LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Victories in three of four match-ups during a high-profile league series was enough to keep West Texas A&M (27-4) on top of the NFCA Division II softball poll for the fifth consecutive week.
The Lady Buffs earned 12 of 16 possible first-place votes and maintained their firm hold on the No. 1 spot by winning three of four match-ups (W 10-0 in 6 inn., W 6-3, W 13-3 in 6 inn., L 2-4) in Lone Star Conference action at then-No. 18 Texas Woman’s.
Cal Baptist (30-4) improved to a season-best No. 2 ranking and received three first-place nods after putting together an 8-0 week that included wins in both ends of doubleheaders at both No. 6 Humboldt State and Notre Dame de Namur and a four-game sweep at Dominican.
Three victories in four contests allowed Armstrong Atlantic (24-6, one first-place vote) the opportunity to move up a position to third, while the week’s big gainer proved to be Tampa (23-4). The Spartans skyrocketed from 10th all the way into the No. 4 slot following their unbeaten effort against Embry-Riddle and Florida Southern. Fifth-ranked St. Mary’s (TX) took the week off, remaining at 31-4 overall while still managing to improve a pair of positions.
Despite dropping both ends of the high-profile doubleheader to Cal Baptist, Humboldt State (28-9) held steady at No. 6 on the strength of a four-game sweep of Cal State Dominguez Hills. Idle over the past week, Wayne State (MI) remained at 20-4 overall while rising a slot to seventh. Alabama-Huntsville (21-5) plummeted from second to eighth in the new poll by virtue of its 2-1 weekend at Delta State.
Emporia State (26-7) and UMSL (16-2) each advanced three positions to hold down the ninth and 10th slots, respectively. ESU registered a 5-3 overall mark and recorded impressive wins over nationally ranked teams Winona State and Augustana (SD). The Tritons improved their winning streak to a season best nine games by sweeping through match-ups against Upper Iowa, McKendree, Quincy and Truman State.
Former No. 15 North Alabama (28-8), No. 18 Texas Woman’s (20-10), No. 23 Southern New Hampshire (10-3) and No. 25 Dixie State (27-8) all exited this week’s rankings, opening up space for the entrances of No. 18 Valdosta State (27-8), No. 23 LIU Post (13-3), No. 24 Midwestern State (23-9) and No. 25 Truman State (18-5).
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.