RICHARDSON, Texas -

Concordia Texas, East Texas Baptist, Howard Payne, Louisiana College, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas-Dallas, Texas-Tyler and Texas Lutheran each finished in one of the top four spots in their respective divisions and will battle for the league title at the 2013 American Southwest Conference Softball Championship Tournament on Thursday-Saturday (April 25-27) at Oran Good Park in Farmers Branch, Texas.

East Division champion Texas-Tyler (38-2) and West Division champion Texas Lutheran (32-8) enter as the top seeds in the double-elimination event. Head coach Mike Reed’s defending conference champion Patriots went 23-1 against East opponents and enter on an 18-game winning streak, while head coach Wade Wilson’s Bulldogs went 22-2 against West teams and are riding a 13-game winning streak.

Texas-Tyler begins action on Thursday at 10 a.m. against West Division No. 4 seed Concordia Texas (25-13), while Texas Lutheran opens at 1 p.m. against East Division No. 4 seed Texas-Dallas (23-16-1). The TLU vs. UTD matchup features a pair of teams returning to the annual event for the first time since 2005.

Also in first-round action on Thursday is West Division No. 2 seed Mary Hardin-Baylor (26-14) against East No. 3 seed Louisiana College (24-13) at 10 a.m. and East Division No. 2 seed East Texas Baptist (30-10) against West No. 3 seed Howard Payne (20-19) at 1 p.m.

The first elimination games (UT TYLER/CTX vs. UMHB/LC; ETBU/HPU vs. TLU/UTD) will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, with the first round winners facing off at 7 p.m.

Friday’s slate features two games at 10 a.m., followed by 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. first pitches. All are elimination tilts except the 4 p.m. winner’s bracket final and ticket to Saturday’s 1 p.m. championship game. If a second and deciding title game is needed, it will follow after a 30-minute break.

The ASC champion earns the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament.

Returning all-tournament selections from 2012 are senior right-hander Heather Abshire and senior third baseman Ashley Endlsey of Texas-Tyler; junior outfielder Chelsea Allen, senior outfielder Meggie Burkett, and senior first baseman Emily Douglas of Louisiana College; junior right-hander Rebekah Ragsdale of Mary Hardin-Baylor; and senior outfielder Katie Poerner of Howard Payne. Abshire was named the most valuable player.

All games will be available for fans to follow through free live statistics. The link to access can be found on the conference’s Tournament Central page on www.ASCsports.org.

Information provided by ASC media department.