Softball sent to Oklahoma City for national tournament opening round

By on May. 7, 2015 in Softball

Softball sent to Oklahoma City for national tournament opening round

Opening round schedule

SEWARD, Neb. – Champions of the GPAC tournament, the Concordia University softball team learned on Thursday night that it will head to Oklahoma City for the opening round of the 2015 national tournament. The host Stars are the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked team entering the grand event. The Bulldogs, seeded fourth in the Oklahoma City bracket, will play top-ranked Oklahoma City on Monday as part of double-elimination pool play.

Second-year head coach Todd LaVelle will lead his program into the national championships for the second-straight year thanks to a late-season run as the conference’s No. 7 seed. First pitch for Concordia’s opening game on Monday is slated for 3 p.m. from Lacy Stadium. The winners of each of the 10 opening round sites advance to the NAIA Softball World Series hosted by Morningside College, May 22-28.

“It’s very exciting. Whoever you play this time of year is going to be a good team and a quality opponent,” LaVelle said. “Obviously Oklahoma City being ranked No. 1 for the last eight weeks in a row is a tough draw, but everything has been tough this year. We’ll welcome the challenge and go down there, play loose and see what we can do. We’ll see how we stack up. I don’t think we’ll be nervous.”

Last year the Bulldogs got their feet wet at the 2014 opening round in their first-ever appearance on the national stage. Seven players who saw action at the 2014 St. Gregory’s Bracket are part of LaVelle’s postseason roster this time around. That experience could pay dividends next week.

“I think that will help,” LaVelle said. “Not only the players, but our coaching staff had never gone through that before and didn’t know what to expect. I think with a nucleus of players back that will help us prepare a little better. It’s championship play time so we’ll definitely have to have our ‘A’ game to be able to compete.”

The other teams headed to Oklahoma City are second-seeded Concordia (Ore.) (40-16) and third-seeded Grand View (Iowa) (33-11). Concordia of Portland received an at-large bid while Grand View won the Midwest Collegiate Conference tournament championship.

Concordia players, coaches and support staff watched the NAIA’s official bracket show live in the Dog House Grill inside the Janzow Campus Center on campus.

The Bulldogs will have a break on Saturday as graduation will be held on campus. Five softball seniors are set to graduate. Concordia will then depart on a charter bus for Oklahoma City at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sunday in order to be ready to play the next day. LaVelle’s squad will hold a short practice in Oklahoma City on Sunday and then attend a banquet held on the campus of Oklahoma City University.

NAIA Championship Opening Round
At Oklahoma City University
Ann Lacy Stadium

Monday, May 11 
Game 1: 12 p.m. Concordia (Ore.) vs. Grand View (Iowa)
Game 2: 3 p.m. Oklahoma City vs. Concordia (Neb.)

Tuesday, May 12
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 12 p.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 13
Game 6:
 Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 12 p.m.
Game 7: If Necessary, 3 p.m.

Ticket Information
*Tickets will be available on site one hour prior to the start of the first game
Single-Session Adult: $10.00
Single-Session Student (Ages 18 and under): $7.00

Follow the tournament live

Live Video:

Live streaming video of each game in the tournament will be provided at a rate of $8.95 per day with a $19.95 tournament pass. Go to for information.

Web Sites:
OCU athletic web site:
2015 NAIA Championship Opening Round Oklahoma City Bracket:
Live video:
OCU visitors guide:


  • The program will be making its second-straight (and second all-time) appearance at the national championships when the grand event gets underway (May 11-13). The NAIA is now in the third year of the new set up that includes 10 opening round sites leading up to the NAIA Softball World Series. Under the previous system, Concordia made it to six-straight NAIA regional tournaments between 2003 and 2008. Each time the Bulldogs fell short of the national championships.
    • 2008: 0-2 at NAIA Region III Tournament
    • 2007: 0-2 at NAIA Region III Tournament
    • 2006: 0-2 at NAIA Region III Tournament
    • 2005: 2-2 at NAIA Region IV Tournament
    • 2004: 2-2 at NAIA Region IV Tournament
    • 2003: 1-2 at NAIA Region IV Tournament
  • Of the teams that have qualified for the national championship opening round, Concordia has played two: Doane (33-11) and St. Francis (Ill.) (33-17). The Bulldogs were swept in a regular-season doubleheader at Doane. In a neutral-site contest versus St. Francis, Concordia won, 10-4.
  • At 28-21 overall, the 2015 Bulldogs cracked the top 10 of the highest single-season win totals in program history. Five Concordia softball teams have reached the 30-win mark. Here are the top 10-winningest seasons in program history in terms of overall victories:
    • 1. 2005 – 36-19 (.654)
    • 2. 2003 – 34-16 (.680)
    • 3. 1998 – 33-10 (.767)
    • 4. 2014 – 32-16 (.667)
    • 5. 2008 – 31-11 (.738)
    • 6. 1997 – 29-22 (.569)
    • 7. 2015 – 28-21 (.571)
    • 8. 2011 – 27-17 (.614)
    • 8. 1996 – 27-20 (.574)
    • 10. 2007 – 26-23 (.531)
    • 10. 2006 – 26-20 (.565)
  • In its first-ever national tournament appearance in 2014, Concordia went 0-2 with losses by scores of 4-3 to No. 6 St. Gregory’s University (opening round host) and 3-1 to Bellevue University in an elimination game. The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth against St. Gregory’s when Amber Topil (double) and Palmer Bosanko (single) drove in a run apiece. The Cavaliers then responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Both games took place at Firelake Ballfields in Shawnee, Okla.
  • Of the 13 Bulldogs who saw action at the national tournament in 2014, seven return to this year’s postseason roster. Each of those seven played in both games in Shawnee: Palmer Bosanko, Regan Doiel, Molly Madsen, Diana Mendoza, Courtnay Serve, Julia Tyree and Becca Walker.
  • Freshman pitcher Michaela Woodward starred in Concordia’s run to the GPAC tournament title last week. On Tuesday she was named the conference’s player and pitcher of the week after she threw all 39.2 innings and went 9-for-20 (.450) with a home run and eight RBIs while the Bulldogs won five of six GPAC tournament games.