LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the fifth straight week and 15th time in the last 16 weeks, Texas-Tyler is the unanimous No. 1 team in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top 25 softball rankings.
The reigning Division III national champion (15-1) Patriots lost 12-8 to Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday to suffer their first defeat since last May 28, when St. John Fisher edged them 1-0 at the NCAA Championship in Salem, Va., but they beat Mary Hardin-Baylor in their first two games this past weekend.
Last year’s third-place national finisher St. John Fisher (6-0) got off to a strong start last week to remain second in the rankings, while No. 3 East Texas Baptist (14-0) has continued to roll heading into its three-game American Southwest Conference showdown with Texas-Tyler this week.
Berry (16-0) and Luther (6-0) stayed fourth and fifth, respectively, while fellow unbeaten Virginia Wesleyan (16-0) continued its climb up the rankings — five more spots this week, to sixth — after taking down last week’s No. 6 Manhattanville, which had the biggest fall of the week (15 places) following an 1-3 start, which included losses to two ranked teams.
Losing three of four games this weekend to new No. 10 Christopher Newport (10-2) dropped Emory (10-6) from eighth to 20th this week, while Trine’s 4-0 start surged the Thunder six places, from 18th to 12th.
The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Current 2017 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.
NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – March 8, 2017
|2||St. John Fisher||6-0||192||2|
|3||East Texas Baptist||14-0||184||3|
|11||Worcester Polytechnic Institute||3-1||102||12|
|23||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||0-0||25||23|
Others receiving votes: Otterbein 14, St. Thomas (Minn.) 14, Aurora 10, Kean 10, Tufts 8, Alma 2, Texas-Dallas 2, Illinois Wesleyan 1, Louisiana College 1.
Dropped out: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Gustavus Adolphus, Rochester, Texas-Lutheran, Wartburg and Wittenberg.