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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An undefeated run to the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic championship further solidified reigning national champion Virginia Wesleyan’s grip on the No. 1 spot in the NFCA Division III Top 25 rankings.

The (14-0) Marlins won all six of their games at Tucson’s Lincoln Park complex over the weekend, winning four games by run rule and outscoring opponents in their six contests, 65-16. In its other two games at the elite 32-team showcase, Virginia Wesleyan overcame a leadoff homer by Brooke Wehr off reigning Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of the Year Hanna Hull to edge Moravian, 2-1, in eight innings on day one, and scored two runs in the first inning en route to a 5-0 victory over Texas Lutheran in a battle of unbeaten teams on the final day.

On the strength of its 5-1 Leadoff showing, the (7-1) Bulldogs move up seven places, to the No. 2 spot, in the rankings this week, while Texas-Tyler, which lost the finale of a three-game American Southwest Conference series with Mary Hardin-Baylor, 5-3, on Friday, remains No. 3. The (8-1) Patriots easily bounced back from the loss on Tuesday for an 8-0, five-inning triumph over Centenary (La.), in which Texas-Tyler’s Colleen Bentke tossed a tidy one-hour-and-25-minute one-hitter.

Williams, which has high hopes for its season when it starts on March 18, remains fourth, while Trine, which opened its season 5-1 at the Leadoff, moves up one position to fifth. Christopher Newport (8-2), which also dropped just one Leadoff game, got a boost as well, going from 11th to sixth.

Amherst (opens March 11), Berry (16-3), Luther (5-1) and Wisconsin-Whitewater (starts March 22) round out the first 10, while St. John Fisher (3-5) drops from second to 11th this week after a 2-4 start to its season at the Leadoff.

Familiar poll teams Linfield (12-4) which went 5-1 at the Leadoff, and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (10-4), which went 5-1 to finish second at the Leadoff, are back in the rankings, as are Alma (10-2), Whitworth (7-7), La Verne (9-3) and Salisbury (7-1). Messiah (4-6) and St. Catherine (5-5) dropped out this week.

The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Current 2018 records are listed, with first-place votes in parentheses.

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – March 7, 2018

Rank

Team

2018 Record

Points

Previous

1

Virginia Wesleyan (8)

14-0

200

1

2

Texas Lutheran

7-1

192

9

3

Texas-Tyler

8-1

184

3

4

Williams

0-0

176

4

5

Trine

5-1

168

6

6

Christopher Newport

8-2

160

11

7

Amherst

0-0

152

7

8

Berry

16-3

144

T24

9

Luther

5-1

136

8

10

Wisconsin-Whitewater

0-0

128

10

11

St. John Fisher

3-5

120

2

12

Ramapo

0-0

99

14

13

Randolph-Macon

7-1

90

16

14

East Texas Baptist

7-3

75

13

15

Babson

3-3

63

T24

16

Ithaca

0-0

61

19

17

Illinois Wesleyan

3-3

56

5

18

George Fox

11-3

52

22

19

Lynchburg

8-0

38

RV

20

St. Thomas (Minn.)

3-3

30

RV

T21

Central (Iowa)

4-4

28

21

 

Linfield

12-4

28

NR

T23

Emory

6-2

27

RV

 

Kean

2-0

27

23

 

Wisconsin-Oshkosh

7-3

27

20

Others receiving votes: Moravian 21, Texas-Dallas 21, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 17, Alma 16, Washington (Mo.) 12, Whitworth 10, La Verne 7, Cortland 6, Salisbury 6, Rowan 4, Hope 3, Transylvania 1 and Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1.

Dropped out: Messiah and St. Catherine.

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