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Dutch remain No. 11 in national softball poll

Softball | April 9, 2014

PELLA—The Central College softball team retained its No. 11 standing in this week’s National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III rankings despite winning eight straight games since the previous poll.

The Dutch (23-5) closed out their 10-game homestand with sweeps of Wartburg and Webster (Mo.) Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Neither game against the Knights required seven innings, as Central won 9-1 (6 inn.) and 8-0 (5 inn.). Despite a test in the first game against the Gorloks, the Dutch persevered for 10-7, 10-0 (5 inn.) victories.

Third baseman Whitney Sowers (junior, Marshalltown) continued her career season by being named Iowa Conference female athlete of the week. Over last week’s six games, Sowers batted .579 (11-for-19) and slugged 1.105 with four doubles, two home runs and three walks while striking out only once. Her week was highlighted by a 3-for-3 performance in the second game of Central’s March 31 doubleheader against Wis.-Eau Claire, which included two home runs, one double, four RBIs and three runs scored.

Pitcher Trisha Smith (sophomore, New Hampton) improved to 9-0 on the season with three wins in Central’s six games. Smith allowed nine runs (four earned) on 13 hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts over 16.2 innings, resulting in the trio of wins and a 1.68 ERA.

The undefeated week pushed coach George Wares’ win total to 999 entering Tuesday’s league twin bill against No. 5-ranked Luther at Decorah. The teams split, allowing Wares to become the first softball coach in NCAA Division III history to reach 1,000 wins. In his 30th season at Central, Wares has compiled a mark of 1,000-327-3, with four Division III national championships and 25 NCAA tournament berths along the way.

Salisbury (Md.) (25-1) regained the top spot in the rankings, as defending national champion Tufts (Mass.) (14-3) lost twice and dropped to No. 4. Montclair State (N.J.) (21-1) and Texas-Tyler (29-2) moved up to Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Trine (Ind.) (20-1) is No. 5, while Linfield (Ore.) (28-6) climbed two spots to No. 6. Piedmont (Ga.) (35-3), Luther (16-3), Coe (24-3) and East Texas Baptist (23-5) settled the top 10.

Rankings do not include Tuesday’s doubleheader between Central and Luther.

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – April 9, 2014
Rank  Team                                 Record  Points  Previous
1         Salisbury (7)                      25-1       199      2
2         Montclair State (1)             21-1       189      3
3         Texas-Tyler                         29-2       184      4
4         Tufts                                    14-3       172      1
5         Trine                                    20-1       160      6
6         Linfield                                28-6       154      8
7         Piedmont                           35-3       148      9
8         Luther                                 16-3       144      5
9         Coe                                      24-3       138      12
10       East Texas Baptist           26-5       132      10
11       Central (Iowa)                    22-4       124      11
12       Lebanon Valley                 17-0       115      13
13       Virginia Wesleyan             23-5       108      7
14       Christopher Newport        26-6       88        14
15       Redlands                            23-7       86        15
16       Emory                                  31-6       68        18
17       Augustana (Ill.)                  22-6       60        19
18       North Central (Ill.)             17-3       59        20
19       Illinois Wesleyan              17-4       57        16
20       St. Thomas (Minn.)           17-5       55        17
21       Anderson (Ind.)                 13-2       49        23
22       Fontbonne                          20-4       43        24
23       Wheaton (Mass.)               25-3       33        21
24       Western Connecticut State 18-5-1   7        
25       Kean                                     19-5       6        
           Washington (Mo.)                16-9       6          25

Others receiving votes:
Wis.-Whitewater 5, Stevens Tech 4, Williams 3, Ithaca 2, Wittenberg 2.

Dropped out:
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Lynchburg, Rowan, Washington (Md.) College.


Central College