Coming off of one of the most successful regular seasons in recent program history, the Virginia softball team has earned the No. 1 overall seed in the National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC), a 12-team Division I postseason tournament taking place May 20-26 at TC Colorado Field in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The NISC essentially serves as the softball equivalent of the NIT in college basketball and includes the best college softball teams that did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. It was started in 2017 but did not take place for the last two seasons due to COVID-19.
UVA is the No. 1 overall seed in the 12-team field:
- Central Arkansas
- George Washington
- North Alabama
- Stephen F. Austin
- Bowling Green
- UC San Diego
- Tarleton State
The NISC begins with a double-elimination tournament that will eventually reduce the tournament from 12 teams down to four. Virginia will face the winner of No. 8 seed Stephen F. Austin and No. 9 seed Bowling Green on Saturday, May 21st at 10:30am (Eastern). SF Austin and Bowling Green play on Friday at 10:30am.
The four teams who emerge from the super regional round will advance to the championship round, which is another double-elimination tournament that will take place on May 25th and May 26th.
Virginia (27-24) finished the season sixth in the ACC standings with a 13-11 conference record, tied for the most conference wins in a single season since 2010. UVA's 27 overall wins are also the most in a season since the 2010 season, which was the first and only time the Cavaliers qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Virginia just barely missed a bid for the 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament, but the Cavaliers are excited to continue what has been a turnaround season for the program.
“I’m really proud of our team and excited for the opportunity to extend our season," said Virginia head coach Joanna Hardin. "The NISC tournament has been on hold for a couple of years, so we are grateful that we are able to participate and compete for a postseason championship. When your team is practicing deep into May, it means you are doing something right. We can’t wait to get to Colorado to compete.”