BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Spring sports in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) were busy again this past weekend, with some wrapping up their conference seasons and others preparing for and embarking on NCAA competition.
Saint John's rallied with its back against the wall on Saturday afternoon to win a pair of playoff games and secure the program's fourth MIAC Baseball Playoff Championship in the last eight seasons. The playoff title ensured the Johnnies an automatic berth in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. On Monday afternoon, SJU learned its next postseason contest will come against Baldwin Wallace (Ohio) on Friday, May 17 at Cougar Field in River Forest, Ill. The Johnnies drew the No. 3 seed in the four-team double-elimination regional hosted by Concordia Chicago. No. 4 Buena Vista will challenge top-seeded Concordia Chicago in the other regional matchup on Friday. Fifty-eight teams were selected for 16 regionals across the country. The 16 teams that advance from those regionals will then play in eight best-of-three super regionals on May 24-25. Eight teams will then advance to the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship, hosted May 31-June 4/5 on Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
A pair of MIAC teams competed in the 2019 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament over the weekend. MIAC champion St. Thomas went 3-0 while hosting its regional. The Tommies defeated Northwestern-St. Paul once and UW-Eau Claire twice to move on to the Super Regional round. At-large selection Saint Benedict played a pair of regional contests in Pella, Iowa, falling to UW-La Crosse and regional host Central College. St. Thomas will host a Super Regional for the first time ever on May 17-18, squaring off with fellow regional champ UW-La Crosse in a best-of-three format at South Field in St. Paul. The series winner will advance to the eight-team national tournament in Tyler, Texas next week.
The 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships get underway on Tuesday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky. The MIAC champion St. Thomas men's golf team was among 32 squads nationwide to receive automatic qualification into the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships, while No. 15-ranked Saint John's University became one of seven programs to earn a Pool C at-large berth into the Tournament. A total of 42 teams and six individuals were selected to participate in the championships. After 36 holes of competition, the field will be cut to the top 18 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams. A total of 216 participants will compete at the 2019 Championships.
The 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championships begin on Tuesday at Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas. The nation's top-ranked team will represent the MIAC, as Carleton College is the No. 1 team in the 25-squad field. The Knights are one of 21 teams to receive automatic qualification into the tournament. In addition to 21 conference champions and four at-large selections, six individuals were also selected to play in the championships, including Bethel sophomore Nicole Miller. Following 54 holes of competition, the championship field will be cut to the top 15 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams to compete the final day.
Gustavus Adolphus College wrapped up its 2019 season with a loss to regional host Chicago in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. The Gusties received a bye in the first round and defeated Grinnell, 5-0, in the second round before falling to the top seed in the regional. The season will continue for four MIAC competitors, however, as Carleton sophomore Leo Vithoontien and Gustavus senior Patrick Whaling will take part in the singles portion of the 2019 NCAA Individual Tennis Championships, while Vithoontien will team with partner Jordon O'Kelly and Whaling will join Chase Johnson to compete in doubles play. The individual championships will be held May 24-26, both at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kalamazoo College will be the host institution. The draw for the individual championship will be done by the men's tennis committee and will be released on May 23 by 1 p.m. ET.
Carleton College reached the Sweet 16 round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Tournament before falling to the University of Chicago. The Knights defeated Edgewood and regional host UW-Whitewater in the first two rounds of the tournament.