(Seguin) – After a 5-1 mark at last week's National Fastpitch Coaches Association Leadoff Classic in Tucson, Ariz., Texas Lutheran Softball jumped seven spots - from No. 9 to No. 2 - in the latest NFCA Top 25 poll for NCAA Division III.
The No. 2 national ranking is the highest in TLU Softball history. The Bulldogs were ranked as high as No. 3 in 2016.
TLU defeated three Top 25 teams - then No. 24 Babson (Mass.), then No. 24 Berry (Ga.), and then No. 2-ranked and defending national runner-up St. John Fisher (N.Y.) - in the Leadoff Classic. (Berry and Babson were tied for 24th in last week's poll.)
In the latest poll, Berry is now eighth, and St. John Fisher and Babson are now 11th and 15th, respectively.
TLU also notched wins at the Leadoff Classic over now 20th-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) and unranked Coe College (Iowa). St. Thomas was unranked last week.
The Bulldogs' only loss of the tournament came against No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan, who beat TLU 5-0 in each team's tournament finale. Virginia Wesleyan moved to 14-0 overall and claimed the Leadoff Classic title with a 6-0 mark in Tucson.
This weekend, TLU starts Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play in Irving, Texas against University of Dallas. The Bulldogs and Crusaders start the four-game series with a 5 p.m. doubleheader Friday. The series concludes with a noon doubleheader Saturday.
TLU is the four-time defending champion of the SCAC. The Bulldogs are 89-2 all-time in SCAC regular-season play.
The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Current 2018 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.