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Cathi Aradi

Tufts Regains No. 1 in NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Defending national champion Tufts University has regained the top spot in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III softball rankings after a one-week hiatus.

The (12-1) Jumbos, who had been the unanimous No. 1 team in the poll for five straight weeks before being overtaken by Salisbury University last week, won nine games to garner seven of eight first-place votes.

The (15-1) Sea Gulls, meanwhile, split their two contests last week to receive the other first-place vote and drop to No. 2, and Montclair State (11-1) won all four of its games to remain the third-place team.

Texas-Tyler (23-2), fresh off a three-game American Southwest Conference sweep of rival East Texas Baptist in a 6-1 week, moved up five spots to fourth, the same jump Linfield (19-3) made to the occupy the No. 5 spot after going 4-2. Trine (14-1), though, had the biggest improvement, going from 13th to sixth on the strength of a 4-0 week.

Luther (8-2) and Virginia Wesleyan (18-2) moved up one spot each, to seventh and eighth, respectively, while Coe (13-2) and East Texas Baptist (18-5) tied for ninth to round out the first 10 ranked teams.

A 6-4 week dropped Central (12-4) eight places to 12th, while Augustana (11-5) and Washington (Mo.) University (13-6) beat each other while both going 1-3 against all ranked competition at Washington’s home tournament to fall four places apiece to 21st and 23rd, respectively.

Anderson, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Lynchburg rejoined the poll, while Western Connecticut State is this week’s lone newcomer.

Cortland, the 2013 NCAA runner-up, completed its fall out of the poll this week after dropping 21 spots last week to a receiving votes slot. Babson, Guilford, Louisiana College and Muhlenberg are also off the list.

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