NFCA, Division III, D3, NCAA, poll, top 25, coaches, softball, fastpitch

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — National champion Texas Lutheran is off to an 8-0 start and continues its run as the unanimous No. 1 in the NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.

The (8-0) Bulldogs won their first NCAA Division III title last May, going undefeated in five games at the NCAA championship finals in Tyler, Texas, including a sweep of Emory in the best-of-three championship series, and have continued to roll. They have now won 14 straight games and 27 of their last 28, dating back to last April.

Texas Lutheran is one of 11 teams receiving votes this week that will compete at the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic on March 6-8 in Tucson, Ariz. The first six teams in the poll will all be there, as will No. 11 St. Thomas, No. 14 DePauw (4-0), No. 15 Mary Hardin-Baylor (6-1), 22nd-ranked Central and receiving votes Saint Benedict (2-0).

Fellow unbeaten teams Christopher Newport (4-0), Linfield (6-0), East Texas Baptist (7-0) and Illinois Wesleyan (2-0), and one-loss 2019 national runner-up Emory (1-1) round out the first six.

Virginia Wesleyan (3-1), the back-to-back national titlist in 2017 and 2018, is 10th, while previously unranked Salisbury (7-0) and Ferrum (6-0) joined the rankings this week at No. 21 and 25, respectively, following undefeated starts.

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

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – Feb. 26, 2020

Rank

Team

Record

Points

Previous

1

Texas Lutheran (8)

8-0

200

1

2

Christopher Newport

4-0

192

8

3

Linfield

6-0

184

11

4

East Texas Baptist

7-0

176

13

5

Illinois Wesleyan

2-0

168

6

6

Emory

1-1

160

2

7

Eastern Connecticut State

0-0

152

3

8

Trine

0-0

144

4

9

Williams

0-0

136

5

10

Virginia Wesleyan

3-1

128

7

11

St. Thomas (Minn.)

0-0

120

9

12

Randolph-Macon

0-0

112

10

13

Rowan

0-0

99

14

14

DePauw

4-0

86

24

15

Mary Hardin-Baylor

6-1

85

22

16

The College of New Jersey

1-0

80

19

17

Ithaca

0-0

77

16

18

Geneseo

0-0

67

17

19

Carthage

0-0

59

18

20

Tufts

0-0

45

20

21

Salisbury

7-0

40

NR

22

Central (Iowa)

0-0

35

21

23

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

0-0

23

23

24

Manhattanville

0-0

16

25

25

Ferrum

6-0

11

NR

Others receiving votes: Kean, Lynchburg, Saint Benedict.

Dropped out: Birmingham-Southern.

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