Kansas City, Mo. – Claiming one of 10 No. 1 seeds for the upcoming NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round tournaments, the No. 8 nationally ranked Saint Xavier University softball team heads to Columbia, Ky., next week to take part in the Lindsey Wilson Bracket at the Lindsey Wilson Sports Park. Joining the No. 1 seeded Cougars in the bracket are No. 10 ranked and No. 2 seed Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.), No. 3 seed and unranked William Penn University (Iowa) and No. 4 seed and unranked Cornerstone University (Mich.). Each of the 10 brackets nationwide features four teams and takes place from May 12-14 with a double-elimination format. SXU is scheduled to play Cornerstone University on the first day of play, but the game time has yet to be released by the host site.
The Opening Round field is comprised of 32 automatic qualifiers and eight at-large berths. Automatic qualification is given to conference regular-season champions, regular-season runners-up, tournament champions or tournament runners-up depending on the league. Conferences with 10 or more members earned two automatic qualifiers and conferences with less than 10 landed one auto berth. At-large teams were determined using the final regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll released earlier Tuesday. On May 12, the No. 1 seed faces the No. 4 seed in each tournament, while the No. 2 and 3 seeds also compete. The second day (May 13) sees three games and the third and final day (May 14) has the championship game and "if necessary" contest.
Saint Xavier (45-7-1 overall/17-2-1 CCAC) earned its automatic berth for the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round by finishing as the tournament runner-up in the 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament. Last season, the Cougars won the Portland (Ore.) Bracket of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round and claimed one of the 10 final spots for the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship in Columbus, Ga.
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Click here to see all of the 10 NAIA Softball Opening Round Brackets