COSTA MESA, Calif. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has released the list of 10 host sites for the 5th annual NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round and for the first time in school history, Vanguard will be hosting the event. It will be played between May 15 – 17 and Vanguard will hosty four teams in a double elimination tournaments. The 40 qualifiers and pairings for the Opening Rounds will be announced Wednesday, May 10. 

According the NAIA, "The Opening Round site selection process takes into account: geography, facilities, student-athlete experience, current rating of the team and host qualification. In the event that a host bid is directly tied to an institution, that school is guaranteed at least an at-large berth into the field in order to host."

Other hosts include Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau  and Campbellsville University (co-hosts), Columbia College, Davenport University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Lindsey Wilson University, Louisiana State University Alexandria, Morningside College, Oklahoma City University, Vanguard University and William Carey University.  The champion of each Opening Round will advance to play in the 37th annual NAIA Softball World Series in Clermont, Fla., that runs May 26 – June 1. The World Series is a ten-team double elimination tournament held at Legends Way Fields with the championship and if-necessary games taking place on Thursday, June 1.

"Vanguard University is thrilled that the NAIA has selected us to be a part of this prestigious event," Director of Athletics Rhett Soliday stated. "The high level of competition that will be brought to Costa Mesa will highlight not only the gifts and talents of our Vanguard players, but of student-athletes around the country."

Hosting the Opening Round will be in addition to Vanguard University being selected as the site for the 2017 GSAC Conference Tournament to be played May 2-4 on the university's campus.