For the first time in 22 years, South Dakota State softball is headed for the postseason. After reaching the Summit League Championship finals last weekend, the Jackrabbits were announced May 13 as a part of a 17-team field in the 2018 National Invitational Softball Championship.
The Jackrabbits (34-16) earned the automatic bid from The Summit League and are part of a four-team, double-elimination regional May 16-18 in Greeley, Colo.
SDSU will take on Colorado State on Wednesday at 4 p.m. CT in a first-round game. Host Northern Colorado and Loyola Marymount meet Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. CT.
The losers of Wednesday’s first-round bouts will square off in an elimination game at 1 p.m. CT Thursday, with the winners advancing to a Thursday semifinal at 4 p.m CT.
The regional champion, determined Friday, will advance to a final double-elimination event played May 23-26 at a to-be-determined host site.
South Dakota State compiled its best record in the program’s Division I era and reached the 30-win mark for fourth time in team history while earning a spot in the league tournament title game for the first time.
SDSU is 0-2 all-time against Colorado State, last meeting in 2010 at the CSU Classic in Fort Collins, Colo. The Jacks have met up with Northern Colorado 19 times prior and are 6-13 against the Bears after splitting a pair of matchups in 2013. South Dakota State and Loyola Marymount have never met.
The Jacks are making their first postseason appearance under head coach Krista Wood and second all-time, last hosting the 1996 Division II Central Regional.
The National Invitational Softball Championship is operated, supervised and directed by Triple Crown Sports, a sports event company based in Fort Collins, Colo., in collaboration with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. This marks the second year of the tournament, which features eight teams that have won 30 games or more during the 2018 season and six teams that finished second or better during the regular season in their respective conferences.
Photo from www.gojacks.com.