By Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications and Media
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – There are 20 teams still standing as Day 2 of the 2017 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round wrapped up. The four-team, double-elimination event from 10 different sites finishes Wednesday with the championship match and “if necessary” game at each location. Below are some Day 2 highlights.
• Forty teams began Opening Round action yesterday and now there are 20 teams still standing. One of the biggest surprises included No. 1 seeds Brenau (Ga.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Morningside (Iowa) and William Carey (Miss.) getting eliminated today.
• No. 4 seeds Ottawa (Kan.) and Indiana Wesleyan are a perfect 2-0 in their respective Opening Round brackets. The Braves advance to the Sioux City Bracket championship game tomorrow after they took down No. 2 Reinhardt (Ga.), 8-2. Indiana Wesleyan survived, 10-7, over No. 2 Campbellsville (Ky.) and will appear in the Bowling Green Bracket championship game Wednesday. Both are the only undefeated No. 4 seeds remaining.
• Ottawa and Indiana Wesleyan are looking to join Webber International (Fla.) from last year as the only No. 4 seeds to win an Opening Round Bracket.
• Defending national champion Oklahoma City improved to 63-1 on the year after an 8-0, run-ruled victory over No. 3 Bellevue (Neb.) in the Oklahoma City Bracket. The Stars have out-scored their opponents by a 24-0 edge in their last three games and will face No. 2 Simpson (Calif.) in the championship game tomorrow. Oklahoma City is looking for its fourth Opening Round title in the last five years.
• Twelve programs are vying for their first-ever Opening Round championship tomorrow: Columbia (Mo.), Corban (Ore.), Davenport (Mich.), Georgia Gwinnett, Indiana Wesleyan, Madonna (Mich.), Ottawa, Rio Grande (Ohio), Science & Arts (Okla.), Southern Oregon, St. Francis (Ill.) and Warner (Fla.).
• Today, the hosts went 6-9 to bring the host record this year to 13-12. The all-time Opening Round hosts record now stands at 111-54.
• Since the opening round format began in 2013, the top seed has been the champion in 27-of-40 events. The No. 2 seed has won nine Opening Rounds, while No. 3 College of Idaho (in 2014), No. 3 Dickinson State (N.D.) (in 2015) and No. 3 Williams Baptist (Ark.) (2016) are the only No. 3 seeds to win their events. A No. 4 seed won their bracket for the first time in 2016 with Webber International (Fla.) winning the Reinhardt (Ga.) Bracket with a record of 3-0.
• The official 10-team World Series bracket will be announced late on Wednesday on NAIA.org after all Opening Rounds have been completed. The World Series is scheduled for May 26 – June 1 in Clermont, Fla., at the Legends Way Ball Fields. PFX Athletics is hosting for the first time. For ticket information, click here.
• For more information on the 2017 NAIA Softball National Championship, click here. Follow along with live updates on the NAIA social media accounts on Twitter (@NAIA), Facebook (@PlayNAIA) and Instagram (@playnaia) using #NAIASoftball.