Softball Slips One Spot to 17th in NFCA Division II Top-25 Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On the eve of the 2014 NCAA Southeast Region Softball Tournament, which begins on Friday, Anderson slipped one spot from last week and is ranked 17th in the final regular-season National Fastpitch Coaches (NFCA) Division II softball poll, as released Wednesday morning.

Fellow South Atlantic Conference-member Lenoir-Rhyne, which earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Southeast Regional and will be competing in the Dahlonega, Ga. Regional this weekend, held steady at No. 24 in the poll. The Trojans were ranked 21st in the initial preseason poll and steadily climbed as high as 14th in early March, but fell from the rankings after dropping four of six contests midway through the season. AU reentered the poll last week at No. 16 after claiming a share of the SAC regular-season title and the SAC Tournament Championship. Wingate, which was eliminated from the league tournament by the Trojans, is currently receiving votes in the poll.

Despite a 5-3 loss to nationally ranked Angelo State in the Lone Star Conference Tournament championship that ended its program-record 24-game winning streak, West Texas A&M (51-5) easily maintained its position at No. 1 in the final poll of the 2014 regular season.
 
The Lady Buffs topped the rankings for the 11th consecutive week, receiving 15 of 16 possible first-place votes to lead No. 2 North Georgia (43-9) by a commanding 46 total points. Up two spots in the latest rankings, the Nighthawks remained idle last week after winning the Peach Belt Conference title back on April 19.
 
Cal State Monterey Bay (45-9), the California College Athletic Association regular season champions, held steady at No. 3 despite going 1-2 while being eliminated from the CCAA Tournament by Sonoma State. Humboldt State (46-14) advanced two positions to fourth after winning the CCAA Tournament with a victory over UC San Diego and a 2-1 mark against Sonoma State (W 7-5, L 3-6, W 8-6). Tampa also climbed a pair of slots, moving from seventh to fifth despite having been idle since April 18.
 
The bottom half of the latest top 10 proved to be chaos with four of the five teams making huge positive or negative moves.
 
In rising from 11th to No. 6 this week, UMSL (45-6) also earned a single first-place vote after rolling to the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament crown. A big win over No. 1 West Texas A&M in the final capped off a successful run through the Lone Star Tournament for Angelo State (39-14), helping the Rambelles advance from No. 10 to seventh.
 
Alabama-Huntsville (43-9) fell from second to eighth after posting a 4-2 mark at the Gulf South Conference Championship with both of its losses coming at the hands of eventual champion and newly No. 16-rated Valdosta State.
 
Caldwell (41-7) dropped a single position to No. 9 after going 1-2 at the Central Atlantic College Conference Tournament, while a fifth Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament title helped Winona State (46-7) skyrocket eight slots to round out the top 10.
 
Former No. 21 West Virginia Wesleyan (41-12) was the lone team to exit this week’s listing, opening the door for the entrance of Shippensburg (34-15) at No. 22.

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 and first-place votes are in parentheses.


NFCA Division II Softball Poll – May 7, 2014

Rank Team 2014
Record Totals Last Poll
1 West Texas A&M (15) 51-5 399 1
2 North Georgia 43-9 353 4
3 Cal State Monterey Bay 45-9 351 3
4 Humboldt State 46-14 310 6
5 Tampa 31-6 307 7
6 Missouri-St. Louis (1) 45-6 285 11
7 Angelo State 39-14 278 10
8 Alabama-Huntsville 43-9 264 2
9 Caldwell 41-7 256 8
10 Winona State 46-7 252 18
11 Minnesota St. Mankato 43-11 238 5
12 California (Pa.) 35-5 235 12
13 Indianapolis 42-11 217 9
14 St. Mary's (TX) 46-12 187 15
15 Dixie State 44-8 183 14
16 Valdosta State 40-13 176 20
17 Anderson (SC) 42-10 174 16
18 Emporia State 46-12 139 13
19 Armstrong Atl. State 30-12 135 19
20 LIU Post 45-8 126 17
21 California Baptist 43-11 78 23
22 Shippensburg 34-15 63 NR
23 Augustana (SD) 43-13 33 25
24 Lenoir Rhyne 39-13 28 24
25 Truman State 41-11 25 22
 
Dropped Out of Poll:  No. 21 West Virginia Wesleyan (41-12)
 
Others Receiving Votes: Texas Woman’s (19), Rollins (18), Wayne State (MI) (15), West Virginia Wesleyan (14), Bellarmine (12), UC San Diego (10), North Alabama (5), New Haven (3), Sonoma State (3), Wingate (3), Central Washington (2), Southern New Hampshire (2), Missouri Western State (1), Western Oregon (1).

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