Ocala, FL--The postseason fates of both the College of Central Florida softball and baseball teams could be decided this weekend.
The CF baseball team will host Seminole State on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. with a chance to clinch a spot in the FCSAA State Baseball Tournament.
The Patriots (14-6 in Mid-Florida Conference play) sit in second-place behind St. Johns River State (15-4 in MFC play), but are in great shape for a return trip to the postseason after a one-year absence. CF needs a win over Seminole to clinch a spot in the postseason.
Seminole (11-9 in MFC play) would have to win out and the Patriots or St. Johns River would have to lose out in order to grab one of the conference's two automatic bids. The Raiders, a state tournament team last season along with SJRSC, would be forced into earning third-place in the MFC. This would result in a play-in game against the third-place team from the Panhandle Conference for one of the two at-large bids to the state tournament. This is the first year that the state baseball tournament will feature 10 teams instead of eight.
Meanwhile, the CF softball team will finish no worse than second in the Mid-Florida Conference, but still have a shot at winning its first-ever conference title.
The Patriots visit St. Johns River on Saturday afternoon in a doubleheader that has been rained out twice already and rescheduled three times. CF needs to sweep the Vikings, who are missing the postseason for the third straight year, and get Lake Sumter State to sweep Santa Fe.
Entering Saturday's game, CF is 16-6 in conference play, while SFC is 17-5. The Saints earned two one-run wins over Daytona State on Thursday, which meant CF would finish no worse than second in the conference.
CF has won eight straight against St. Johns River and 10 of its 11 against the Vikings. The Patriots crushed the Vikings twice in Ocala earlier this season.
Santa Fe, meanwhile, is 1-1 against Lake-Sumter this season. The Lake Hawks earned a trip to the state tournament after a two-year absence with a win over Seminole State on Thursday and by virtue of CF's sweep of FSC-Jacksonville.
The winner of the MFC will play Lake Sumter in the opening round of the state tournament, while the runner-up will most likely take on Eastern Florida State, the third-place team from the Southern Conference.
The Patriots went 3-1 against Lake-Sumter during the regular season and swept EFS in a doubleheader in Ocala back in February.