ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten on Sunday announced the 2014 Big Ten Softball Tournament bracket, with Michigan earning the No. 1 seed after clinching a share of its 18th conference championship. Nebraska, which secured the No. 2 seed in the tournament, also earned a share of its first Big Ten title after completing a three-game sweep of Indiana on Sunday.
The tournament is a single-elimination format that will begin on Thursday with the title contest slated for Saturday night at Sharon J. Drysdale Field in Evanston, Ill. The tournament champion will earn the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
The top four seeds received byes into Friday’s quarterfinals, while four first-round games will be played on Thursday. Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin join Michigan with byes to the quarterfinals, as the Huskers are the No. 2 seed, the Gophers are the third seed and the Badgers are the No. 4 seed.
First pitch of the tournament is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on Thursday when No. 6 Purdue takes on No. 11 Indiana, with the winner facing the third-seeded Golden Gophers on Friday. At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, No. 7 Ohio State battles No. 10 Penn State, with the winner advancing to face Nebraska in Friday’s quarterfinal. Eighth-seeded Iowa challenges No. 9 Illinois at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday, with Michigan awaiting the first-round winner. In Thursday’s final contest at approximately 7 p.m., No. 5 Northwestern faces No. 12 Michigan State for the right to face No. 4 Wisconsin on Friday evening.
Friday’s quarterfinal round will begin at 11 a.m., with four games determining the semifinalists. The first semifinal is set for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the second semifinal scheduled for approximately 5 p.m. First pitch for Saturday’s championship game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
BTN will provide live coverage of the Big Ten Softball Tournament quarterfinals, semifinals and final, while Thursday’s opening round will be streamed on the Big Ten Digital Network (BTDN).