NEVADA, Mo. — This next week is shaping up to be a big one for the Cottey College softball team, as they make an apperance in their second straight NAIA tournament, in just their fourth year as an NAIA team.

The Comets earned their spot by finishing as runners up in the Continental Athletic Conference and finishing the regular season with a 30-15 record. They’ll be facing Oregon Tech in the opening round, which is the team that swept them out last season.

Head coach Mark Skapin says the maturity of the team is a big plus in this tournament.

“It’s kind of what I honestly, you know, what we recruited for and what we expected. A lot of these students came in here expecting to compete on the national stage, so with that being the game plan all along,” says Skapin. “I think they just executed what felt natural to them, which is kind of the best place to be really, because it’s not unusual to them. Having almost an entire starting lineup of juniors, it helps a lot. We almost returned our entire starting lineup from last year, about seven of nine, so there’s a lot of continuity that should hopefully serve well and hopefully the game won’t be too big for them.”

The first game of the tournament is set for Monday, May 16.