SFA hosting Regional of NISC Tournament

SFA hosting Regional of NISC Tournament
(Source: SFA Athletics)

From SFA Athletics

For the third time in its NCAA Division I history, the SFA softball program is headed to a national postseason tournament and for the first time since the 1980′s the Ladyjacks will host a regional tournament with the 2019 Postseason National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC) selections announced late Sunday.

UT Arlington, fellow Southland Conference member McNeese and Middle Tennessee, along with SFA, will all converge at SFA Softball Field Thursday-Saturday, May 16-18 for the four-team, double-elimination 2019 Postseason NISC Nacogdoches Regional. The Ladyjacks (35-21) are set to face the Mavericks (30-26) Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m. in the regional’s first round, while the Cowgirls (30-30, who earned the Southland’s automatic bid to the 2019 Postseason NISC, will open up the Nacogdoches Regional Thursday, May 16 at 3 p.m.

A complete schedule of the 2019 Postseason NISC Nacogdoches Regional can be found below. SFA will be making its second-straight Postseason NISC appearance after gaining the league’s automatic bid to the national postseason tournament in 2018. Landing a spot in the Central Arkansas Regional in Conway, Arkansas, the Ladyjacks faced the Big 12 Conference’s Texas Tech and conference adversary UCA.

SFA’s first Division I national postseason appearance came in 2008 when the Ladyjacks captured their second Southland Tournament title and earned the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championship. Its lone trip to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship, SFA traveled to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Regional at Aggie Softball Complex and finished the season 36-25. Triple Crown Sports and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) joined forces to bring back the NISC in 2017 as a postseason NCAA Division I event that highlights the explosive growth of women’s softball and the depth of talent on college rosters from coast to coast. Now in its third year, the Postseason NISC is now an annual event for women’s NCAA Division I softball involving 16-32 teams in a two-round, double-elimination format.

All NISC games are played at the home facility or an acceptable alternate facility of host schools. The NISC is operated, supervised and directed by Triple Crown Sports, a sports event company based in Fort Collins, Colorado. The NISC committee uses three stages in this order to implement the final bracket: 1) Select teams; 2) Group teams according to team strength and region; and 3) Bracket the selected teams. The NISC committee chooses 16-32 teams for the Postseason NISC. The field offers 32 automatic berths – one from each established conference (some conferences may decline berth) and at-large teams. The intention of the NISC Selection Committee is to select the best available teams in the nation, regardless of conference affiliation or geographical location.

The 2018 NISC featured 17 teams hosted in four regions, with Loyola Marymount, UT Arlington, UC Riverside and Eastern Kentucky advancing to the final four. In the championship game, Loyola Marymount defeated UC Riverside to capture the second NISC title. The 19-team 2019 Postseason NISC field and bracket was announced late Sunday night after the 2019 NCAA Softball Championship selections were revealed on ESPN2. For the complete 2019 Postseason NISC field and bracket, in addition to more information about the NISC, visit WomensNISC.com.

Nacogdoches is one of just four regional sites for the 2019 Postseason NISC with Nevada (Reno, Nevada), Iowa State (Ames, Iowa) and Liberty (Lynchburg, Virginia) also hosting NISC Regionals this week. This past week, the Ladyjacks made their 10th Southland Tournament appearance and fourth since 2010 as the No. 4 seed at the conference championship and claimed a back draw win over sixth-seeded Northwestern State, 6-1. With 35 wins on the season, SFA has more victories than any other Southland-member team and owns the highest winning percentage (.625). With any triumph this week, the Ladyjacks can match their 2008 win total (36), which is the third-most victories in a single season in the program’s Division I era.

SFA has gone 2-2 against McNeese this season, including taking two of three games from the Cowgirls at SFA Softball Field in March, and won both of its games versus Middle Tennessee over opening weekend at Mississippi State’s Bulldog Kickoff Classic in Starkville, Mississippi. The Ladyjacks have not faced UT Arlington since 2017 and are 11-3 at home this year. Stay tuned to SFAJacks.com, as well as SFA’s social media platforms, for complete coverage of Ladyjack softball throughout the 2019 season.