SOU picked to host NAIA Opening Round

    SOU Sports Information

    For the second year in a row, the NAIA Softball Championship Opening Round is coming to Southern Oregon.

    SOU was one of 10 hosts selected, the national office announced Wednesday, and will again partner with the City of Medford to hold the Southern Oregon Bracket at U.S. Cellular Community Park when the Opening Round takes place May 13-15. A four-team, double-elimination tournament will play out at each site.

    The host selection process takes into account geography, facilities, student-athlete experience and the national coaches’ Top 25 poll. Starting last season, the NAIA would not consider sites without field lights, ruling out SOU’s own University Field.

    The fourth-ranked Raiders (40-5 overall), already regular-season champions of the Cascade Conference, are now guaranteed a spot in the 40-team national field for the fourth consecutive season. All qualifiers and bracket assignments will be released May 7.

    SOU won its Opening Round bracket last year at U.S. Cellular Community Park, when it hosted for the first time, to advance to the 10-team NAIA World Series. This year’s Opening Round winners will advance to play the World Series at Missouri State University’s Killian Sports Complex in Springfield, Missouri, May 24-30.

    For the third time in four seasons, the Raiders will also be home for the six-team Cascade Conference Championships, May 3-5 in Ashland. Winners of 22 consecutive CCC games, they’ll play their final regular-season series Friday and Saturday at College of Idaho.

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