Rio Grande to face Grizzlies in NAIA Softball Opening Round

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande will square off with Georgia Gwinnett College in the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round Lawrenceville, Ga. Bracket.

The pairings and game times for the 10 four-team sites were announced Tuesday night by the national office.

The RedStorm, who slipped to No. 33 in the final NAIA coaches’ poll released Tuesday night, received the bracket’s No. 4 seed and will face the eighth-ranked and top-seeded Grizzlies on Monday, May 13, at 2:30 p.m. EDT, at the Grizzly Softball Complex.

Rio Grande (34-14) earned its spot in the national tournament by winning the River States Conference regular season championship.

Georgia Gwinnett (39-14) earned its spot in the national tourney as the Association of Independent Institutions tournament champion.

Two of the Grizzlies’ 39 wins came at the hands of the RedStorm – 5-1 on February 8 and 13-5 on February 9, both in Lawrenceville.

Rio Grande is making its sixth national tournament appearance overall and its fifth under the tournament’s current format.

Georgia Gwinnett is making its fifth straight appearance in the national tournament and is serving as an Opening Round host for the fourth consecutive season.

The Lawrenceville Bracket also includes second-seeded Truett-McConnell (Ga.) University and No. 3 LSU-Alexandria, who will meet in Monday’s first game at Noon EDT.

The double-elimination bracket continues on Tuesday, May 14, with the losers of both games meeting in an elimination contest at Noon. Monday’s winners will square off in Tuesday’s 2:30 p.m. game, while the winner of Tuesday’s first contest and the loser of Tuesday’s second game will meet in another elimination tilt on Tuesday at 5 p.m. EDT.

The championship first final is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, at noon, while a second final – if necessary – will take place at 2:30 p.m.

The 10 Opening Round bracket winners will advance to the 39th Annual NAIA Softball World Series, which is scheduled for May 23-29 at the Killian Sports Complex in Springfield, Mo.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.