LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Augustana softball opens the season ranked 22nd in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II preseason poll released on Wednesday afternoon.
Led by Gretta Melsted in her eighth season at Augustana, the Vikings collected 78 points in the poll that was topped by defending national champion Central Oklahoma. Augustana will open the season against the top-ranked Bronchos at the Desert Stinger tournament on Feb. 7 in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Vikings finished the 2013 season with a 32-17 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in as many years. The Vikings lost a pair of one-run games in the NCAA Central Region tournament which ended their season.
Augustana returns six starters from last year's squad and adds five more to the mix for the 2014 season. The Vikings are scheduled for five games in Las Vegas, beginning with No. 1 Central Oklahoma on Feb. 7. Augustana will open Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competition on March 25 by traveling to Wayne State.