LYNCHBURG, VA – Iona College (26-22, 15-5 MAAC) has earned an automatic qualifier to the 2017 National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC). The Gaels were selected as part of the Lynchburg, VA region, which is hosted by Liberty University. Iona received the automatic qualifier out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) as the Regular Season Champions.
The Gaels are slated to begin play on Tuesday, May 16 at 1:00 p.m. when they take on Campbell. Iona faced Campbell twice in the regular season (February 17 & February 18) and were defeated in both games (10-2 & 2-0).
Iona claimed its first MAAC Regular Season Championship since 2014. As the No. 1 overall seed in the 2017 MAAC Softball Championship, the Gaels served as the host institution over the duration of the tournament from May 10-14.
Sophomore pitcher Alana Evans was named the 2017 MAAC Pitcher of the Year and was an All-MAAC First Team selection. Junior catcher Tori Danner claimed the 2017 MAAC Defensive Player of the Year honor and was named to the All-MAAC Second Team.
Senior infielder Kristen Turner was selected to the All-MAAC First Team and freshmen Jasmine Temple and Marine Skinner were named to the All-MAAC Rookie Team. Head Coach Melissa Inouye earned the 2017 BSN Sports MAAC Coach of the Year award.
For all information on MAAC Softball, visit maacsports.com/softball and be sure to follow the action on social media by using #MAACSoftball.
About the NISC:
Regional hosts are Pacific, Weber State, Illinois State, Lamar, Georgia State, and Liberty. Each double-elimination regional concludes play Thursday, May 18; the six-team Championship Round, also double elimination, will run May 21-24 at a host site to be determined.
The 15 Automatic Qualifiers are the teams with the best regular-season record in their respective conferences that are not playing in the 64-team NCAA Tournament. Six of these teams finished first in their conference for the regular season (Liberty, Iona, Illinois State, IUPUI, Ohio and Weber State). The seven National RPI selections all ranked in the top 100 nationally; at-large teams were selected off their body of work. 17 of the teams selected won 30 or more games this season.