Softball heads to Oregon for NAIA Opening Round

Softball heads to Oregon for NAIA Opening Round graphic.
Softball heads to Oregon for NAIA Opening Round. (May 7, 2024)

HIALEAH, Fla. (May 7, 2024) – Florida National University’s softball team’s (23-22) battle for the Red Banner begins in Klamath Falls, Ore., as the No. 5 seed in the NAIA Opening Round. They will square off against Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Ariz.) on May 13. The Conquistadors claimed their first bid to the national tournament in program history following an impressive 2-2 record at the 2024 Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) Softball Tournament. 

Florida National battled through a four hour weather delay on the second day of the tournament for a 16-1 win versus Crowley’s Ridge College to punch a trip to the CAC Championship round. The victory also secured FNU as one of two teams from the CAC to make it to NAIA Nationals. Georgia Gwinnett College went on to defeat FNU 2-1 on May 4 to earn its seventh straight conference title.

Three outstanding players from the Conquistadors were named to the CAC’s All-Tournament Team. Janessa Esquibel, Gabriela Obando and Sophia White all recorded massive games to push FNU to a postseason berth. White was stellar in FNU’s win over CRC, going 4-for-4 from the batter’s box and allowing three hits from the circle on May 3. The freshman was also credited with a save in FNU’s 4-3 win the previous day.  

Host Oregon Institute of Technology, Vanguard University (Calif.) and St. Thomas University (Fla.) are the other teams in the Klamath Falls Bracket. ERU ended the 2024 regular season 38-11 with a 22-2 record in the California Pacific Conference. They conquered their third straight conference title with a 5-3 win over Simpson University on May 3. STU and FNU split their last meeting on April 23, with FNU earning a 6-4 win in game one at home.

Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) logo.