Whether Northwest Missouri State's softball season extends past today hinges on the outcome of the team's final regular season doubleheader with Lincoln at 2 p.m. from Bearcat Field.
Tied with Central Missouri for eighth place, the Bearcats (25-17, 13-13) have to sweep Lincoln in order to grab the eighth and final MIAA Tournament qualifying spot.
A split won't suffice since the Jennies (24-22, 14-14) hold the tiebreaker with Northwest by virtue of splitting with second-place Fort Hays State during the regular season.
Northwest is only alive at this point because Central Missouri dropped the front end of Sunday's doubleheader with Missouri Southern 3-2 on a three-run, bases-clearing double in the bottom of the seventh.
The Jennies won the second game from Southern, but were swept in their final doubleheader of the year by Pittsburg State Monday.
Pitt State locked up the seventh seed with the sweep and will play second-seeded Fort Hays State in the opening round of the tournament Thursday in Overland Park, Kan.
Northwest or UCM will play top-seeded Central Oklahoma (39-9, 23-3) in the first round.
The Bearcats were swept by UCO Sunday, completing an 0-4 weekend in Oklahoma. They've lost five straight games, dropping them from sixth to ninth in a week's time.
Northwest is 8-4 on its home field this year and went 6-2 on its last homestand.
The Bearcats are also 7-3 against teams below them in the standings, a category that Lincoln fits into.
Ahead of only SBU in the MIAA standings, Lincoln (14-25-1, 6-20) has lost its last nine games, all to league teams.
The Blue Tigers have split or been swept in every MIAA doubleheader this year. Their only win against a top eight team came against Central Missouri.