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Cathi Aradi

Humboldt State Leaps to No. 1 in First NFCA Division II Regular-Season Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Humboldt State (12-1) continued its national resurgence by ascending into the No. 1 spot in the first NFCA Division II softball poll of the 2014 regular season.

The Jacks received seven of 16 possible first-place votes to rise from fourth into the No. 1 spot. HSU sits on top by eight total points despite No. 2 West Texas A&M (13-0) actually earning more first-place nods (eight) this week from the NFCA Division II Top 25 committee. The Lady Buffs advanced all the way from eighth in the preseason poll into the second spot.

Following a 53-win campaign in 2013, Humboldt State has christened the 2014 campaign at 12-1 after sweeping through the Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., at 5-0 and, most recently, taking three-of-four match-ups from California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) foe Cal State San Bernardino.

Lone Star Conference power West Texas A&M has followed up last year’s 44-win season with a perfect 13-0 start to 2014. The Lady Buffs wasted little time making an early-season impression nationwide by securing a big 5-4 win over then-No. 1 and defending national champion Central Oklahoma at the Desert Stinger Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.

At 8-2 thus far in 2014, Alabama-Huntsville rose from ninth to third, taking over the position vacated by new No. 4 Grand Valley State (0-0). Armstrong Atlantic held steady at No. 5, while also picking up a first-place vote in the latest poll.

Slots six through 10 look completely different from those in the preseason as Texas Woman’s (12-3) leapt from 14th to sixth, Tampa (5-0) advanced from No. 13 to No. 6, Augustana (4-1) skyrocketed 14 positions into eighth, California Baptist (11-2) rose from among the unranked all the way to No. 9 and LIU Post slid up one position into the 10th slot.

In all six teams dropped out of the first regular season poll of 2014, including preseason No. 1 and defending national champ Central Oklahoma (6-5), No. 7 Indianapolis (4-4), No. 10 Southeastern Oklahoma State (5-4), No. 12 St. Martin’s (2-5), No. 17 Angelo State (9-5) and No. 25 Columbus State (9-4). 

Additional teams new to this week’s NFCA Division II poll included No. 14 (tie) Fort Hays State (5-1), No. 14 (tie) St. Mary’s (TX – 10-3), No. 17 Wayne State (MI – 5-1), No. 24 Wingate (8-0) and No. 25 Emporia State (7-2).

The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions.

To view the complete NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll, please click this LINK.