LOGAN, Utah -
Making its first postseason appearance since 1993, Utah State softball has accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural National Invitational Softball Championships (NISC). The Aggies will open the tournament in regional play against San Diego (22-22) on Tuesday, May 16, at 1 p.m.
All of Utah State's first-round games will be played at Weber State. The Aggies join the Wildcats (33-19-1) and Mountain West rival Boise State (30-18) in Region 2 in Ogden. The tournament is double-elimination, with the game between both losing teams set for Wednesday, May 17, at 10 a.m. Regional action will continue through Thursday, May 18, as games are needed.
"We're really excited about this opportunity to compete in the inaugural NISC. Our program has come a long way in four years, and this is a great reward for all the hard work these kids have put in," said Utah State head coach Steve Johnson. "I'd like to thank John Hartwell and Jana Doggett for their continued support of our program through this opportunity."
Utah State earned the Mountain West's automatic bid to the NISC, as it finished the season with the best overall record (32-16) among teams not selected to the NCAA Tournament. In all, the tournament will be made of 26 teams playing at six regional sites. The six-team double-elimination championship round will run May 21-24 at a host site to be determined.
"Our bracket is one we're very familiar with. I think we have every opportunity to go in there and compete for the title," Johnson said. "I'm really excited about the exposure to postseason play and the pressure of it all for our players and coaches to learn and continue to grow as a program."
Utah State is one of three Mountain West teams participating in the NISC, joining Boise State and Nevada. San José State earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while Fresno State was selected as an at-large participant.
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.
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