THURSDAY, APRIL 02, 2009
Atlantic Sun softball boasts fourth best non-conference record nationally
For the second straight season, Atlantic Sun softball has improved its non-conference record and thanks to stellar play throughout the league, the conference owns the fourth-best non-conference win percentage among all Division I conferences.

“I tell people all the time how tough our conference is,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “Whoever wins our conference tournament each year is more than ready to compete against the top teams at the NCAA Tournament and our success against non-conference teams this season proves that fact. I hope this starts bringing the respect the A-Sun deserves.”

Four Atlantic Sun member institutions have posted win percentages of at least .700, led by FGCU’s 30-4 mark. The Eagles own three victories against ranked competition and have become a mainstay in the Ultimate College Softball poll, ranking inside the top 25.

The two other schools to tie with FGCU for the 2008 regular-season title, USC Upstate and Lipscomb have carried its success into 2009. The Spartans own a 14-4 mark outside of the league and the Bisons have won 19 of their 25 non-league games.

ETSU has enjoyed its strongest non-conference season in four years in the conference, winning 15 of 21 and defending A-Sun Conference Champion, Campbell, owns a 14-8 record, on the heels of posting a 33-12 non-conference mark. Mercer, after a 3-5 start has won 18 of its last 23 games, putting together is best non-conference season in 20 seasons. Eight of the A-Sun’s 11 schools own winning non-conference records and JU has split its 30 games. The two under .500, Belmont and Kennesaw State are only a combined six games under .500.

Only the SEC, the Pacific 10 and Big 12 have higher composite win percentages than the A-Sun’s .642. The ACC ranks just behind the A-Sun as the fifth conference to boast at least a .600 win percentage. The Big Ten ranks sixth with the Ohio Valley in seventh. The Big East, the last of the six “BCS” Conferences currently sits in eighth. The top ten concludes with the Big West and the America East Conference.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.