No. 1 seed at the MVC softball championship for the third time in school history.

The Panthers get a bye into the semifinals and will play their first game at 4:00 p.m. on Friday in Normal. Illinois State took the tournament's No. 2 seed and will have to wait to see who their opponent is, as their first game will be the Friday semifinal at 6:30 p.m.

No. 3 Southern Illinois will face the winner of No. 6 Drake and No. 7 Missouri State, who play at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Salukis play the winner at 1:30 p.m Friday.

No. 4 Wichita State is facing a similar situation, as they await the winner of the Thursday 11:00 a.m. game between No. 5 Evansville and No. 8 Loyola. The winner of the early game will face the Shockers on Friday at 11:00 a.m.

Evansville and Drake both finished with identical 11-15 MVC records, but the Purple Aces won the season series against the Bulldogs (3-0), making Evansville the No. 5 seed and Drake the No. 6 seed.

Tickets for the three-day tournament are on-sale through the Illinois State athletics ticket office. All-session tickets are $20 and available at goredbirds.com/tickets or by calling 309-438-8000. Fans can also buy tickets at the ISU ticket office at the north entrance of Redbird Arena, or at the gate of Marian Kneer Stadium on game days.

All seven games of the tournament are scheduled to air on ESPN3.

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Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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