Softball Jumps to 17th in NFCA Division II Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On the strength of a 13-1 start and an impressive 7-1 record last week, the Anderson University softball team is ranked 17th in the weekly National Fastpitch Coaches (NFCA) Division II softball poll, as released Wednesday afternoon.

The Trojans were tabbed 21st in last week’s poll and 20th in the NFCA Preseason Poll four weeks ago.  

Anderson is the lone representative from the South Atlantic Conference, as Wingate, which was 24th a week ago, is still receiving votes, but slipped from the top-25. The Peach Belt Conference’s Armstrong Atlantic State slipped one spot to sixth, while North Georgia moved up a notch to 11th this week.

The best start to a campaign in school history has helped West Texas A&M (17-0) ascend into the No. 1 spot in the poll.
 
The Lady Buffs received 15 of 16 possible first-place votes from the committee to total 399 points and lead No. 2 Alabama-Huntsville (one first-place vote) by a commanding 16 tallies. Last week West Texas A&M picked up doubleheader sweeps over Oklahoma Christian (5-0, 10-0), Texas A&M-International (9-1 in 6 inn., 10-0 in 5 inn.) and Newman (17-5 in 5 inn., 8-0 in 5 inn.).
 
UAH advanced a single position to reach its season-high of No. 2 and improved its overall record to 13-2 by posting five consecutive wins over a combination of Lee (8-1, 9-4, 7-3) and Stillman (9-2, 10-2 in 6 inn.).
 
From completely unranked in the preseason, California Baptist (16-3) continued its rapid ascension of the polls, roaring from ninth all the way into the No. 3 slot. The Lancers registered a 5-1 mark over Feb. 17-23, including a doubleheader split versus Cal State San Bernardino (11-2 in 5 inn, 1-11 in 5 inn.) and a four-game sweep of Hawai’i Pacific (2-1, 10-7, 9-0 in 6 inn., 8-7).
 
Last week’s No. 1 team, Humboldt State (15-4), owned just a 4-3 record over the last seven days. The Jacks suffered a pair of defeats against Cal State Monterey Bay and a DH split versus Dominican to fall three slots into a tie for fourth alongside Texas Woman’s (14-3). The Pioneers improved their season-best winning streak to seven games via a Feb. 22nd sweep of St. Edwards (5-0, 5-1).
 
A doubleheader split against Queens (N.C.) resulted in Armstrong Atlantic (8-4) falling one position to No. 6, while a 3-1 mark at the Huskydome Classic in St. Cloud, Minn., improved Augustana (SD) to 7-2 overall and one spot to seventh in the national rankings.
 
Despite not playing last week, Missouri-St. Louis (5-1) rose three positions to eighth. Barry (9-2) swept a doubleheader from St. Thomas (5-3, 2-0) to run its winning streak to five games and make the largest jump of any current Top 10 team by leaping from 16th into the ninth slot. Having yet to see action in 2014, LIU Post held steady at No. 10.
 
Four teams dropped out of the Feb. 26th rankings including No. 19 Valdosta State (12-6), No. 20 California (Pa.) (3-2), No. 23 Kutztown (3-6) and No. 24 Wingate (10-2). That opened the door for the entrance of West Virginia Wesleyan (4-0) at No. 16, Florida Tech (11-4) at No. 18, Shippensburg (3-0) at No. 24 and Angelo State (11-5) at No. 25

The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions. Final 2013 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.

Anderson concludes its eight-game homestand by playing host to Young Harris on Thursday. First-pitch at Smethers Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.

NFCA Division II Softball Poll – February 26, 2014
Rank Team 2014

Record Totals Last Poll
1 West Texas A&M (15) 17-0 399 2
2 Ala.-Huntsville (1) 11-2 383 3
3 California Baptist 16-3 350 9
4 tie Humboldt State 15-4 319 1
4 tie Texas Woman's Univ. 14-3 319 6
6 Armstrong Atl. State 8-4 316 5
7 Augustana (SD) 7-2 313 8
8 Missouri-St. Louis 5-1 253 11
9 Barry 9-2 246 16
10 LIU Post 0-0 224 10
11 North Georgia 9-5 222 12
12 St. Mary's (TX) 18-3 201 t14
13 tie UC San Diego 12-2 194 13
13 tie Wayne State (MI) 9-1 194 17
15 Fort Hays State 9-4 190 t14
16 West Va. Wesleyan 4-0 137 NR
17 Anderson (SC) 13-1 116 21
18 Florida Tech 11-4 112 RV
19 Caldwell 0-0 108 18
20 Grand Valley State 2-2 102 4
21 Tampa 6-2 83 7
22 Dixie State 12-3 81 22
23 Emporia State 10-3 73 25
24 Shippensburg 3-0 72 NR
25 Angelo State 11-5 56 RV
 Dropped Out of Poll:  No. 19 Valdosta State (12-6), No. 20 California (Pa.) (3-2), No. 23 Kutztown (3-6), No. 24 Wingate (10-2)
Others Receiving Votes: Columbus State (39), Valdosta State (20), Missouri Western State (18), Wingate (14), New Haven (13), Cal State Monterey Bay (10), Indianapolis (8), Winona State (5), West Chester (4), Cal State Dominguez Hills (3), Central Washington (2), Palm Beach Atlantic (1).

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