posted on May 08, 2012 16:17
GULF SHORES, Ala-- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics officially released the field of 32 for the 2012 NAIA Softball National Championship, set for May 17-23 at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex. The University of Mobile receives the host berth to the tournament thanks to co-hosting the event with the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission.
Twenty-three teams earned bids by winning conference tournaments and there are eight at-large selections.
The University of Mobile (30-17) is making its 17th trip to the National Championship, which is second-most in the field, behind Oklahoma City at 26. The Lady Rams are 49-32 all-time in tournament play and won it all in 2006. Oklahoma City leads with eight national championships and a 103-38 tournament record.
Auburn Montgomery, Bethany, Indiana Wesleyan, Southern Nazarene, Talladega and Williams Baptist are making their first trips to the championship.
Defending national champion Oregon Tech (39-7) returns to the tournament after going 7-1 to win last year's title. It is their third trip overall. Only two teams in the history of the tournament have repeated as national champs (Oklahoma City and Emporia State).
Members of the Southern State Athletic Conference in the field are: Auburn Montgomery, Brenau, Lee, Mobile, Shorter and William Carey.
Pool play assignments will be released Wednesday by 3 pm. Pool play will take place May 17-19, with the eight winners of the pools advancing to a double-elimination bracket May 21-23.