COLUMBUS, Ga. – 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 latest NFCA Division II softball 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.
To view the complete NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll, please click this LINK.