Since Sam Houston State defeated Cal State Northridge in 1982 for the first DII softball championship, 40 more national champions have been crowned. In 2023, North Georgia won its second title since 2015, joining the exclusive club of multi-time winners of the DII softball championship.
West Texas A&M defeated Biola in the 2021 DII softball national championship series, picking up its second title after winning its first in 2014. Augustana (SD), were winners in 2019 and that win also entered the Vikings into this exclusive club. The last school to win its second championship prior to the Vikings was Lock Haven in the 2009 season.
Let’s take a look at the programs with the most DII softball championships.
4 — CSUN (1983-85, 1987)
Head coach Gary Torgeson’s Matadors owned the CCAA and pretty much DII softball for most of the 1980s. They won the CCAA in each of their nine seasons as a member and won four DII titles along the way. CSUN appeared in the first six DII softball championship series, winning three in a row after losing the inaugural title match to Sam Houston State.
3 — Cal State Bakersfield (1988-90)
California sure had a monopoly on DII softball in the early years of its history. After CSUN’s history at the top concluded, the Roadrunners took over. CSU Bakersfield won three titles, all in a row under head coach Kathy Welter. It defeated CSUN 6-2 in 1990 for its final DII title in a showdown of softball superpowers.
2 — Six tied
West Texas A&M was the newest member as the Lady Buffs won in 2021, giving them two titles in the last eight seasons. That changed in 2023, when North Georgia entered the club with its second title since 2015. Augustana (SD) captured its second title in 2019, waiting 28 years to do so, the longest span of any DII softball multi-time winner. After the Roadrunners run ended, we saw four new winners in a row. Then, a pair of back-to-back champions changed the DII softball landscape. Kennesaw State won in 1995 and 1996 followed by California (Pa) in 1997 and 1998. Humboldt State followed the Vulcans in 1999 and would capture its second title in 2008, the longest stretch between DII softball championships prior to the 2019 Vikings. If anyone can call themselves the DII softball power of the 2000s, it is Lock Haven. The Bald Eagles were the first team with multiple championships this century and nearly had a third, losing by one to SIU Edwardsville in the 2007 championship.
Here’s a complete list of all the DII softball national champions:
|2023||North Georgia (64-7)||Mike Davenport||3-0||Grand Valley State||Chattanooga, Tenn.|
|2022||Rogers State (58-10)||Andrea Vaughn||6-1||Cal State Dom. Hills||Denver, Colo.|
|2021||West Texas A&M (43-12)||Michael Mook||4-1||Biola||Denver, Colo.|
|2020||Canceled due to COVID-19||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2019||*Augustana (SD) (61-11)||Gretta Melsted||6-4||Texas A&M-Kingsville||Denver, Colo.|
|2018||*Southern Indiana (40-23)||Sue Kunkle||8-3||Saint Anselm||Salem, Va.|
|2017||*Minnesota State (64-7)||Lori Meyer||5-1||Angelo State||Salem, Va.|
|2016||North Alabama (60-7)||Ashley Cozart||4-1||Humboldt State||Denver|
|2015||North Georgia (54-8)||Mike Davenport||5-0||Dixie State||Oklahoma City|
|2014||*West Texas A&M (60-7)||Kevin Blaskowski||3-2||Valdosta State||Salem, Va.|
|2013||*Central Oklahoma (51-11)||Genny Stidham||5-2||Kutztown||Salem, Va.|
|2012||Valdosta State (58-5)||Thomas Macera||4-1||UC San Diego||Louisville, Ky.|
|2011||UC San Diego||Patti Gerckens||10-3||Alabama-Huntsville||Salem, Va.|
|2010||*Hawaii Pacific (50-8)||Bryan Nakasone||4-3||Valdosta State||Saint Joesph, Mo.|
|2009||Lock Haven (51-6)||Kelly Green||8-0||Alabama-Huntsville||Salem, Va.|
|2008||*Humboldt State (57-18)||Frank Cheek||1-0||Emporia State||Houston|
|2007||*SIU Edwardsville (49-8)||Sandy Montgomery||3-2||Lock Haven||Akron, Ohio|
|2006||*Lock Haven (56-4)||Kelly Green||3-0||Emporia State||Salem, Va.|
|2005||* *Lynn (54-7)||Thomas Macera||5-3||Kennesaw State||Salem, Va.|
|2004||Angelo State (47-11||Travis Scott||7-3||Florida Southern||Altamonte Springs, Fla.|
|2003||*UC Davis (53-15)||Kathy DeYoung||7-0||Georgia College||Salem, Ore.|
|2002||St. Mary's (Texas) (58-11)||Donna Fields||4-0||Grand Valley State||Salem, Va.|
|2001||Nebraska-Omaha (54-6)||Jeanne Tostenson||4-0||Lewis||Salem, Va.|
|2000||North Dakota State (68-10)||Mitch Hanson||3-1||Kennesaw State||Columbus, Ga.|
|1999||Humboldt State (55-7-1)||Frank Cheek||7-2||Nebraska-Kearney||Salem, Va.|
|1998||California (Pa.) (49-7)||Rick Bertagnolli||2-1||Barry||Pensacola, Fla.|
|1997||*California (Pa.) (53-5)||Rick Bertagnolli||2-1||Wisconsin-Parkside||Salem, Va.|
|1996||Kennesaw State (49-8)||Scott Whitlock||6-4||Nebraska-Omaha||Emporia, Kan.|
|1995||Kennesaw State (53-5)||Scott Whitlock||3-2||Bloomsburg||Salem, Va.|
|1994||Merrimack (45-4)||Michele Myslinski||6-2||Humboldt State||Shawnee, Kan.|
|1993||Florida Southern (45-11)||Chris Bellotto||11-5||Augustana (S.D.)||Shawnee, Kan.|
|1992||Missouri Southern State (50-7)||Pat Lipira||1-0||Cal State East Bay||Shawnee, Kan.|
|1991||*Augustana (SD) (61-4-1)||Sandy Jerstad||3-2||Bloomsburg||Midland, Mich.|
|1990||Cal State Bakersfield (44-11)||Kathy Welter||6-2||Cal State Northridge||Midland, Mich.|
|1989||Cal State Bakersfield (38-23)||Kathy Welter||8-5||Sacramento State||Sacramento, Calif.|
|1988||Cal State Bakersfield (54-9-1)||Kathy Welter||4-3||Lock Haven||Sacramento, Calif.|
|1987||Cal State Northridge (58-7)||Gary Torgeson||4-0||Florida Southern||Quincy, Ill.|
|1986||*Stephen F. Austin (38-15-1)||Dianne Baker||1-0||Cal State Northridge||Akron, Ohio|
|1985||*Cal State Northridge (62-19)||Gary Torgeson||2-1||Akron||Northridge, Calif.|
|1984||*Cal State Northridge (51-12-2)||Gary Torgeson||1-0||Akron||Sioux Falls, S.D.|
|1983||*Cal State Northridge (35-20-2)||Gary Torgeson||1-0||Sam Houston State||Orange, Calif.|
|1982||Sam Houston State (40-6)||Wayne Daigle||3-2||Cal State Northridge||Stratford, Conn.|
*Indicates undefeated teams in finals series
**Lynn’s participation in the 2005 tournament vacated by NCAA Committee on Infractions.
** Lynn’s participation in the 2005 tournament vacated by NCAA Committee on Infractions.