CLERMONT, Fla. – The 37th annual NAIA Softball World Series features 10 teams at Legends Way Ballfields in a double-elimination format as games begin Friday. No. 7 seed Warner (Fla.), the closest team approximately 50 miles from Clermont, Fla., takes on No. 10 Ottawa (Kan.) to kick off the NAIA World Series at 10 a.m. EDT. PFX Athletics is serving as hosts for the first time.
Stretch Internet, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all 19 games of the 2017 NAIA Softball World Series on the NAIA Network. The All-World Series package can be purchased for $29.95 or the day package for $9.95.
There will be up to 19 games played during a seven-day span on one championship stadium field. There are four games scheduled on each of the first three days (May 28 is off day), three contests on May 30, two games on May 31 and the championship final on June 1. For more information on the NAIA Softball World Series, follow along with live updates on the NAIA social media accounts on Twitter (@NAIA), Facebook (@PlayNAIA) and Instagram (@playnaia) using #NAIASBWorldSeries.
The second game features World Series newcomer No. 8 Southern Oregon taking on No. 9 Indiana Wesleyan at 12:30 p.m. That is followed by No. 4 Davenport (Mich.) and No. 5 LSU Alexandria (La.) at 5 p.m.
The other rookie in the event – No. 6 Corban (Ore.) – matches up with No. 3 Marian (Ind.) in the Day 1 nightcap at 8 p.m.
Two teams with the longest active win streaks on the year at 17 games are the top two seeds and earned a first-day bye. Defending national champion and nine-time overall titlist Oklahoma City is the top seed with a 64-1 overall record. The Stars own an NAIA-record for most titles, postseason wins (120) and appearances (30). Oklahoma City awaits the winner of Southern Oregon and Indiana Wesleyan Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The other team on a hot streak, No. 2 Columbia (Mo.), will rest Friday prior to a 5 p.m. tilt Saturday against the winner of Warner and Ottawa. The Cougars advance to their 16th all-time NAIA World Series, but their first since 2010.
The championship contest is scheduled for 5 p.m. on June 1, with the “if necessary” game to follow at 7:30 p.m. Oklahoma City is looking to repeat as national champions, which would be the fifth occurrence in the 37-year history of the Softball World Series. The last time a repeat champion was crowned was Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) in 2014 & 2015.
Oklahoma City won the 2016 World Series by a 5-0 count in the “if necessary” game against Saint Xavier (Ill.)