OKLAHOMA CITY (May 11, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian apparently is on the short list of favorites in the National Christian College Athletic Association Softball Championship.
The Lady Eagles, riding an 11-game winning streak and making their first appearance at a national tournament in 11 years, will be the No. 2 seed in the 10-team tournament when it begins on Thursday at Botetourt Sports Complex in Troutville, Va.
OC (39-14) will receive a first-round bye in the double-elimination tournament and will face the winner of a game between seventh-seeded Campbellsville (Ky.) (42-19) and 10th-seeded Mississippi College (32-12) in a game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. Central time (4:30 p.m. Eastern) on Thursday.
“We are extremely proud of the way these girls have played and we’re honored to get the No. 2 seed,” OC coach Tom Heath said. “The girls have worked incredibly hard this season and we are excited to begin the tournament with such a high seed.”
A win in their opening game would propel the Lady Eagles into a game at 11 a.m. Central time on Friday against either third-seeded Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (39-17) or the sixth-seeded defending NCCAA champion, Union (Tenn.) (28-25). A loss in the first game would have the Lady Eagles playing a losers’ bracket game at 9 a.m. Central time on Friday.
Shorter (Ga.) is the top seed and will join fourth-seeded Grace (Ind.), fifth-seeded Trinity Christian (Ill.), eighth-seeded Central Baptist (Ark.) and ninth-seeded Cedarville (Ohio) on the other side of the bracket.
If the Lady Eagles keep winning, they would have to win four games to take the national title.
As for OC’s potential first opponents, Campbellsville has made three previous trips to the NCCAA Championship and was the 2012 runner-up. The Tigers, who also play in the NAIA, have lost three straight games entering this year’s national tournament, including two to Mississippi College in the NCCAA MidEast Regional tournament.
Mississippi College is a NCAA Division III program. Like Campbellsville, the Choctaws received an at-large bid to the national tournament.