LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Unbeaten two-time defending national champion Tufts University stays put as the unanimous choice atop the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Top 25 softball rankings following a 10-0 week.
Tufts (14-0) had its first extra-inning game of the season last Thursday against Washington & Jefferson, winning 4-1 in eight innings on the strength of Allyson Fournier’s one-hit, 19-strikeout gem. Fournier then recorded 11 strikeouts in a three-hitter against Wisconsin-River Falls, a 2-1 triumph.
The Jumbos have received all eight first-place votes in the first six polls this season and last nine polls overall going back to last April and have been ranked No. 1 in 10 of the last 13 polls and 15 of the last 19.
Division III runner-up Salisbury (12-1), won four more games — including a home sweep Sunday of previously-ranked DePauw — to extend its win streak to nine games and regain sole possession of the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
Fifth-place NCAA finisher East Texas Baptist (8-0), stayed perfect with a pair of wins at LeTourneau last Tuesday to return to the No. 3 spot it had held securely until last week, while Texas-Tyler (17-0) run-ruled Wisconsin-Eau Clare twice on Monday to maintain its grip on the No. 4 spot, winning 11-2 in five innings and 9-1 in six.
Luther (20-0) continues its surge up the rankings, two more spots this week to fifth, after doubling its win total over the last week. Illinois Wesleyan (12-1) had a 4-0 week to stay sixth, while Rowan (18-0), which was ranked 21st just two weeks ago, gained two more places this week to reach the No. 7 position.
George Fox (18-4) moved into the Top 25 after receiving votes last week, while Hope (10-2) used an eight-game win streak and an 8-2 victory over nationally-ranked Anderson to garner recognition for the first time this season from voters, with the most points among teams not making the first 25.
Wisconsin-Whitewater (6-2) tumbled nine places to 14th after finally opening its season in Florida, while six teams — DePauw, Fontbonne, Lake Forest, Texas Lutheran, Williams and Worcester Polytechnic Institute — fell out of the rankings entirely.
The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Current records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.
For the complete poll, click here