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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Reigning national champion Trine is the unanimous choice as the top-ranked team in the 2024 preseason NFCA Division III Top 25 Coaches Poll.

The Thunder captured their first Division III softball championship by defeating Salisbury in the best-of-three NCAA championship series last June at East Texas Baptist’s Bell Park at Taylor Field. Trine (46-6) defeated top-ranked Salisbury twice on the final day for the crown, including 1-0 in the winner-take-all series finale.

Trine, which had been runner-up to first-time titlist Christopher Newport in 2022, had to stave off elimination all week to reach a second-straight finals series, after falling to Rowan, 11-4, in their Texas opener. The Thunder rattled off four consecutive victories before losing the first game of the championship series, 4-2, to Salisbury.

The (49-6) Sea Gulls, meanwhile, had been the nation’s No. 1 team for 10 straight weeks heading into the NCAA tournament, but were one loss from being ousted all week in the double-elimination finals after dropping their opener there, 4-1, to Moravian. Salisbury won four games in three days — including beating then No. 3-ranked Berry twice to reach the championship series.

It was the fourth runner-up finish and 11th finals appearance in school history for the Sea Gulls.

Those two squads top a first 11 that is unchanged from last year’s final ranking. The eight NCAA finals participants comprise the top eight, followed by half of the 2023 super regional teams in spots 9-12.

All of the final 13 teams in this initial ranking competed in at least the NCAA regionals, with No. 17 MIT, No. 19 Lebanon Valley, 23rd-ranked Concordia and No. 25 Hiram all reaching the super-regional round.

The NFCA Division III Top 25 Coaches Poll is selected by 10 NCAA Division III head coaches representing the 10 NCAA regions. Final 2023 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses. 

NFCA Division III Top 25 Softball Coaches Poll – Feb. 6, 2024

Rank

Team

Points

2023 Record

1

Trine (10)

250

46-6

2

Salisbury

240

49-6

3

Berry

230

43-7

4

Coe

220

39-11

5

Rowan

210

42-10

6

Moravian

200

38-12

7

Linfield

190

46-6

8

Christopher Newport

180

31-13

9

Virginia Wesleyan

170

39-13

10

Randolph-Macon

160

43-11

11

Bethel

150

36-5

12

Belhaven

140

32-13

13

Case Western Reserve

130

38-5

14

Tufts

120

40-6

15

Texas Lutheran

110

40-8

16

East Texas Baptist

100

39-7

17

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

90

36-8

18

Rochester

80

38-9

19

Lebanon Valley

70

36-12

20

Transylvania

60

34-11

21

Central (Iowa)

50

33-11

22

The College of New Jersey

40

32-11

23

Concordia (Wis.)

30

40-5

24

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

20

32-11

25

Hiram

10

27-16

 

2024 NFCA Division III Top 25 Committee

The NFCA is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaches polls and All-America awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to awards, to in-person events and National Convention

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