The Toledo softball team will participate in its first national post-season tournament in 26 years when it takes on Eastern Kentucky (40-18) in regional action at the National Invitational Softball Championship Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m. in Richmond, Ky.
This will be the Rockets’ fourth postseason appearance in its history after making the NIT in 1987 and the NCAA Tournament in 1989 and 1992. The 1989 team also advanced to the Women’s College World Series.“We are very excited to be continuing our season and competing for a championship,” said Toledo Head Softball Coach Kristen Butler, the 2018 MAC Coach of the Year. “We work all year for the postseason, so to be selected to the tournament is rewarding. I am very proud of the team and all of the things they have accomplished this year. We’re excited to keep it going.”
The Rockets hold a 34-21 overall record. Their 34 wins marks the most victories for the program since a 37-win campaign in 1995. Furthermore, their current winning percentage of .618 is the best since 1992 (.639).
In last week’s MAC Tournament, the Rockets won their first round contest in dramatic fashion over Central Michigan. Freshman Brittney Davis blasted a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give UT the win. After a loss to Northern Illinois, Toledo bounced back to earn a win over Western Michigan to keep their tournament alive, the first time that the Rockets have won multiple games in the conference tournament. Toledo was ultimately eliminated from the tourney with a loss to Ball State Friday.
Toledo was selected to the National Invitational Softball Championship based on rating percentage index (RPI), a win-loss record over .500, and the Rockets’ record vs. top 50 RPI programs.
If the Rockets win over Eastern Kentucky Thursday, they would play the winner of the day’s other game, Towson (40-17) and Austin Peay (39-17), Friday, May 18, at 3 p.m. The loser’s bracket game would be Friday at noon.