The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has released the final poll of the 2018 NCAA Division III Top-25 National Poll and Luther College finished the year at No. 3. Luther has now been ranked in the top-25 for 125 of 130 weeks since March 4, 2009.
The NFCA Division III Top-25 poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions.
Luther completed the year with a third place finish at the NCAA Division III National Softball Championship. The Norse set a school record for wins with an overall record of 43-11. Luther was making it's eighth appearance at the national tournament and fifth under the directions of Head Coach Renae Hartl. Luther's third place finish was the highest finish at the national finale in school history. Luther had finished fourth (1985, 1990), fifth (1991, 2012, 2013) and seventh (2011).
Luther's journey to the national championship started with its third consecutive Iowa Conference Tournament championship and seventh in the past nine years.
One week later, Luther posted a record of 3-0 and won the Decorah, Iowa Regional. The Norse defeated Lake Forest 11-3 (5), Cornell College 6-0 and the top-seed of the regional, College of Saint Benedict 3-0 in the championship game.
The following weekend, Luther hosted the Super Regional round and faced No. 7 University of St. Thomas. Luther defeated St. Thomas twice in a best of three-game series, to secured a trip to the NCAA III National Championships in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma May 24-29. The Norse won game one 3-1, were defeated by St. Thomas 11-8 in game two and won game three 10-4.
In Oklahoma City, Luther won its opening round game over MIT (6-3). They were defeated by Virginia Wesleyan (3-0) in the second round. Virginia Wesleyan went on to capture a second consecutive national title. In the elimination round, Luther defeated Case Western Reserve (7-6) and then faced Illinois Wesleyan in the semifinals. The Norse needed to defeat the Titans twice to advance to the national championship series. Luther won game one 5-2 and were defeated 5-1 in game two and were eliminated from the tournament.