LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Seventeen teams are poised to compete in the 2020 NFCA NAIA Leadoff Classic on Feb. 28-March 1 at the South Commons Complex in Columbus, Ga., host site of the 2020 NAIA Softball World Series.
Highlighting the field are 2019 NAIA Softball World Series participants Georgia Gwinnett College and University of Mobile as well as six more programs – Brenau University, Campbellsville University, Indiana Wesleyan University, University of Rio Grande, Truett-McConnell University and William Carey University that qualified for the NAIA’s Opening Round.
Additionally, Thomas More, who is in its first season of NAIA softball, was a NCAA Division III Regional finalist in 2019.
Overall, seven programs finished the season ranked in the final NAIA Softball Coaches Top 25 Poll led by national semifinalist Georgia Gwinnett at No. 4 and Mobile at No. 7. Finishing inside the top 20 were No. 13 Indian Wesleyan, No. 14 Campbellsville and No. 18 Truett-McConnell. Rounding out the ranked teams are No. 21 William Carey and No. 23 Rio Grande. Brenau finished just outside the top 25 receiving 78 points.
Bryan College, College of Coastal Georgia, Georgetown College, Lawrence Technological University, Southeastern University, Reinhardt University, Thomas University and Warner University complete the 2020 field.
Fifteen of the 17 teams finished above .500 with 11 programs posting 30-plus triumphs. Mobile led the way with a 53-win campaign. Georgia Gwinnett (45), Indiana Wesleyan (44) and Truett-McConnell (42) each cracked the 40-win plateau.
Teams will each play a pre-determined schedule over three days in Columbus, with 15 of the teams playing five games, Bryan playing four, including a doubleheader on Saturday against Indiana Wesleyan.