COLUMBUS, Ga. (WLTZ) -
For the second consecutive year, Columbus played host to the Women’s Softball NAIA World Series, witnessing the crowning of a new champion. In 2022, the #2 seed Oklahoma City emerged victorious with a 2-1 win over the #1 seed Mobile. Interestingly, the top three seeds from the previous year, including the #3 seed Freed-Hardeman University, failed to secure a spot in the NAIA World Series. Organized by the Columbus Sports Council, the National Tournament unfolded at the South Commons Softball Complex from May 25 to May 31, 2023.
Southern Oregon clinched its inaugural NAIA World Series title by overpowering Oregon Tech with an impressive 11-0 victory in just five innings during the Championship Game held on May 31. Despite being seeded #4, the Raiders dominated the tournament, outscoring their opponents 35-2 and maintaining an unblemished 4-0 record. Their regular season concluded with an impressive 50-12 standing.
The double elimination tournament featured participation from 10 NAIA schools and commenced on Thursday, May 25, with Southern Oregon triumphing over Georgia Gwinnett, the lone representative from Georgia in the tournament. The Raiders secured a 5-1 victory over the Grizzlies. Although Georgia Gwinnett managed to rally and win two elimination games, their season eventually concluded with a 6-0 loss to Marion (Indiana). Oregon Tech held the overall #1 seed but fell to Southern Oregon in the third round of the winner’s bracket. However, they made a remarkable comeback by winning three games in the loser’s bracket, ultimately setting the stage for a championship rematch against their interstate rivals, Southern Oregon.
Columbus previously hosted the NAIA Women’s Softball World Series in 2013 and 2014. It’s fitting that the city, which witnessed the United States Women’s Softball Team’s Gold Medal victory in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, would serve as the venue for the Championship Game. With guidance from the Columbus Sports Council, the South Commons Softball Complex will continue to host future events, including the GHSA High School Softball State Championship.
Originally published in Chattahoochee Valley Living. Grab your copy today at Zelmo’s Zip Convenience stores!
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