LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After completing a sweep of both Rutgers-Newark (8-0, 4-1) and Rutgers-Camden (8-0, 2-0) to go 4-0 on the week, Montclair State (20-0) retained their No. 1 position in the NFCA Division III Top 25 poll.
The Red Hawks have now held the No. 1 ranking for all seven regular season Top 25 polls. When the 2013 preseason poll was released, Montclair State was ranked No. 2, eventually jumping Pacific Lutheran following a few early season losses by the Lutes.
No. 2-ranked Emory retains their position for the fifth release in a row after being idle in softball action this week.
From there, the top five experienced a shake-up as UT-Tyler (28-2) climbed one spot to take the No. 3 position, followed by Salisbury (24-2) which moved up three positions to tie Trine (21-3) for the No. 4 slot in the ratings.
UT-Tyler earned four victories during the respective poll week, taking down Texas Lutheran (6-0), Sul Ross (18-4), Howard Payne (17-11) and Schreiner (25-0) at the ASC First Pitch Tournament to improve to 28-2 at the time of poll voting.
Salisbury (24-2) earned victories against Mary Washington (7-1, 9-0) and Washington College (11-3, 3-2) to climb three spots.
Trine University set several Division III NCAA softball records en route to a 5-1 week with their sole loss coming 3-2 at the hands of Defiance. The Thunder quickly bounced back however, earning revenge by an 11-0 count on that same day. Trine followed that performance the next day with a pair of 18-0 victories over Kalamazoo and then proceeded to top that with 34-0 and 19-0 victories over Olivet on Saturday. With the powerful effort, Trine moved up one position for a share of the No. 4 spot in the poll.
Tufts (22-2) stayed put this week to retain the No. 6 position, while Linfield (28-5) climbed one spot to split the No. 7 slot with Redlands (27-7), who saw their own three-position climb. Luther (14-4) and UW-Whitewater (17-1) rounded out the top 10 at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.
Moving up six spots to sit at No. 11 is Rowan with a 23-3 record on the season. Roanoke (22-5) followed them at No. 12 after experiencing their own climb of four spots. No. 13 Lynchburg (22-5) rose five positions this week, followed by East Texas Baptist University (25-7) at No. 14 and Coe (21-3) at No. 15.
St. Thomas (17-5) increased their standing by four positions to take No. 16 in this week’s poll. Central (20-5) claimed the No. 17 position, up four spots from last week. At No. 18 was Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with a 22-10 record on the season, followed by 29-5 Piedmont at No. 19.
The team experiencing the largest drop in ranking this week was Illinois Wesleyan (16-5), plummeting 17 positions from No. 3 to No. 20 in this week’s poll. IWU suffered losses to Illinois College (5-4), North Central College (5-2) and Augustana College (5-3, 6-5) while earning victories against Illinois College (10-2), North Central College (9-3) and Elmhurst College (2-1, 2-1).
Following IWU at No. 21 is Chapman (22-8). Ferrum College (30-8) made their first appearance in the Top 25 poll this week, taking the No. 22 position after receiving five votes for 28 points. North Central College (previously receiving votes) moved into the Top 25 to take the No. 23 position with a 21-1 record on the year. At No. 24 is the College of New Jersey (21-1), followed by previously unranked Augustana (18-6) at No. 25.
Other teams receiving votes this week are Lebanon Valley (16), previously No. 12 ranked Simpson (8), Texas Lutheran (7), UW-Eau Claire (7), previously No. 24 ranked Virginia Wesleyan (4), previously No. 25 ranked UW River Falls (2), Alma (1) and Mt. Union (1).
The NFCA Top 25 poll is voted on by a committee of eight NCAA Division III softball coaches representing the eight NCAA softball regions. Voting results reflect the previous week’s performances ending with the Sunday of the respective week’s poll.