The 2003 NFCA NAIA Leadoff Classic is set for this weekend in LaGrange, Ga., at Shuford Fields.
The tournament will feature 24 of the top teams in NAIA softball, including 11 currently ranked in the NAIA Top 25.
The format for the NAIA Leadoff Classic is like that of the Division I Leadoff Classic. There will be six pools of four teams. The six pool champions along with two at-large teams will compete in the Gold Championship Bracket. The remaining second place teams will be paired with four at-large teams and placed in the Silver Championship Bracket. The remaining eight teams will play in the Bronze Championship Bracket.
Pool 1 will feature No. 6 Columbia College. The Cougars will be joined in pool play by Faulkner, Georgetown and Walsh.
Fourth-ranked Oklahoma Baptist, the highest ranked team in this year’s tournament finds itself paired with another top program, No. 11 Thomas. The Night Hawks were a late addition to the tournament. Lindenwood and North Georgia will also play in Pool 2.
A pair of ranked teams also play in Pool 3. Tenth-ranked Houston Baptist and No. 12 St. Xavier are joined by Georgia Southwestern State and William Woods.
No. 13 Spring Hill headlines play in Pool 4. The Badgers are paired with Lindsey Wilson, Southern Wesleyan, and 20th-ranked McKendree.
Fifth-ranked Mobile joins No. 24 St. Gregory’s in pool 5. Bellevue and Tennessee Wesleyan will also be in the pool.
No. 21 Athens State, who made an improbable run in the NAIA national tournament a year ago, will compete in Pool 6 with 16th-ranked Ohio Dominican, Cumberland and William Jewell.
Play begins Friday at noon and continues throughout the weekend. Bracket play is scheduled to begin Saturday at 5 p.m., with the championship game set for Sunday at 1 p.m.