NJCAA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT | TOURNAMENT CENTRAL
NJCAA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT BRACKET
WHEN: May 17-20
WHERE: St. George, Utah (Canyons Complex)
VIDEO: Games 27-31 will be available online on NJCAA TV
LIVE STATS: FSWStats.com
ST. GEORGE, UTAH – With the most wins (61) of any team in the field, the Florida SouthWestern State College softball team, the No. 3 seed, are set to kickoff play in the 16-team, double-elimination National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament. The Buccaneers, who hold a 61-5 record on a season, will face No. 14 Indian Hills (IA) in first round action on Wednesday, May 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET in St. George, Utah at the Canyons Complex.
With a win, the Bucs will move on in the winner's bracket to face the winner of the No. 6 NE Oklahoma A&M (42-8)/No. 11 Lake Land (54-12) on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET, and with a loss, FSW will face the loser of the NE Oklahoma/Lake Land matchup on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The No. 3 seed is the highest seed in the national tournament for FSW (No. 5 in 2016). This season, the Bucs are 3-1 against the national tourney field, having beat No. 2 Salt Lake (6-5 on Feb. 10), No. 4 Chipola (4-0 on April 30) and No. 15 Georgia Military (5-4 on Jan. 28).
The Purple and Aqua (61-5) secured the program's second consecutive Suncoast Conference Championship, with an 18-2 mark in conference play, won the District G Championship and the program's first FCSAA State Championship and locked up the program's second straight berth to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.
The Bucs, who finished the 2016 season with 274 stolen bases and led the nation at every level (NCAA DI, NCAA DII, NCAA DIII, NJCAA, NAIA), currently have 257 stolen bases to rank second in the country behind Chipola (342). The Buccaneers lead the NJCAA in wins (61) and shutouts (29), but they also rank in the top 25 nationally in multiple categories, including hits (3rd; 703), opponent batting average (3rd; .185), ERA (8th; 1.21), triples (14th; 21), walks (17th; 183), runs (20th; 456), total bases (24th; 884), on-base percentage (24th; .437) and RBIs (25th; 374).
Indian Hills (IA) enters the NJCAA Tournament with a record of 32-14. As a team, the Warriors qualified in the first year of the softball program back in 1989, and had an impressive streak of 15 straight trips from 1991-2005. Indian Hills currently ranks in the top 30 nationally in homers (51; 28th) and stolen bases (102; 29th), while hitting .344 as a squad. Sierra Walton leads the team with a .455 batting average, while Shyanne Dubois leads the team in homers (15) and doubles (18). Niki Gonzalez leads the pitching staff with a 15-7 record and a 1.81 ERA.
NE Oklahoma A&M (KS) is 42-8 overall and come into the tournament having won six straight games. NE Oklahoma ranks in the top 10 nationally in stolen bases (153; 5th), batting average against (.225; 6th) and shutouts (16; 8th). NE Oklahoma has eight players hitting .315 or better, led by Libby Morris' .426. Morris also leads the team with 10 homers and 57 RBIs. Olivia Prather and Rylee Willmon lead the pitching staff with records of 22-3 (1.71 ERA) and 17-4 (1.81 ERA), respectively.
Lake Land (IL) enters the NJCAA Tournament with a record of 54-12 and winning 20 of their last 21 games. Lake Land sits second in the country in hits (727), while also ranking third in runs (598), doubles (173) and shutouts (24) and fourth in RBIs (513) and total bases (1,099). Samantha Valentine leads the team with a .487 batting average to go with five home runs and 54 RBIs. Lake Land has 12 players with at least one homer, led by Madison Boone's 10. Emily Oestreich leads the pitching staff with a 31-3 record and a 1.50 ERA and 264 strikeouts.
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The Florida SouthWestern State College athletic program is a member of the Florida College System Athletic Association (FCSAA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The Buccaneers are one of 25 schools in the NJCAA Region 8 and are one of six schools in the Suncoast Conference. Florida SouthWestern State College currently supports four intercollegiate athletic programs (Baseball, Softball, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball), with Volleyball coming in the fall of 2017.
Baseball and Softball began their regular season competition in 2016 at the City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. Located on the Thomas Edison (Lee) Campus in Fort Myers will be the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena (completed in fall 2016), where FSW's men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams will compete.
The movement to form a unique sports association dedicated to America's two-year colleges arose in 1937 when several track and field coaches gathered in Fresno, California. A year later, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rejected a petition from 13 two-year colleges in California to grant their teams and athletes permission to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.
In the spring of 1938, following the NCAA's rejection, those same 13 two-year colleges gathered again in Fresno to organize and form an association that would promote and supervise a national athletics program exclusively for junior and community colleges…and the rest is history.
On May 14, 1938, the first constitution of the National Junior College Athletic Association was accepted by its charter members and the organization held its first national championship event a year later in May 1939.
The NJCAA has played a vital role in collegiate athletics for the past eight decades and continues to be the leader in championing academic and athletic opportunities for student-athletes. This section of the association's website is dedicated to celebrating the NJCAA's rich history and tradition as the national governing body of two-year college athletics.
For more information on the NJCAA log on to www.NJCAA.org.
The Florida College System Activities Association, Incorporated (FCSAA) is a statewide non‑profit corporation regulating, coordinating, and promoting intercollegiate activities in: Athletics, Brain Bowl, Forensics, Music, Student Government, Student Publications, and Theatre.
Membership in the Florida College System Activities Association is open to any of the 28 colleges in the Florida College System. Each member institution is represented in the policy‑making deliberations of the Association through that institution's President or other designated representative. The institutional representatives constitute the FCSAA Presidents Assembly, the ultimate authority in FCSAA.
For more information on the FCSAA log on to www.TheFCSAA.com.
NJCAA REGION 8, THE SUNCOAST CONFERENCE & THE SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
Member colleges of the NJCAA are allotted to a specific NJCAA Region upon membership to the association. Unlike other collegiate organizations that defer to conference affiliation, the NJCAA guarantees each member college's membership within the regional structure of the association. In most cases, region assignment is based upon geographic location of the college.
The region structure of the NJCAA is the primary method used by all sponsored sports of the association in determining qualification for national championship tournaments. In certain sports, two or more regions are partnered to form a competition 'district', which is then used for national championship qualification. The organization of districts varies per sport and is formulated every two years under the authority of the association's board of directors.
FSW is in Region 8 and is joined by ASA College Miami (Region 8 only; non-FCSAA member), Broward College, Chipola College, College of Central Florida, Daytona State College, Eastern Florida State College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Gulf Coast State College, Hillsborough Community College, Indian River State College, Lake-Sumter State College, Miami Dade College, Northwest Florida State College, Palm Beach State College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Pensacola State College, Polk State College, Santa Fe College, Seminole State College of Florida, South Florida State College, St. Johns River State College, St. Petersburg College, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and Tallahassee Community College.
The Bucs are also in the Suncoast Conference with Hillsborough Community College, Polk State College, South Florida State College, St. Petersburg College and State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota.
The women's basketball program is Southern Conference with Broward College, Eastern Florida State College, Indian River State College, Miami Dade College and Palm Beach State College.
For more information on Region 8 log on to www.TheFCSAASports.com.