PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The Eastern Connecticut State University softball team earned a national ranking for the first time in 2019 in the final poll of the year released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Monday. The Warriors head to the offseason as the third-ranked team in Division III following their run to the national semifinals.
Eastern posted an overall record of 36-13 in 2019, which saw them go on an eight-game postseason winning streak on their way to a berth in the NCAA Division III College World Series. The Warriors went 4-0 at the Little East Conference Championship Tournament to claim their first conference title since 2015, giving them the LEC's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.
ECSU kept rolling in the four-team double-elimination regional, going 3-0 with a pair of wins over then No. 20 Tufts to advance to the Super Regional round, clinching the regional championship with a 5-1 win over the host Jumbos. The Warriors hosted then No. 23 Rowan for the best-of-three series, but only needed to play two as they dispatched the Profs by final scores of 2-1 and 3-2, sending them to the College World Series for the first time since 2011.
Eastern Connecticut went 2-2 at the national tournament, opening with a 2-1 win over then third-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) 2-1 before suffering their first loss to then-eighth-ranked and eventual national champion Texas Lutheran by a final of 7-6. The Warriors then defeated then seventh-ranked Illinois Wesleyan 1-0 before being eliminated by then then 18th-ranked Emory with a 3-2 setback in the national semifinals.