INDIANAPOLIS – If the season ended Wednesday, Carson-Newman softball would be headed to an NCAA regional for a third straight season.
The owner of the region's top RPI, Carson-Newman is ranked third in the first set of region rankings.
This week's batch of rankings do not include action from Monday or Tuesday, and thus, do not factor in the Eagles' split with Wingate (a regionally ranked foe), nor a split with Mars Hill.
Carson-Newman is one of six South Atlantic Conference teams in the region rankings. Lincoln Memorial, who swept Carson-Newman on March 20, is ranked second. The Railsplitters' head-to-head advantage over the Eagles catapulted them past Carson-Newman in spite of having a lower RPI than C-N.
Lenoir-Rhyne comes in in fourth, the Eagles swept the Bears on April 6. Newberry is ranked sixth, setting up a massive regular season finale between the two programs on Saturday, weather pending. Rounding out the SAC representation are Coker, ranked seventh, and Wingate, ranked 10th. The Eagles split with both those teams.
The Peach Belt has three teams represented. North Georgia occupies the top spot. Georgia College and Young Harris are fifth and ninth, respectively. The Eagles swept both those teams to open the year.
Erskine is the lone team from Conference Carolinas in the poll. The Flying Fleet is eighth. All told, the Eagles are 10-4 against regionally-ranked teams with two more games to play.
Carson-Newman also has a pair of wins over Claflin, ranked 10th in the Atlantic Regional.
Carson-Newman has the second best record in the region against teams with an above .500 record. The Eagles have gone 13-7. Only North Georgia's mark of 18-7 is better.
Selections for the regional tournaments are announced on Monday, May 6, with the tournaments played from May 9-11. Each region has two, four-team sub-regional tournaments that are double-elimination and hosted on campus sites by the top two seeds in the region.
Carson-Newman wraps up the regular season, weather willing, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. with a pair of contests against Newberry. Coverage will be available on the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.