UHV to host conference softball championship

The University of Houston-Victoria will host the second annual Association of Independent Institutions Softball Championship May 6 to 8 in Victoria.

“As the defending A.I.I. softball champions, we get to bring this world-class softball event to our fans here in Victoria,” said Keri Lambeth, UHV head softball coach. “We’d be nothing without the incredible support of our fans.”

The event will bring together the six best teams in the A.I.I. to compete for a berth in the 2010 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Softball Championship tournament May 20-26 in Decatur, Ala. Last year, the Jaguars won the first tournament in Thomasville, Ga., and went on to compete in the national championship. As the defending conference champions, they will be in this year’s tournament.

The teams will play at the St. Joseph-O’Connor Athletic Complex, 3007 N. Cameron St.

“This championship will bring top-notch softball to the fans here at home and economic benefits to the community,” UHV Athletics Director Ashley Walyuchow said. “After all the community has given us, we’re glad to be able to give something like this back for a second year.”

Last year, UHV hosted and won the first-ever A.I.I. Baseball Championship at Riverside Stadium.

The softball tournament is expected to bring in teams from as far away as California and British Columbia. Each team will bring 20 to 25 people, not including fans who will make the trek to root for their favorite teams.

“This is a win for Victoria athletically and economically,” Walyuchow said. “I want to invite everyone to come out and root for the softball team as we look to make it two in a row.”

Last year, the Jaguars finished 11th in the nation with a 32-15 record. The team was ranked 13th in the nation in the preseason NAIA poll released Tuesday.

The Jaguars will launch the 2010 season at home Feb. 13 in doubleheader action against San Jacinto College.

For more information, or to purchase season tickets, contact UHV Athletics at 361-570-4336.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ashley Walyuchow