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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Backed by an 8-0 start, reigning national champion Virginia Wesleyan remains No. 1 in the NFCA Division III Top 25 softball rankings.

The Marlins set a Division III record for wins in a season in 2017, going 54-3 en route to their first NCAA Division III crown, and have now won 14 straight games. Virginia Wesleyan has been victorious in 20 of its last 21, and has captured 46 of its last 48 contests, dating back to a doubleheader split with Christopher Newport last March.

National runner-up St. John Fisher continues in the No. 2 slot in an unchanged (and unanimous) first seven from the first poll on Feb. 7. Fellow NCAA Championship finalists Texas-Tyler, Williams, Illinois Wesleyan, Trine and Amherst occupy positions three through seven. Among those six schools, only Texas-Tyler has started its season, and the (5-0) Patriots have outscored their opponents by a 51-7 margin.

Luther (2-0) moves up one place to No. 8, followed by Texas Lutheran (2-0), which swept NAIA’s Huston-Tillotson, and Wisconsin-Whitewater, which doesn’t open until March 22, in the top 10. The other NCAA Championship finalist, St. Catherine (2-2), which had started eighth, split its first four games of the season and dropped all the way down to the receiving votes category with Texas-Dallas (0-2), which dropped its first two to fall from the No. 12 spot.

Hot starts moved Randolph-Macon (5-1) and Messiah (4-0) into the Top 25 at No. 16 and 18, respectively, while No. 22 George Fox (7-1) earned its first votes this season, as did Lynchburg (6-0), Wisconsin-Eau Claire (3-1) and Emory (6-2).  

Sixteen of the 34 teams that received votes in this week’s poll — including NCAA Championship finalists Virginia Wesleyan and St. John Fisher — will compete in the 32-team NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic on March 2-4 in Tucson, Ariz.

The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Final 2017 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – Feb. 28, 2018

Rank

Team

2018 Record

Points

Previous

1

Virginia Wesleyan (8)

8-0

200

1

2

St. John Fisher

0-0

192

2

3

Texas-Tyler

5-0

184

3

4

Williams

0-0

176

4

5

Illinois Wesleyan

0-0

168

5

6

Trine

0-0

160

6

7

Amherst

0-0

152

7

8

Luther

2-0

144

9

9

Texas Lutheran

2-0

135

10

10

Wisconsin-Whitewater

0-0

122

11

11

Christopher Newport

3-1

113

T14

12

Transylvania

0-0

101

13

13

East Texas Baptist

4-0

99

16

14

Ramapo

0-0

98

T14

15

Washington (Mo.)

0-0

87

17

16

Randolph-Macon

5-1

85

RV

17

Moravian

0-0

50

18

18

Messiah

4-0

47

RV

19

Ithaca

0-0

46

20

20

Wisconsin-Oshkosh

4-0

41

23

21

Central (Iowa)

0-0

35

22

22

George Fox

7-1

34

NR

23

Kean

0-0

29

21

T24

Babson

0-0

24

25

 

Berry

11-2

24

19

Others receiving votes: Cortland 17, St. Catherine 9, Lynchburg 7, Hope 5, Rowan 5, Texas-Dallas 5, Wisconsin-Eau Claire 3, Emory 2 and St. Thomas (Minn.) 1.

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