LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Last year’s national runner-up Texas-Tyler remained in the top spot for the third straight week and regained unanimous agreement among the voters as the best team in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Top 25.
The Patriots, who swept past Mary Hardin-Baylor to improve to 11-2, have the same two teams behind them — just in a different order than last week.
Washington (Mo.) University and Christopher Newport both remained unbeaten with identical 4-0 weeks, but the (8-0) Bears clawed past the (10-0) Captains into the No. 2 spot by a single point.
No. 4 Emory (11-1) won two more games to separate itself from three-time defending national champion Tufts, which does not begin its season until March 19, and Texas Lutheran (12-0) moved up two more places this week to sixth. East Texas Baptist (10-3), Virginia Wesleyan (9-1), Luther (7-1) and Berry (13-1) all continued to roll along to round out the top 10.
St. John Fisher was the big mover of the week, opening 9-1 to enter the poll at No. 15, while No. 18 Cortland (starts March 13) and No. 21 Gustavus Adolphus (4-0) both surged four spots, and Central (5-1) won four mores games to move up three places to No. 17.
Six teams — Aurora, Bethel, DePauw, Pacific Lutheran, William Peace and Worcester Polytechnic Institute — fell out of the rankings.
The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Records through Sunday’s games are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.
NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – March 9, 2016
|7||East Texas Baptist||10-3||153||6|
|15||St. John Fisher||9-1||77||NR|
Others receiving votes: St. Catherine 20, Rowan 19, St. Thomas (Minn.) 4, Wheaton (Ill.) 3, Ramapo 2, Simpson 2 and Wis.-Eau Claire 1.
Dropped out: Aurora, Bethel, DePauw, Pacific Lutheran, William Peace and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.