FORT COLLINS, COLO. – Last week the NCAA passed legislation adding the National Invitational Softball Championship as a permanent season-ending event for softball. Since the return of the event in 2017, Triple Crown Sports has been operating the championship off a waiver from the NCAA. The move allows teams to plan and budget for a postseason tournament now before the season gets underway.
“The Postseason NISC really matters to coaches, players and the sport,” said NISC director David King. “We’ve produced the Postseason WNIT in basketball since 1998 and have witnessed firsthand the impact that event has made on women’s basketball. To be able to permanently bring the same concept to softball is huge and will benefit the sport for years to come.”
The 2022 NISC concluded on May 25 with 12 teams traveling to Triple Crown headquarters in Fort Collins, CO to compete for a championship. Baylor came out on top defeating UNLV 4-0 in the finals.
“We had a great experience at the NISC,” said Baylor head coach Glenn Moore. “Playing in this tournament accomplished all that we had hoped it would. We got in 11 additional high intense practices and ended it with a chance to win a championship. We saw the true competitive spirit of our athletes. The tournament is very well organized and communication with coaches is a priority. I believe the decision to play in this event was one of the best I could have made for the future of our program.”
With guidance from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), Triple Crown brought back the NISC in 2017 to highlight the explosive growth of women’s softball and the depth of talent on college rosters from coast to coast. Liberty would go on to host and win the 2017 NISC championship with a 3-1 over Lamar. In 2018, LMU would claim the championship with a 5-0 victory over UC Riverside. The 2019 championship featured the regional rounds being hosted on campuses before the final four teams traveled to Colorado to face off at TC Colorado Field in Fort Collins, Colo. UT Arlington would go on to knock off Iowa State 4-3 to claim the honors.
Triple Crown reignited the NISC in 2017 after a 16-year hiatus. Started by Western Illinois head softball coach Kathy Veroni, the National Invitational Championship (NIC) took shape in 1986 to give quality NCAA Division I teams that did not qualify for the 16-team NCAA nationals an opportunity for high-caliber postseason competition. Michigan would finish 5-0 and become the first NIC champion. The NIC would run for 13 years before the final championship in 2001. Other NIC champions include Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Northeast Louisiana, Sam Houston State and Illinois State.
For more information on the Postseason NISC please visit www.womensnisc.com or follow us on Twitter @WomensNISC.