SOFTBALL TO JOIN THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE IN 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Beginning in the spring of 2013, the Sacramento State softball squad will join the Big Sky Conference. As a result, the 2012 season will be the Hornets’ last as a member of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC).
Five current members of the Big Sky play softball, and with the addition of Southern Utah and North Dakota to the conference’s lineup of schools in 2012-13, the conference will begin sponsoring softball. The Big Sky’s code states that once six or more institutions field teams in a sport, the league will sponsor a championship. Softball will be the first sport added to the Big Sky’s lineup since the conference began sponsoring women’s soccer in 1997.
The league will consist of Sacramento State, Portland State, Northern Colorado, Idaho State, Weber State, North Dakota and Southern Utah. In addition, Montana plans to add softball in either 2014 or 2015.
The conference winner will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament immediately, as recently-passed NCAA legislation eliminated the two-year wait period for the berth as long as the conference has already been established.
The league is still in the process of deciding on a conference schedule and possible postseason plans (whether there will be a conference tournament to determine a winner), and that announcement will come soon.
The Big Sky Conference is no stranger to Sacramento State as 14 of the Hornets’ 20 intercollegiate sports are already in the conference. The program joined the Big Sky during the 1996-97 academic year.
The 2012 season will mark the Hornet softball team’s 10th and final in the PCSC, a league where it has enjoyed success. During those 10 seasons, Sacramento State has compiled a 109-67 conference record, and has never finished with a league mark below .500. In addition, the team has finished second place or better in the final conference standings six times in the last seven years. That includes a conference championship and NCAA Regional appearance in 2008.
This past season, the Hornets finished 20-24 overall and 12-8 in the PCSC despite starting at least six underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) in every game.