DECATUR, Ala. — The Southwestern Athletic Conference softball tournament begins Wednesday, and although Mississippi Valley State is not technically the favorite, every team in the field is surely aware of the Devilettes.

They’ve earned it.

Valley has won seven of the past nine SWAC tournaments — including last year, when Nicole Burr hit a seventh-inning grand slam to defeat Jackson State 7-3 in the championship game, sending the Devilettes to the NCAA Regionals. (They lost in two games to Louisiana-Lafayette and Baylor.)

This year, Texas Southern and Jackson State enter as the No. 1 seeds, having won their divisions. Valley is the No. 2 East seed.

Southern failed to qualify for the tournament after finishing last in the Western Division.

The tournament begins at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The championship game is 2 p.m. Sunday.


At Wilson Morgan Park, Decatur, Ala.

Double elimination

Wednesday’s games

Game 1: Alabama State (East No. 3) vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (West No. 2), 11:30 a.m.

Game 2: Prairie View (West No. 3) vs. Mississippi Valley (East No. 2), 11:30 a.m.

Game 3: Grambling (West No. 4) vs. Jackson State (East No. 1), 2 p.m.

Game 4: Alcorn State (East No. 4) vs. Texas Southern (West No. 1), 2 p.m.

Thursday’s games

Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 3 loser, 1 p.m.

Game 6: Game 2 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 1 p.m.

Game 7: Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 3:30 p.m.

Game 8:Game 2 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 3:30 p.m.

Friday’s games

Game 9: Game 7 loser vs. Game 5 winner, 1 p.m.

Game 10: Game 8 loser vs. Game 6 winner, 1 p.m.

Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 3:30 p.m.

Game 12: Game 8 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday’s games

Game 11a: Game 11 loser vs. Game 11 winner (if necessary), 9 a.m.

Game 12a: Game 12 loser vs. Game 12 winner (if necessary), 9 a.m.

Championship: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 2 p.m.