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Owls make national tournament for first time

The William Woods University Owls baseball team will be looking on Sunday night when the 45 teams and nine sites will be announced for the NAIA national championship opening round.

Only this time, the Owls will be watching as active participants.

William Woods earned the American Midwest Conference’s automatic bid to the national tournament in compelling fashion. The Owls rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth inning — ignited by freshman catcher Derek Fletcher’s three-run home run — to stun Missouri Baptist University 8-4 in Tuesday’s title game of the conference’s postseason tournament in St. Louis.

Second-seeded William Woods captured its first-ever AMC tournament championship after bowing to No. 1 Missouri Baptist 3-1 on Monday in the double-elimination format. The Owls (33-17) — who have reached the title game four of the past five years — advanced to the national tournament for the first time in school history.

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