LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Berry is the No. 1 team in the NFCA Top 25 softball rankings for the third straight week and is the unanimous top team in the nation for the second consecutive week.
The (25-1) Vikings again received all eight first-place votes after going 4-0 for the week, including sweeps of Wesleyan (Ga.) and Birmingham-Southern in which they outscored their opponents, 49-8.
Defending national champion Texas-Tyler continues as the No. 2 team following its three-game American Southwest Conference sweep of new No. 21 Texas-Dallas (20-8), which had been ranked 16th at the time, while Virginia Wesleyan (25-1) rolled to six more victories to remain third. No. 4 Trine (18-0) and No. 5 St. John Fisher (10-2) round out an unchanged and consensus first five teams in the poll.
Rowan won both its games to improve to 17-1 and move up another spot to sixth this week, while No. 7 Luther (18-2) gained two places on the strength of a perfect 8-0 week. Eighth-ranked Linfield (18-4) counted a victory over new No. 25 St. Thomas (11-3) among its two most recent wins, while No. 9 Messiah (14-3) collected four wins and Wisconsin-Eau Claire (14-2) went 5-1 to complete the top 10.
Lebanon Valley (13-3), which has won eight straight and 12 of its last 13, vaulted into the rankings for the first time this season at No. 23, while UMass-Boston, Wittenberg and Alma all added their names to the receiving votes category this week.
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 29, 2017
|5||St. John Fisher||10-2||168||5|
|11||East Texas Baptist||21-6||108||6|
|20||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||7-0||40||T24|
|25||St. Thomas (Minn.)||11-3||13||NR|
Others receiving votes: Christopher Newport 12, Hope 12, Otterbein 10, Wisconsin-Oshkosh 10, Washington (Mo.) 9, Williams 9, Transylvania 8, UMass-Boston 8, La Verne 7, Wittenberg 5, Alma 4 and Oneonta 3.
Dropped out: DePauw, Emory, Illinois Wesleyan, Lynchburg, St. Catherine and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.