KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Bellevue University softball team will be heading to Dodge City, Kan. on May 13-15 to compete in the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round - Dodge City Bracket. The Bruins will open play on May 13 against the University of Houston-Victoria at Legends Park.
The Bruins received an at-large berth into the Opening Round after finishing the regular season with a 44-18 overall record and a 23-5 mark in the North Star Athletic Association. The Bruins were the NSAA regular season and tournament runners-up. Sixth-ranked Valley City State earned the league's automatic berth after winning the NSAA Tournament last weekend.
The Opening Round consists of 10 four-team double-elimination tournaments across the country. The champions from each of the 10 opening round tournaments will advance to the 39th Annual NAIA Softball World Series in Springfield, Mo., from May 23-29. These programs will participate in a double-elimination national championship at the Killian Sports Complex. Last year, Science & Arts (Okla.) defeated Columbia (Mo.), 5-0, to claim their first-ever national title. The World Series bracket will be announced late in the day on May 15.
Participants in the Dodge City Opening Round site include: No. 1 University of Science & Arts (Okla.), No. 2 University of Houston-Victoria (Texas), No. 3 Bellevue University, and No. 4 Avila University (Kan.). The tournament will be co-hosted by the Dodge City Sports Commission and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Science & Arts (52-1) is ranked No. 1 in the latest NAIA top 25 poll. Houston-Victoria (31-10) is ranked No. 20 and Bellevue (44-18) is ranked No. 23.
Bellevue will be making its 10th appearance in the NAIA National Tournament and its seventh in the last 10 years.
NAIA National Championship Opening Round
Dodge City Bracket | Legends Park
Monday, May 13
Game 1: No. 2 Houston-Victoria (Texas) vs. No. 3 Bellevue (Neb.)
Game 2: No. 1 Science & Arts (Okla.) vs. No. 4 Avila (Kan.)
Tuesday, May 14
Game 3: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner
Game 4: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser
Game 5: Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner
Wednesday, May 15
Game 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner
Game 7: If necessary
* - Game times to be announced in the comng days.