LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Despite suffering its first two losses of the 2014 campaign, West Texas A&M (20-2) remained on top of the NFCA Division II softball poll by the slimmest of margins, maintaining its hold on the No. 1 spot in the rankings by virtue of a single point.
While christening Lone Star Conference play last weekend, the Lady Buffs (eight first-place votes) dropped two of three games at Midwestern State (2-6, 2-3 in 8 inn., 3-0). No. 2 Alabama-Huntsville took advantage of that misstep, improving its winning streak to seven games with home doubleheader sweeps over Stillman (9-2, 10-2 in 6 inn.) and Tuskegee (9-0 in 5 inn., 8-0 in 5 inn.). Those results allowed the Chargers to cut into WT A&M’s once healthy, 16-point lead, as UAH received seven first-place votes to move oh so close to taking over at No. 1.
Cal Baptist held steady at No. 3 despite splitting a pair of mid-week contests versus Azusa Pacific (2-0, 2-10 in 5 inn.) and having its high-profile doubleheader against nationally-ranked Dixie State cancelled because of weather. Texas Woman’s (17-3) continued in the No. 4 slot after running its winning streak to a season-best 10 games by rolling past Texas A&M-Kingsville during a three game league series (9-2, 11-0 in 5 inn., 14-2 in 5 inn.). Augustana (SD – 7-2) did not play last week, but still advanced two positions to round out this week’s top five.
Armstrong Atlantic (11-5) again held down the sixth position following a 3-1 weekly effort, while Humboldt State (18-5) dropped from a tie for No. 4 last week into the No. 7 slot despite winning three of four California Collegiate Athletic Association games against Cal State Chico.
UMSL was off last week, remaining at No. 8 with its 5-1 record, while St. Mary’s (TX – 23-4) and North Georgia (14-6) entered this week’s top 10 at ninth and 10th, respectively.
Just one squad dropped out of the latest rankings as Florida Tech (15-7) plummeted from the list after going 3-3 last week and losing both ends of a doubleheader to Palm Beach Atlantic (1-4, 2-4). Taking advantage of FIT’s misfortune, Valdosta State (17-6) roared back into the poll at No. 18 after extending its winning run to a season-high-tying six games by virtue of sweeps of Albany State (2-1, 5-2) and Delta State (10-5, 13-1 in 5 inn., 9-1 in 5 inn.).
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.