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Ohio's Taylor Saxton celebrates after she scores another run in the March 25, 2017, game against Toledo at the Ohio Softball Stadium. (HANNAH RUHOFF | FOR THE POST)

Softball: Ohio accepts bid to play in the inaugural NISC Tournament

The Bobcats' season is not over, despite failing to receive a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio will travel to Lynchburg, Virginia, on Tuesday to open play in the National Invitational Softball Championships.

This is the first year of the NISC, designed to be a 48-team tournament made up of teams that did not receive a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

There was an automatic invitation sent to 32 teams to play in the tournament, because they have the best record out of all the other teams in their conference that did not make the NCAA Tournament. 12 more teams received invitations based on having the highest RPI of teams not already receiving an invitation. The final four invitations were given based on body of work.

A total of 26 teams accepted invitations to the inaugural tournament. They were divided into six regionals and will play a double-elimination tournament, which will run from Tuesday to Thursday. The six regional winners will play at a yet-to-be-determined site in another double-elimination tournament from May 21-24 to decide the champion.

Ohio (39-16) will be in Region 6, where Liberty (38-22) is the host. Other teams in the region are Campbell (29-27), University of North Carolina at Wilmington (33-18-1) and Iona (26-22).

The Bobcats did not face any of the teams in their regional during the regular season, but they do share some common opponents with each team.

Iona lost 3-1 to USC Upstate, who Ohio beat 3-2. UNCW defeated College of Charleston four times this season, while the Bobcats defeated the Cougars 2-1 in their only meeting. Campbell lost to Tennessee 10-1 and USC Upstate 3-2, while Ohio fell to Tennessee 2-1. 

Liberty lost to Tennessee twice and College of Charleston once, but beat Ball State 2-1. Ohio lost two out of three times to Ball State.

The Bobcats will get a first-round bye in the five-team regional because they have the highest RPI.

Ohio will open the tournament Tuesday at 4 p.m. against the winner of Campbell and Iona.


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