LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Virginia Wesleyan jumped two places this week to take over the No. 1 spot in the NFCA Top 25 softball rankings, returning to the position it held for two weeks last May.
The (29-1) Marlins, who went 4-0 over the last week, also jumped from third to first last season, when they ranked No. 1 in Division III for the first time in school history on May 4 and held that spot for two straight weeks. Like then, they received all eight possible first-place votes.
Berry (29-2), who had been No. 1 the past three weeks, dropped to third after a 4-1 week, which included an eight-inning loss to DePauw. Reigning national champion Texas-Tyler (28-2), meanwhile, remained the No. 2 team off a three-game sweep of Concordia.
Trine (21-1) stayed at No. 4 and Luther (20-2) moved up two places to No. 5 to complete an unanimous first five teams in the rankings.
Elsewhere, a second-straight 6-0 week surged Texas Lutheran (26-4) seven more places this week to 12th, while St. Thomas (17-3) gained eight spots to No. 17. Poll newcomer Stevens Institute of Technology (15-7) was joined by Illinois Wesleyan (14-6) and Wittenberg (14-4) — who both received votes previously — in the Top 25 for the first time this season at spots 22-24.
The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Current 2017 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.
NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – April 5, 2017
Others receiving votes: Whitworth 13, Lebanon Valley 12, Transylvania 11, Christopher Newport 10, Wisconsin-Whitewater 10, UMass-Boston 7, La Verne 5, Otterbein 4, Alma 2 and Cortland 1.
Dropped out: Hope, Oneonta, Washington (Mo.), Williams, Wisconsin-La Crosse and Wisconsin-Oshkosh.