Four NCAA Div. III championships
PELLA — Central College jumped to No. 7 in the final 2013 NFCA Division III softball coaches’ poll.
The Dutch vaulted from No. 16 prior to the start of the NCAA Division III tournament. Central (32-10), captured the eight-team Pella Regional tourney May 9-12, earning a berth in the national finals at Eau Claire, Wis. May 17-20. It was a record 25th NCAA berth for the Dutch, who made their 13th trip to the national finals.
The ranking is the highest of the season for Central, which opened the year at No. 11.
The top eight in the rankings mirrors the tourney finishes. Champion Tufts (Mass.), which entered the regional ranked No. 7, finishes the year at No. 1 with a 46-3 mark while Salisbury (Md.) is No. 2 at 42-4. Iowa Conference rival Luther (33-11) is No. 6 while Coe (34-8), dips to No. 22. St. Thomas (Minn.) (41-7), which was defeated by Central in the regional tournament, closes at No. 10.