Inaugural HBCU Invitational Highlights Excellence

Courtesy of Alabama State Softball

On Friday, the inaugural Historically Black Colleges and Universities softball Invitational kicks off at the Turner Lake Sports Complex Parks & Recreation Center in Covington, Ga. Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Fort Valley State, Grambling State, Howard, Jackson State, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, Prairie View A&M, South Carolina State and UMES will compete in the three-day event.

“The HBCU Invitational is huge for our girls to have a space to not only compete but celebrate everything HBCUs are and how far we’ve come,” Howard head coach Tori Tyson said. “This tournament creates a space for fans to see some good HBCU softball, the passion we play with it and the energy. So many of us in one space is a rarity and for the one time this preseason our teams will be the face of the tournament, and that is so cool.”

The HBCU Invitational sets out “to shine a brighter spotlight on HBCU softball programs, celebrating their exceptional coaching, the incredible talent of their athletes, and the fierce competitiveness they bring to the game. We dream of inspiring young, emerging student-athletes to recognize that the choice of a college or university goes beyond the sport itself. Joining a program where fellow athletes share similar backgrounds and experiences proves invaluable for those seeking success both in their sport and in life.”

The vision is to ensure the longevity of this softball event, transforming it into a premier collegiate tournament that captures the attention of the softball community and a wide audience every February. It is worth noting that this coincides with Black History Month, adding a meaningful layer of significance to our endeavor

“I’m excited to be the co-director of the inaugural HBCU invitational tournament, we are excited to help give a platform to our HBCU schools and softball programs to compete and play each other,” Co-Director of the HBCU Invitational Chenita Edwards said. “We are looking forward to watching great athletes play competitively. This will be a historic event during our Black History Month.”

Since the early 1900s, long before Title IX opened sports opportunities for all women, many HBCUs accepted women as athletes. This support helped to nurture the athletic and professional careers of countless African American women. In return, these athletes were expected to help challenge racial exclusion throughout society.

A tripleheader of NCCU vs. Alabama State, Grambling State vs. UMES and Alabama A&M Fort Valley State University will start the tournament at noon ET Every game of the tournament will be via HBCU+.

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