LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Defending national champion Tufts University stayed the unanimous selection as the top-ranked team in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III softball rankings.

 

The Jumbos, who went 46-3 last season en route to the program’s first national title, return three of the four players selected to the NCAA Division III World Series All-Tournament Team, including pitcher Allyson Fournier, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, catcher Jo Clair and outfielder Michelle Cooprider. They open the season on March 15 with games against Ramapo and Southern Maine.

Montclair State continues as the No. 2-ranked team, after a year in which it went 46-5 and advanced to the NCAA World Series. The Red Hawks start their 2014 campaign on March 9 with games against Illinois Wesleyan and Mitchell College.

Third-ranked Salisbury (4-0) had a four-win week, during which it outscored its opponents 31-1 and posted three shutout wins.

Cortland stays fourth following a 35-17 season. The Red Dragons open March 9 with games against Waynesburg and Marietta.

Central and Texas-Tyler (9-0) are fifth and sixth this week, swapping the spots they held in the preseason poll. While Central doesn’t start its season until March 14, Texas-Tyler is already rolling, having outscored its opponents 96-4 so far.

Luther and 2010 national champion East Texas Baptist (7-0) remain in spots seven and eight, while Virginia Wesleyan (4-0) jumped ahead of Trine to round out the top 10 teams.

Ithaca is the new No. 25 team, while Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which had been No. 21, drops down to the receiving votes category.

The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Current 2014 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.

To view the complete NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll, please click here

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