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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Repeat national champion Virginia Wesleyan University finished the season right where it started — as the top-ranked team in the NFCA Division III Top 25.

The (55-3) Marlins broke the Division III record for wins for the second straight season, besting their 2017 total by one, after defeating Illinois Wesleyan, 3-1, on Tuesday in the finale of the best-of-three NCAA Championship Series on OGE Energy Field at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex.  

Including last’s year’s run to its first national championship, Virginia Wesleyan has now won 61 of its last 64 games, and has been the unanimous top-ranked squad in Division III for 20 straight weeks.

The eight teams that advanced to the NCAA Championship in Oklahoma City are the unanimous first eight in the final ranking. Runner-up Illinois Wesleyan is second, third-place finishers Luther and Ithaca are third and fourth, respectively, while fifth-place teams Texas-Tyler and Case Western Reserve, and seventh-place teams Rowan and Massachusetts Institute of Technology round out the first eight.

NCAA Super Regional participants Berry and Linfield finish the top 10.

Case Western, which advanced to its first NCAA Championship finals and qualified for the NCAA tournament for just the second time in school history — and the first time since 2001 — was previously unranked. Wisconsin-Oshkosh is the other new team for the final ranking, while Amherst, Calvin, Emory, Lynchburg, Messiah and Ohio Northern dropped out.

The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Final 2018 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – May 31, 2018

Rank

Team

2018 Record

Points

Previous

1

Virginia Wesleyan (8)

55-3

200

1

2

Illinois Wesleyan

40-14-1

192

24

3

Luther

43-11

184

16

4

Ithaca

35-13

176

21

5

Texas-Tyler

44-5

168

3

6

Case Western Reserve

38-12

160

NR

7

Rowan

39-13-1

152

14

8

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

38-11-1

144

20

9

Berry

39-6

134

4

10

Linfield

39-9

116

9

11

St. Thomas (Minn.)

39-8

113

7

12

Texas Lutheran

39-3

112

2

13

St. John Fisher

35-10

102

6

14

Moravian

36-8

89

8

15

Christopher Newport

37-10

82

11

T16

Williams

39-8

68

12

T16

Wisconsin-Whitewater

29-13-1

68

25

18

Randolph-Macon

40-7

64

5

19

Hope

34-12

60

17

20

East Texas Baptist

33-13

47

15

T21

Central (Iowa)

29-12

37

23

T21

Saint Mary’s (Ind.)

36-7

37

19

23

College of New Jersey

31-10

21

22

24

Saint Benedict

36-10

19

13

T25

George Fox

35-11

11

10

T25

Wisconsin-Oshkosh

26-14

11

NR

Others receiving votes: Salisbury 7, Johnson & Wales 5, Manhattanville 5, Tufts 4, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3, and Geneseo 3.

Dropped out: Amherst, Calvin, Emory, Lynchburg, Messiah and Ohio Northern.

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