Tigerville, SC – On the verge of beginning its first season in Conference Carolinas, the North Greenville University softball team, led by third year coach Sarah Hall, was voted seventh in the Conference Carolinas pre-season coaches poll released Friday morning. NGU is in a tie with Pfeiffer University of North Carolina.
The Crusaders, which were 23-25 last season, rebounded late in the year to win seven of their last nine games to win the National Christian College Athletic Association’s (NCCAA) national championship in Botetourt, VA in May.
Erskine College was ranked first in the CC poll, followed by Limestone and Lees-McRae. Rounding out the poll are Queens (NC) (4th), Coker (5th), Mount Olive (6th), NGU and Pfeiffer (NC) (7th), Belmont Abbey (9th), King (10th), and Barton (11th).
Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletics conference made up of 12 teams from North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Coker College, Converse College, Erskine College, King College, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, Mount Olive College, North Greenville University, Pfeiffer University, and Queens University of Charlotte.
The league supports eighteen season-ending conference championship tournaments with nine women's and nine men's sports. Sports that are sponsored with NCAA automatic qualifications include: Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Softball, Baseball, Women's Tennis, Men's Tennis, Men's Golf, Women's Soccer, Women's Cross Country, Men's Cross Country, and Women's Volleyball. NCAA regional and national selection opportunities in Men's Soccer, Men's Lacrosse, Women's Lacrosse, Men's Outdoor Track & Field, Women's Outdoor Track & Field, Women's Golf and Men's Volleyball are also available based on end of year regional rankings and/or season results.
The Crusaders open the 2012 season at a tournament in Dahlonega, GA Saturday, Feb. 11 against Bellarmine and North Georgia College and State University. The team’s first home game will be in Tigerville Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 1:00 p.m. vs. St. Andrew’s College.