Story by Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Athletic Communications & Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket | Digital Media Guide) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the official seeds and bracket for the 2018 NAIA Softball World Series that runs May 25 – 31 in Clermont, Fla. The 10-team, double-elimination event will be played out at the Legends Way Ballfields. PFX Athletics serves as official hosts for the second-straight year. Advanced World Series tickets may be purchased by clicking here.
The World Series’ first pitch occurs on May 25 at 10 a.m. EDT between No. 7 Mobile (Ala.) and No. 10 Columbia (Mo.). Overall No. 1 seed Georgia Gwinnett punched its first-ever ticket to the World Series. The Grizzlies, winners of the Lawrenceville Opening Round Bracket, have been ranked No. 1 in each of the last five Coaches’ Top 25 Polls to end the year. With a 52-4 overall record, Georgia Gwinnett has a bye and will take on the winner of the No. 8 / No. 9 seed game May 26 at 5:30 p.m. The Grizzlies are trying to become the third-straight No. 1 seed – the fourth time in the last six events – to win the banner as the top seed.
Ten-time national champion Oklahoma City qualifies for its 31st all-time NAIA Softball World Series and 26th in the last 27 years. The Stars hold NAIA records for most NAIA World Series wins (125), appearances and national titles. Oklahoma City is trying to three-peat for the first time since the Stars accomplished the feat from 2000-02.
Three programs – Faulkner (Ala.), Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) and Georgia Gwinnett – all are making their inaugural World Series appearance.
Amongst teams who have previously qualified, Science & Arts (Okla.) is snapping the longest NAIA World Series drought with its last appearance back in 2006. There will up to 19 games played during a seven-day span on one championship stadium field. There are four games on each of the first three days (May 27 is off day), three contests on May 29, two games on May 30 and the championship final on May 31.
The qualifiers are comprised of 10 NAIA National Championship Opening Round champions, which were completed today. To see those champions, click here.
NAIANetwork.com, the NAIA’s official video-streaming platform of NAIA national championship events powered by Stretch Internet, will be broadcasting all 19 games of the NAIA Softball World Series. The All-World Series package can be purchased for $29.95 or the day package for $9.95. For more information, including how to register for an account, click here.
For more information on the 2018 NAIA Softball World Series, click here.
2018 NAIA Softball World Series Qualifiers
|Seed||School Name||World Series Qualification||Record||WS Appearances*||WS Record||Last WS Appearance||Consecutive Apps||WS Titles|
|10||Columbia (Mo.)||Fayette Bracket Champion||33-14||17th||17-34||2017||2nd||0|
|8||Faulkner (Ala.)||Bowling Green #2 Bracket Champion||48-14||1st||0-0||1st||1st||0|
|9||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)||Columbia (Ky.) Bracket Champion||35-14||1st||0-0||1st||1st||0|
|1||Georgia Gwinnett||Lawrenceville Bracket Champion||52-4||1st||0-0||1st||1st||0|
|5||Indiana Wesleyan||Hattiesburg Bracket Champion||57-10||3rd||1-4||2017||2nd||0|
|3||Marian (Ind.)||Bowling Green #1 Bracket Champion||50-5||4th||1-6||2017||3rd||0|
|7||Mobile (Ala.)||Gulf Shores Bracket Champion||46-13||19th||51-36||2015||1st||1|
|2||Oklahoma City||Oklahoma City Bracket Champion||51-7||31st||125-45||2017||3rd||10|
|4||Science & Arts (Okla.)||Dodge City Bracket Champion||53-5||4th||6-8||2006||1st||0|
|6||Southern Oregon||Southern Oregon Bracket Champion||47-13||2nd||2-2||2017||2nd||0|
^ DakStats record entered by school
* = includes 2018 World Series