FORT COLLINS, CO – Tournament officials have announced the 12-team field that will head to Colorado for the 2022 National Invitational Softball Championships, a Division-I postseason softball event that includes four Power 5 programs and eight mid-majors with action set to begin Friday, May 20.
All games will be streamed on FloSoftball and take place at the TC Colorado Field, just outside the offices of Triple Crown Sports in Fort Collins, CO. The NISC began in 2017 and ran through 2019 before stepping aside because of the COVID-19 pandemic for two years.
The top four seeds have a first-round bye and will start on Saturday, May 21; the No. 1 seed for the 2022 NISC is Virginia (27-24). Baylor (28-24) is the No. 2 seed, UNLV (38-13) is seeded third and No. 4 is Central Arkansas (35-20). Here’s the rest of the field:
No. 5 George Washington (36-15)
No. 6 North Alabama (38-18)
No. 7 Rutgers (25-28)
No. 8 Stephen F. Austin (31-25)
No. 9 Bowling Green (32-19)
No. 10 UC San Diego (27-26)
No. 11 Tarleton State (29-23)
No. 12 Kansas (16-34)
Teams had to have an RPI in the national top 100 or have a winning record if its RPI was greater than 100. Conference record, results against the RPI Top 50, last 10 games, notable wins, upset losses and player injuries also were taken into consideration.
This year’s NISC features a double-elimination format. Here’s the schedule for the first two rounds (home team listed second):
Friday, May 20 (all times Mountain):
Bowling Green vs. Stephen F. Austin, 8:30 a.m.
Kansas vs. George Washington, 11 a.m.
UC San Diego vs. Rutgers, 1:30 p.m.
Tarleton State vs. North Alabama, 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
TBA vs. Virginia, 8:30 a.m.
TBA vs. Central Arkansas, 11 a.m.
TBA vs. Baylor, 1:30 p.m.
TBA vs. UNLV, 4 p.m.
The event concludes with the Championship Round on May 25-26, with the last four teams competing for the title.
“We’ve been waiting to get this back on the calendar; it’s the last Triple Crown event to return after the pandemic. The NISC will deliver a terrific group of teams, all making a highly competitive push to earn a national championship,” said event director and Triple Crown founder David King. “We’re super excited for the opportunity to help grow the sport even more.”
The 2017 NISC was won by Liberty; the 2018 crown went to Loyola Marymount, and the 2019 title went to UT Arlington.
About Triple Crown Sports
Based in Fort Collins, CO., Triple Crown Sports has been producing youth, high school and college events for 40 years. TCS runs both the preseason and postseason WNIT basketball events and produces the men’s and women’s DI Cancun Challenge tournaments in November. Triple Crown is also powering “WNIT” concept events in D-I softball (NISC) and volleyball (NIVC), with those two events debuting in 2017. Triple Crown’s PV College Challenge features more than 10 of the top DI college softball teams in the country each year in Puerto Vallarta, MX. Anchored by the 1,000-team Colorado 4th of July event, TC fastpitch tournaments draw the nation’s finest club programs, and hundreds of college coaches attend TCS events for recruiting purposes. TCS produces one of the largest youth baseball events in the world with the Omaha SlumpBuster during the College World Series. The Triple Crown Volleyball NIT has become the top-recruited club volleyball event in the country each February when 550 teams compete in Kansas City, MO.
About College Sports Evaluation
College Sports Evaluation is the No. 1 verified evaluation company that puts sensor data analysis in the hands of colleges to help assess in-game performance and athletic development. With cutting-edge equipment, in-house mathematicians and three grad university partnerships, College Sports Evaluation is dedicated to improving current rosters along with the collection and analysis of longitudinal data. CSE also tests youth athletes both subjectively and objectively to aid in player development.