The Gustavus softball team, which opened its season with a 3-1 record in the Finlandia Dome Tournament in late February, will head to Panama City Beach, Florida this weekend to take part in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic. The Leadoff Classic is an invitation only tournament featuring 24 of the top Division III programs in the country including 11 that have been ranked in the Top 25 nationally this season. The Gusties enter the tournament ranked #10 in the most recent NFCA poll.
Gustavus opens tournament play on Friday at 12:30 p.m. CST against Ithaca, followed by Mount Union at 5:30 pm. On Saturday, Gustavus will face Methodist at 9:30 a.m. in the preliminary round and then move to championship bracket play on Saturday evening and Sunday.
Teams participating in the tournament include Alma College (Mich.), Central (Iowa), Christopher Newport (Va.), Cortland State (N.Y.), Denison (Ohio), East Texas Baptist, Emerson (Fla.), Farmingdale State (N.Y.), Ithaca (N.Y.), Lake Forest (Ill.), LaVerne (Calif.), Louisiana (La.), Lynchburg (Va.), Methodist (N.C.), Moravion (Penn.), Mount Union (Ohio), Muskingum (Ohio), Ramapo (N.J.), St. Thomas, Texas-Tyler, Transylvania (Penn.), Willamette (Ore.), Wisconsin-Eau Claire.