Fresno State is headed to the National Invitation Softball Championship and a regional date this week in Reno with a first-round game Thursday at 1 p.m. against UC Riverside.
The Bulldogs (36-18, 14-10) finished fourth in the Mountain West Conference and carry momentum into the postseason with a sweep of Boise State at Margie Wright Diamond. Despite the sweep, Boise State advanced to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection.
The regionals are Thursday-Saturday. Nineteen teams are entered in this year’s NISC, which is a pay-to-play tournament.
UC Riverside (26-25) of the Big West Conference was last year’s runner-up in the NISC. The other teams in the Reno regional playing at 4 p.m. are host Nevada (27-25) of the Mountain West and defending NISC champion Loyola Marymount (35-18) of the West Coast Conference.
Fresno State wasn’t considered as a regional host because the school has committed Margie Wright Diamond to the Central Section championships Friday and Saturday.
Four regional winners will advance to the final round Memorial Day weekend at Triple Crown Sports Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.
Bulldogs ace sophomore pitcher Hailey Dolcini pitched for UC Riverside last season before transferring to Fresno State.
Freshman leadoff hitter McKenzie Wilson will have a chance to add to her school season stolen base record, now at 35.