VALLEY CITY, N.D. ( A record start has led to a record national ranking for the Valley City State University softball team.

The Vikings are ranked No. 11 in the nation with the release of the first 2019 NAIA Softball Top 25 Coaches’ Poll on Tuesday. It is the highest national ranking in program history as the Vikings moved up 14 spots from their preseason No. 25 ranking.

Valley City State started the season with a school-record 15 straight wins and currently holds a 20-1 overall record. The Vikings are one of just four teams in the nation that have reached 20 wins already. VCSU has wins against two teams in this week’s poll: No. 23 St. Francis and No. 25 University of Jamestown.

So far this season, the Vikings are outscoring their opponents 160-39, averaging almost eight runs per game while allowing less than two. VCSU’s 1.54 team ERA ranks 11th in the nation, and Viking pitchers have struck out a nation-leading 167 batters. The Vikings rank 10th in the country with a .970 fielding percentage, and their team batting average of .367 ranks 13th.

VCSU has two games left on its spring trip to Tucson, Ariz., this week. Following that, the Vikings are scheduled to start conference play March 23-24 against Dakota State University.