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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., May 6, 2002 - The Penn State softball team earned the fifth seed at the Big Ten Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich., which begins on Thursday, May 9. Making its fourth-consecutive trip to the tournament, the Nittany Lions finished the regular season with a conference record of 10-9 and tied for fifth in the standings, but capture the fifth seed over Illinois and Northwestern by virtue of the tiebreaker rules.
The Big Ten Tournament is a double-elimination tournament with top-seeded Michigan hosting the event for the fifth time in seven years and sixth time overall.
Penn State opens the tournament against fourth-seeded Wisconsin (31-18, 11-6 Big Ten) on Thursday at 12 p.m. The Lions swept the conference doubleheader on April 7, 5-1 and 4-1. The Badgers claimed a 2-1 victory at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., in February. The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series, 12-8. Penn State is 6-6 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament.
Ohio State is the second seed in the tournament, owning a 16-4 conference record and 51-10, while Iowa is the third seed at 12-4 and 35-16 overall. Although the Illini are tied for fifth in the standings, they claim the sixth seed in the tournament.
A complete tournament schedule is listed below. All of Penn State's games will be broadcast live on WMAJ and through the internet at www.GoPSUsports.com.
2002 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
ALUMNI FIELD, ANN ARBOR, MICH.
All times Eastern
THURSDAY, MAY 10
Game 1: No. 3 Iowa vs. No. 6 Illinois 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 5 PENN STATE 12 p.m.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. No. 2 Ohio State 2:30 p.m.
Game 4: Game 2 winner vs. No. Michigan 5 p.m.
FRIDAY, MAY 11
Game 5: Game 2 loser vs. Game 3 loser 9:30 a.m.
Game 6: Game 1 loser vs. Game 4 loser 12 p.m.
Game 7: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner 2:30 p.m.
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 5 p.m.
SATURDAY, MAY 12
Game 9: Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 loser 12 p.m.
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner 2:30 p.m. (Title Game)