By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially announced the 40 qualifiers for the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round. The Opening Round format is a first in the 33-year softball national championship history. The event will take place at 10 different sites around the country May 13 – 15. Each site will feature a four-team double-elimination tournament.
The seeding and brackets for the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round will be announced today at 7 p.m. CDT via a free graphical presentation on www.NAIA.org.
Thirty-one teams earned automatic berths to the Opening Round field by placing first or second at their respective conference/independent/unaffiliated group tournaments or by winning a regular-season championship. An additional five at-large host berth selections and four at-large berths complete the list of qualifiers. The at-large berths were determined by the final NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released earlier today.
Seven newcomers will participate in the Opening Round: Corban (Ore.), Cumberland (Tenn.), Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), LSU Alexandria (La.), Rogers State (Okla.), South Carolina Beaufort and Virginia Intermont.
Top-ranked Concordia (Calif.), who is one of 10 hosts, brings a 45-3 record to the postseason. The Eagles are one of 15 programs with 40-plus wins. Lubbock Christian (Texas) boasts the most victories with a 55-7 mark. Conversely, LSU Alexandria (La.) has the least amount of wins with a 22-28 mark. The Generals qualified as the runner-up in the Association of Independent Institutions Tournament.
Two of the qualifiers have won at least one National Championship, led by the record eight trophies of Oklahoma City. Besides the Stars, no other team has won more than four rings. Lubbock Christian is the other team to win a title, as the Lady Chaps advanced through the 2008 event.
Each of the Opening Round winners will advance to the NAIA Softball National Championship final site in Columbus, Ga., May 24 – 30.
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of 18 select NAIA national championships, will be broadcasting all 19 games of the national championship final site in Columbus, Ga. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-Championship pass is available for $29.95. For more information, including how to test your computer and internet connection, click here.
For more information on the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round and National Championship final site, click here.
2013 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round Qualifiers
|School||Opening Round Qualification||Record^||Champs Apps$||Last Time||Champs Record||Titles|
|Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||At-Large No. 2||41-10||2nd||2012||4-2||--|
|Belhaven (Miss.)||At-Large Host Berth||35-12||3rd||2011||9-4||--|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||Midlands Collegiate Athletic Tournament Champion||39-9||6th||2011||2-13||--|
|Bethany (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Tournament No. 2 Seed||31-16||2nd||2012||1-2||--|
|Bethel (Ind.)||Crossroads League Tournament Runner-Up||26-11||6th||2011||11-8||--|
|Cal State San Marcos||At-Large No. 1||40-10||4th||2012||12-5||--|
|Central Methodist (Mo.)||Heart of America Athletic Tournament Champion||34-10-1||3rd||2012||5-4||--|
|Concordia (Calif.)||Unaffiliated Group (Cal Pac/Golden State) Tournament Champion||45-3||5th||2012||8-8||--|
|Concordia (Ore.)||At-Large Host Berth||34-21||3rd||2010||2-4||--|
|Corban (Ore.)||At-Large No. 3||40-13||1st||--||--||--|
|Cumberland (Tenn.)||Mid-South Tournament Runner-Up||36-20||1st||--||--||--|
|Davenport (Mich.)||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Tournament Champion||35-12-1||2nd||2011||0-3||--|
|Dickinson State (N.D.)||Unaffiliated Group (A.I.I./Frontier) Tournament Champion||25-14||5th||2010||14-10||--|
|Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)||Unaffiliated Group (Gulf Coast/TranSouth) Tournament Champion||31-7||1st||--||--||--|
|Friends (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Tournament Champion||41-7||4th||2011||3-7||--|
|Grand View (Iowa)||Midwest Collegiate Tournament Champion||25-24||2nd||2006||1-3||--|
|Hastings (Neb.)||Great Plains Athletic Regular Season Champion||29-12||3rd||2009||3-4||--|
|Houston-Victoria (Texas)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion||29-20||3rd||2012||2-4||--|
|Idaho, College of||Cascade Collegiate Tournament Champion||34-21||3rd||2009||3-4||--|
|IU Southeast||Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Tournament Champion||36-7||4th||2012||2-10||--|
|Lee (Tenn.)||Southern States Athletic Tournament Champion||44-9||8th||2012||12-12||--|
|Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||Mid-South Tournament Champion||48-8||4th||2012||5-4||--|
|LSU Alexandria (La.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Runner-Up||22-28||1st||--||--||--|
|Lubbock Christian (Texas)||Sooner Athletic Tournament Champion||55-7||6th||2012||18-8||1|
|Marian (Ind.)||Crossroads League Tournament Champion||31-9||2nd||2003||0-2||--|
|MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||Heart of America Athletic Tournament Runner-Up||28-13||3rd||2011||2-4||--|
|Morningside (Iowa)||Great Plains Athletic Tournament Champion||31-14||6th||2012||4-11||--|
|Northwood (Texas)||Red River Athletic Tournament Champion||29-17||4th||2011||1-8||--|
|Oklahoma City||At-Large Host Berth||47-12||28th||2012||110-40||8|
|Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Tournament Runner-Up||45-7||9th||2012||11-15||--|
|Park (Mo.)||At-Large Host Berth||30-9||2nd||2009||1-2||--|
|Reinhardt (Ga.)||Appalachian Athletic Regular Season Champion||40-6||3rd||2012||2-4||--|
|Rogers State (Okla.)||At-Large Host Berth||38-17||1st||--||--||--|
|Saint Xavier (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Tournament Champion||46-6||6th||2009||8-9||--|
|South Carolina Beaufort||The Sun Tournament Champion||41-4||1st||--||--||--|
|Spring Hill (Ala.)||Southern States Athletic Tournament Runner-Up||41-14||4th||2003||6-6||--|
|St. Gregory's (Okla.)||At-Large No. 4||34-15||6th||2012||17-12||--|
|Virginia Intermont||Appalachian Athletic Tournament Champion||36-12||1st||--||--||--|
|William Woods (Mo.)||American Midwest Tournament Champion||24-14||11th||2011||10-24||--|
|Williams Baptist (Ark.)||American Midwest Regular Season Champion||40-6||2nd||2012||2-1||--|
& National Championship overall appearances; 1st year for Opening Rounds
^ taken from DakStats, which is submitted by the school