Posted Online: April 28, 2013, 8:56 pm

This week's college diamond digs

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Tom Johnston, tjohnston@qconline.com

Tourney time: Yes, it is already that time of the season on the college baseball and softball fields. Now it gets interesting as the postseason is upon us despite what seemed to be a rather short spring season with all of the weather woes.

On the baseball field, the St. Ambrose Fighting Bees will take a 13-24 overall mark into the Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament Tuesday through Friday at Riverfront Stadium in Waterloo, Iowa. The Bees finished fourth (10-10) in the six-team MCC regular season.

On the softball side, Augustana and Black Hawk have finished their regular seasons. Augie (26-12, 7-7 CCIW) is sitting in fourth place in the league and awaiting the result of Wednesday's twinbill between Illinois Wesleyan and Millikin. The Vikings have a two game lead on MU in the hunt for the final spot in the four-team league tourney this weekend at league champ Carthage.

Black Hawk is looking for redemption as it begins NJCAA Region IV Tourney play on Tuesday on the road. The Lady Braves () are still awaiting word on their opening-round foe.

The SAU Queen Bees are still wrapping up the MCC regular season this week before MCC Tourney action starts on Thursday. After an 0-4 start in league play, the Queen Bees (34-13, 11-5 MCC) are in the thick of the regular-season title chase, in third place, but just 1.5 games behind. After SAU's Sunday sweep of Viterbo, the Queen Bees have won 10 straight and have league double-dips left at Viterbo today and vs. second-place Williams Penn on Tuesday. The MCC Tourney begins with play-in games on Thursday before the Final Four gathering on Saturday and Sunday.

This week's baseball games: Today: Monmouth at Augustana, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday: Black Hawk at Sauk Valley, 2 p.m. (2x7). Tuesday-Saturday: St. Ambrose at MCC Tourney, Waterloo, TBA. Wednesday: Grinnell at Augustana, 7 p.m. Thursday: Harper College at Black Hawk, 2 p.m. (2x7). Friday: Augustana at Millikin, 6 p.m.; Rock Valley at Black Hawk, 1 p.m. (2x7). Saturday: Augustana at Millikin, 1 p.m. (DH); Black Hawk at Heartland CC, 1 p.m. (2x7). Sunday: Black Hawk at Illinois Valley, noon (2x7).

This week's softball games: Today: St. Ambrose at Viterbo (2), 3 p.m. Tuesday: William Penn at St. Ambrose (2), 3 p.m.; Black Hawk in Region IV Play-in (best-of-3), TBA. Thursday: St. Ambrose in MCC Tournament play-in game, TBA. Friday-Saturday: Black Hawk at Region IV Finals, Freeport, TBA. Saturday-Sunday: St. Ambrose at MCC Final Four, TBA.

Armed and ready: The Black Hawk baseball team has some serious make-up action this week and that means it will need every pitcher on its roster ready to go. The five-time running Arrowhead Conference champs have two more league twinbills this week among five doubleheaders. That will test the depth of any pitching staff.
-- By Tom Johnston, tjohnston@qconline.com