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Salisbury New No. 1 in NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Undefeated Salisbury University is the new top-ranked team in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III softball rankings.

The (14-0) Sea Gulls won four games this past week to move up two places from the third-place perch they had held all season. Salisbury received five of the eight available first-place votes, and its ascent moved Montclair State down one position to third and knocked defending national champion Tufts into the No. 2 spot.

The (3-1) Jumbos, which had been the unanimous No. 1 team in the poll for the past five weeks, dating to last year’s final ranking, opened their season with run rule-shortened victories over Ramapo and Southern Maine, before falling to Worcester State and rebounding to defeat Eastern Connecticut State. Tufts received the remaining three first-place votes.

Montclair State (7-1) won five of six games last week to remain in the top three, while Central (6-0) outscored its opponents 61-0 over six lopsided triumphs to stay fourth and East Texas Baptist (17-1) had a 5-0 week to move up to fifth.

Despite suffering its first loss, Luther (7-1) takes over the No. 6 spot, while Virginia Wesleyan (15-1) moves up to seventh and Piedmont (20-2) vaults four places to No. 8. Texas-Tyler (17-1) slides up to ninth, while Linfield (15-1) is the new No. 10 team.

Cortland (5-5), the 2013 NCAA runner-up, dropped 21 spots in the rankings, from fifth to 26th place, following a 3-5 week. The Red Dragons had a similarly slow start last season, before winning 17 of their last 20 to advance to the title game.

With just a nine-inning loss to Montclair on its 11-1 record, Washington (Md.) College rejoined the group at No. 20, after receiving votes in the poll two weeks ago, while Wittenberg (9-1) is a new addition at No. 24.

Wheaton (9-1) and Guilford (15-2) are the other newcomers — both in the receiving votes category — while Randolph-Macon (7-5) dropped out after receiving votes for the past two weeks.

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

To view the complete NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll, please click here