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Dutch jump league foe, No. 11 in softball poll

Softball | April 2, 2014

PELLA—The Central College softball team moved up one spot to No. 11 in this week’s National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III rankings, jumping Iowa Conference foe Coe College in the process.

The Dutch (18-4) returned home from their spring trip to Tucson, Ariz., and played host to the Central-Simpson Invitational Saturday-Monday. Central won all four of its weekend games, including a 3-2 win over then No. 23-ranked Washington-St. Louis. The Dutch scored three runs in the first inning, highlighted by a two-run single by junior catcher Katie Canney (Adel, ADM HS), and sophomore pitcher Trisha Smith (New Hampton) threw a complete game for the win. The Bears are ranked No. 25 in this week’s poll.

Central then topped St. Scholastica (Minn.) 9-3 before sweeping Sunday’s doubleheader with Augsburg (Minn.) 7-5 and 7-2. The poll does not include Monday’s doubleheader with Wis.-Eau Claire, which the Dutch swept 9-8 (8 inn.) and 8-0 (5 inn.).

Junior first baseman Kaitlyn Matzen (Manly, Central Springs HS) was one of Central’s offensive leaders, batting .500 with four runs batted in and two runs scored on one double, one home run and three walks. Seven Dutch players tallied at least three hits apiece.

Both junior pitcher Mallory Schulenberg (Kansas City, Mo., St. Pius X HS) and Smith recorded two wins in the circle with 1.27 and 1.58 earned run averages, respectively. Smith struck out 15 batters over 13.1 innings, while Schulenberg struck out seven over 11.0.

Defending national champion Tufts (Mass.) (12-1) is once again the unanimous top team. Salisbury (Md.) (17-1), Montclair State (N.J.) (15-1), Texas-Tyler (26-2) remained Nos. 2-4 as well. Luther (15-2) and Trine (Ind.) (14-1) are tied for No. 5, followed by Virginia Wesleyan (20-2), Linfield (Ore.) (22-6), Piedmont (Ga.) (29-3) and East Texas Baptist (23-5) in the top 10. League foe Coe is ranked No. 12.   

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – April 2, 2014

Rank  Team                         Record  Points  Previous
1         Tufts (8)                     12-1        200        1
2         Salisbury                    17-1       192         2
3         Montclair State          15-1       184         3
4         Texas-Tyler                 26-2       175        4
5         Luther                          15-2        160        7
          Trine                              14-1        160       6
7         Virginia Wesleyan      20-2       145       8
8         Linfield                          22-6       137      5
9         Piedmont                      29-3       130      11
10       East Texas Baptist     23-5       126      10
11       Central (Iowa)             16-4       124      12
12       Coe                               18-3       118      9
13       Lebanon Valley           11-0       107      13
14       Christopher Newport 17-5       92        15
15       Redlands                      20-6       86        20
16       Illinois Wesleyan         12-3       81        18
17       St. Thomas (Minn.)      14-4       74        14
18       Emory                             29-6       53        16
19       Augustana (Ill.)             17-5       52        21
20       North Central (Ill.)        10-2       50        22
21       Wheaton (Mass.)          20-2       38        25
22       Ithaca                              9-3         29        19
23       Anderson (Ind.)             9-2         23      
24       Fontbonne                     18-4       19      
25       Washington (Mo.)         16-9       8          24

Others receiving votes:
Kean 7, Lynchburg 7, Rowan 7, Western Connecticut State 6, Washington (Md.) College 5, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3, Wis.-Whitewater 1, Wittenberg 1.

Dropped out:
Carthage.


Central College