Lady Lions Softball Headed to NAIA Tournament Opening Round

Lady Lions Softball Headed to NAIA Tournament Opening Round

Wed, May 10, 2017 - [Softball]

Matt Barker, Sports Information Director

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - BRACKET -  The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Wednesday that the Freed-Hardeman Lady Lion softball team is headed to Bowling Green, Ky. for the National Tournament opening round, where they keep their hopes alive for a National title.

Freed-Hardeman (24-12) enters the field as the ninth At-Large qualifier and will join No. 1 seed University of St. Francis (Ill.), No. 2 seed Campbellsville (Ky.) University and No. 4 seed Indiana Wesleyan in the Bowling Green Bracket, which will be held at the Michael O'Buchanon Park in Bowling Green, Ky from May 15-17.

The Lady Lions qualify for the tournament after posting a 24-12 record and being ranked in the Top 25 for a large part of the 2017 season. Freed-Hardeman picked up signature wins over ranked opponents including Williams Baptist College (No. 5) and Park University (No. 24) before putting together a deep run in the American Midwest Conference tournament to conclude the regular season.

University of St. Francis (41-5) takes the No. 1 seed in the Bowling Green bracket after putting together a historical season, which saw them take home the school's first ever Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship after defeating Olivet Nazarene University in the finals. The Fighting Saints have been ranked in the Top 25 for a majority of the season and peaked at No. 11 at the conclusion of the regular season.

The No. 2 seed in the Bowling Green bracket belongs to tournament host Campbellsville (Ky.) University who ended their season with a record of 37-13. On April 19, Campbellsville was named one of 10 automatic bids to host the Opening Round. The Tigers are co-hosting along with the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Campbellsville University particpates in the Mid-South Conference.

The No. 4 seed in the Bowling Green bracket is Indiana Wesleyan, a team that concluded the regular season with a record of 41-13. The Wildcats advanced to the title game of the Crossroads League Championship where they fell to No. 4 Marian (Ind.). Indiana Wesleyan has been successful on the road this season, as they have posted an impressive 20-6 record in away games while holding a 12-4 record at home.  

 
The NAIA National Tournament opening round will be played May 15-17 and features 10 four-team, double elimination tournaments throughout the country. The opening game of the tournament between Freed-Hardeman and Campbellsville is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Monday, May 15. Game two will feature Saint Francis and Indiana Wesleyan at 3:30 p.m. ET.
 
Three games are scheduled for Tuesday, May 16 as the winner's bracket contest will start at 1 p.m. ET. The losers of each of the first games will play at 3:30 on Tuesday, while the winner of Game 4 and the loser of Game 3 will square off at 6 p.m. ET.
 
The championship (Game 6) is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 17. If the team from the elimination bracket prevails, the if-necessary game (Game 7) is scheduled for 3:30 on Wednesday.
 
All games throughout the NAIA Softball Opening Round will be broadcast live on the Campbellsville University Sports Network – www.CampbellsvilleTigers.com/watch. In addition, the Association's official statistical provider, Dakstats, will stream live stats. Fans can also stream stats on CU's StatBroadcast portal – www.CampbellsvilleStats.com.
 
The 40-team field is comprised of 31 automatic qualifiers and nine at-large berths. The 17 conferences, including the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.), will receive one berth per six teams and two berths per ten teams. In addition, two Unaffiliated Groups received two berths each.
 
The champion of each Opening Round will advance to play in the 37th annual NAIA Softball World Series in Clermont, Fla., that runs May 26-June 1. The World Series is a 10-team double-elimination tournament held at Legends Way Fields with the championship and if-necessary games taking place on Thursday, June 1.

2017 Softball National Championship Opening Round Qualifiers

School Name

Qualification

Overall Record^

OR Apps*

Consecutive

OR Record

OR Titles

Avila (Mo.)

Heart of America Athletic Tournament Champion

36-22

2nd

1st

0-2

--

Bellevue (Neb.)

At-Large No. 5

49-14

4th

1st

6-6

--

Brenau (Ga.)

Southern States Athletic Tournament Champion

51-5

2nd

2nd

1-1

--

Campbellsville (Ky.)

At-Large No. 3

37-13

3rd

3rd

5-3

1

Columbia (Mo.)

American Midwest Regular-Season Champion

43-5

3rd

1st

1-4

--

Corban (Ore.)

Cascade Collegiate Regular-Season Champion

40-11

3rd

1st

4-4

--

Cumberlands (Ky.)

Mid-South Tournament Champion

19-32

1st

1st

0-0

--

Davenport (Mich.)

Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Regular-Season Champion

43-7

5th

5th

5-8

--

Edward Waters (Fla.)

Unaffiliated Group (A.I.I. / GCAC) Tournament Runner-Up

27-25

1st

1st

0-0

--

Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)

At-Large No. 9

24-12

2nd

1st

1-2

--

Georgia Gwinnett

Unaffiliated Group (A.I.I. / GCAC) Tournament Champion

48-7-1

3rd

3rd

4-4

--

Grand View (Iowa)

Heart of America Athletic Regular-Season #1 Seed

41-13

4th

3rd

0-6

--

Hastings (Neb.)

Great Plains Athletic Tournament Champion

36-22

2nd

1st

0-2

--

Indiana Wesleyan

Crossroads League Tournament Runner-Up

41-13

3rd

3rd

2-4

--

IU Southeast (Ind.)

River States Tournament Runner-Up

28-21

4th

2nd

2-6

--

Jamestown (N.D.)

North Star Athletic Association Tournament Champion

41-19

1st

1st

0-0

--

Kansas Wesleyan

Kansas Collegiate Athletic Tournament Champion

34-14

3rd

1st

0-4

--

Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)

At-Large No. 1

39-11

5th

5th

11-4

2

LSU Alexandria (La.)

Red River Athletic Tournament Champion

46-8

5th

5th

7-4

2

Madonna (Mich.)

Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Tournament Runner-Up

30-14

2nd

1st

3-2

--

Marian (Ind.)

Crossroads League Regular-Season Champion

44-4

4th

3rd

5-5

1

Milligan (Tenn.)

Appalachian Athletic Tournament Runner-Up

21-21

2nd

2nd

0-2

--

Mobile (Ala.)

Southern States Athletic Tournament Runner-Up

38-17

2nd

1st

4-1

1

Morningside (Iowa)

Great Plains Athletic Regular-Season Champion

39-10

4th

2nd

3-4

1

Oklahoma City

Sooner Athletic Tournament Champion

61-1

5th

5th

12-3

3

Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)

Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Tournament Runner-Up

31-12

4th

2nd

6-4

1

Oregon Tech

At-Large No. 7

34-15

4th

4th

8-4

1

Ottawa (Kan.)

Kansas Collegiate Athletic Regular-Season Champion

37-16

2nd

1st

1-2

--

Reinhardt (Ga.)

Appalachian Athletic Regular-Season Champion

41-14-1

5th

5th

6-5

2

Rio Grande (Ohio)

River States Regular-Season Champion

45-8

3rd

3rd

2-4

--

Science & Arts (Okla.)

At-Large No. 6

38-16

2nd

1st

1-2

--

Simpson (Calif.)

California Pacific Athletic Tournament Champion

43-8

3rd

2nd

7-2

2

Southeastern (Fla.)

At-Large No. 4

41-15

3rd

3rd

4-2

1

Southern Oregon

Cascade Collegiate Tournament Champion

40-12

2nd

2nd

1-2

--

St. Francis (Ill.)

Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Regular-Season Champion

41-5

2nd

1st

2-2

--

Taylor (Ind.)

At-Large No. 8

38-16

2nd

1st

1-2

--

Vanguard (Calif.)

Golden State Athletic Tournament Champion

46-13

1st

1st

0-0

--

Warner (Fla.)

The Sun Tournament Champion

25-13

1st

1st

0-0

--

William Carey (Miss.)

At-Large No. 2

42-9

4th

4th

9-2

2

Williams Baptist (Ark.)

American Midwest Tournament Runner-Up

33-11

3rd

2nd

7-1

2