WCU softball hosts NAIA Opening Round

By FROM WILLIAM CAREY,

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has released the list of 10 host sites for the seventh annual NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round, and for the third straight year William Carey University was selected as a host site.

The event will be played May 13 through May 15 and features 10 four-team, double elimination tournaments throughout the country.

"We are extremely excited to be selected as a host site for this year's Softball National Tournament opening round," said WCU Athletic Director DJ Pulley. "We are looking forward to a great week of softball at Joseph & Nancy Fail Field."

William Carey will be the No. 2 seed in next week's tournament. The Lady Crusaders finished second in the Southern States Athletic Conference regular-season and enter the tournament with a record of 36-14. WCU is led by All-SSAC First Team selections Caitlyn Castille (Sr./Vaiden), Kristen Sexton (Jr./Gulfport), Haley Nations (Fr./Brookhaven), Kaitlyn Thompson (Sr./Denham Springs, La.), and Lindsey Johnson (So./Wetumpka, Ala.). Carey will take on the No. 3 seed, College of Idaho (38-15).  The Yotes are led by First Team All- Conference infielder Trystin Crofts (.429 5 HR 38 RBI) and First Team All-Conference pitcher Colette Robert (21-5 1.28 ERA).  First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at Joseph & Nancy Fail Field.

The No. 1 seed in the Hattiesburg Bracket is Vanguard (43-11) of Costa Mesa, California.  The Lions are led by GSAC Player of the Year Samanath Shaffer (.480 5 HR 44 RBI) and GSAC Pitcher of the Year Vanessa Dwyer (21-4 2.05 ERA). They will take on the No. 4 seed William Woods (23-25) of Fulton, Missouri, who earned their way into the tournament as the runner-up in the American Midwest Conference tournament.  The Owls are led by All-Conference outfielder Emma Walker (.409 3 HR 45 RBI) and pitcher Brittany Roady (14-8 2.38 ERA).  First pitch is set for 1:00 pm at Joseph & Nancy Fail Field.

The champion of each Opening Round will advance to play in the 39th annual NAIA Softball World Series in Springfield, Mo., that runs May 23 – 29. The World Series is a 10-team double elimination tournament held at the Killian Sports Complex.

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