The 1976 Women's College World Series (WCWS) was held in Omaha, Nebraska on May 13–16, with nineteen college softball teams meeting in the 1976 ASA/AIAW fastpitch softball tournament. Most of the teams had won state championships. This was the last WCWS before the adoption of regional qualifying tournaments. Because college softball had not yet been separated into competitive divisions, large and small colleges competed together in one overall national championship.
The double-elimination tournament included the following teams:
- Arizona State
- Cal State–Sacramento
- East Stroudsburg State (Pennsylvania)
- Illinois State
- Indiana State
- Mayville State College (North Dakota)
- Michigan State
- Northern Colorado
- Northern Iowa
- Northern State (South Dakota)
- Northwestern Oklahoma State
- South Carolina
- Tarkio College (Missouri)
The Michigan State Spartans went undefeated through all five of their games to win the 1976 national championship, beating Northern Colorado, 3–0, in the final game. Carol Hutchins played shortstop for that 1976 team and would coach the rival Michigan Wolverines to the WCWS title 29 years later in 2005.
|Upper round 1||Upper round 2||Upper round 3||Upper round 4||Upper final||Final|
|East Stroudsburg||10||Arizona State||14|
|Mayville State College||0|
|Northwestern Oklahoma State||0|
|Northern Colorado||1[a]||Northern Colorado||0||–|
|Lower round 1||Lower round 2||Lower round 3||Lower round 4||Lower round 5||Lower round 6||Lower final|
|East Stroudsburg||4||Tarkio College||3|
|Tarkio College||5||Arizona State||5|
|Illinois State||0||Northern Colorado||3|
|Cal State–Sacramento||6||Illinois State||6|
|Mayville State College||0||Minnesota||1|
|Indiana State||14||Northern Iowa||10|
|Northern Iowa||6||Northern Colorado||1|
|Northwestern Oklahoma State||1||South Carolina||0|
- 12 innings
- The Michigan State Softball Record Book lists the scores of these wins over Kansas and Arizona State as 6-4 and 4-0, respectively.
- No-hitter. The Northern Colorado Softball Record Book lists this score as 5-0.
|9th||East Stroudsburg State College||2-2|
|17th||Northwestern Oklahoma State||0-2|
|Northern State College||0-2|
|Mayville State College||0-2|
- Plummer III, William; Floyd, Larry C. (2013). A Series Of Their Own: History Of The Women's College World Series. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States: Turnkey Communications Inc. ISBN 978-0-9893007-0-4.
- "UNO Wins on Linson's 1-Hitter". Omaha World Herald. Omaha, Nebraska. May 14, 1976. p. 23. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "McCauley, UNO Post Two Wins". Omaha World Herald. Omaha, Nebraska. May 15, 1976. p. 17. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "Rain Forces Shift in Softball Tourney". Omaha World Herald. Omaha, Nebraska. May 16, 1976. p. 1-C. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "Michigan State Undefeated Champ". Omaha World Herald. Omaha, Nebraska. May 17, 1976. p. 13. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "Michigan State Softball Record Book" (PDF). Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University. 2009. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "UNC Softball Record Book" (PDF). Greeley, Colorado: University of Northern Colorado. 2016. p. 4. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- Oregon Softball 2015 Media Guide. Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon. 2015. p. 42. Retrieved 2017-03-05.