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Softball Slips from NFCA's Division II Top-25

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After dropping four of its last six decisions, the Anderson University softball team slipped from the latest weekly National Fastpitch  Coaches (NFCA) Division II Top 25 poll, as released early Wednesday afternoon.

The Trojans (20-6), who were tabbed 14th in last week’s poll, are slated to get back in action on Thursday for a weather-delayed doubleheader at South Atlantic Conference-foe Mars Hill.  

Fellow South Atlantic Conference member Lenoir-Rhyne moved to 21st in the poll, while the Peach Belt Conference’s Armstrong Atlantic State remained fourth and received two first-place votes. The PBC’s North Georgia also claimed sole possession of ninth place this week. 

Four different teams received at least one first-place vote in the latest NFCA rankings, but in the end, West Texas A&M (24-3) garnered more than any other program to remain at No. 1 for the fourth straight week.
 
Despite splitting a pair of match-ups at the Lone Star Showcase in Wichita Falls, Texas, against Texas A&M-Kingsville (W 12-4 in 6 inn.) and Cameron (L 8-9), the Lady Buffs still picked up 11 of 16 possible first-place nods to lead second-rated Alabama-Huntsville (19-4) by 16 total points. UAH (one first-place vote) hosted West Florida over March 14-15, dropping a 9-7 decision in the opener before rebounding to win the series with 11-3 (5 inn.) and 6-4 triumphs.
 
There were virtually no changes to this week’s top 10 as California Baptist (two first place votes – 24-7), Armstrong Atlantic (two first-place votes  -- 21-5), Augustana (SD – 13-2), Humboldt State (24-9), St. Mary’s (TX – 31-4) and Wayne State (MI – 20-4) remained in positions three through eight, respectively.
 
The third-ranked Lancers won a pair of match-ups at San Francisco State, while No. 4 AASU improved its season-long winning streak to 12 games via doubleheader sweeps of Flagler, USC Aiken and Lander. Fifth-rated Augustana went a perfect 6-0 at the Rebel Spring Games in Winter Haven, Fla., improving its own winning skein to eight. The No. 6 Jacks posted a 3-1 mark in a four-contest set against Cal State East Bay, seventh-ranked St. Mary’s (TX) swept a three-game series at Rogers State and eighth-ranked Wayne State (MI) triumphed in eight of 10 total games, including 5-0 shutouts of formerly ranked LIU-Post and then-No. 18 Caldwell.
 
Last week’s deadlock for the No. 9 slot was broken in the new rankings as North Georgia (22-6) utilized four combined triumphs over Kentucky Wesleyan and GRU Augusta to advance into the ninth position by itself. Tampa (17-4) swept a doubleheader from Adelphi (W 6-0, W 3-0) and nabbed two-of-three from Barry (W 4-1, W 4-1, L 4-5 in 9 inn.) to stay in the top 10 at No. 10.
 
Three teams entered the poll from among last week’s “others receiving votes” as Winona State (15-2) climbed to No. 20, Lenoir Rhyne (20-5) improved to No. 21 and Dixie State (23-8) squeaked in at the No. 25 position. Falling from the latest rankings were former-No. 13 Fort Hays State (15-8), former-No. 14 Anderson (SC) (20-6) and former-No. 24 Cedarville (12-5).

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. Current 2014 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.

NFCA Division II Softball Poll – March 19, 2014
Rank Team 2014
Record Totals Last Poll
1 West Texas A&M (11) 24-3 393 1
2 Alabama-Huntsville (1) 19-4 377 2
3 California Baptist (2) 24-7 360 3
4 Armstrong Atl. State (2) 21-5 355 4
5 Augustana (SD) 13-2 332 5
6 Humboldt State 24-9 310 6
7 St. Mary's (TX) 31-4 302 7
8 Wayne State (MI) 20-4 281 8
9 North Georgia 22-6 262 9-tie
10 Tampa 17-4 234 9-tie
11 Angelo State 22-7 216 12
12 Emporia State 22-4 192 21
13 Missouri-St. Louis 8-2 188 11
14 Cal State Monterey Bay 20-5 174 16
15 North Alabama 25-6 168 15
16 Shippensburg 14-2 151 19
17 Caldwell 6-1 137 18
18 Texas Woman's Univ. 19-7 122 17
19 UC San Diego 18-4 104 20
20 Winona State 15-2 94 RV
21 Lenoir Rhyne 20-5 84 RV
22 West Virginia Wesleyan 15-5 74 22
23 S. New Hampshire 9-3 54 23
24 Palm Beach Atlantic 19-5 47 25
25 Dixie State 23-8 38 RV
 
Dropped Out of Poll:  No. 13 Fort Hays State (15-8), No. 14 Anderson (SC) (20-6), No. 24 Cedarville (12-5).

Others Receiving Votes: Fort Hays State (30), Truman State (26), Grand Valley State (18), Valdosta State (18), Georgia College (17), Anderson (SC) (16), Midwestern State (12), New Haven (4), Central Washington (3), LIU Post (3), Columbus State (2), Indianapolis (1), West Chester (1).

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