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  • 13 national finals appearances
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Dutch No. 12 in national softball poll following Tucson trip

Softball | March 26, 2014

PELLA—The Central College softball team slid eight spots to No. 12 in this week’s National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III rankings after winning 12 of its 16 Tucson Invitational Games (Ariz.) March 14-22.

The Dutch (12-4) opened their season with six straight wins, but suffered a three-game losing streak before winning five in a row and six of its final seven to close out the trip. Central outscored its opponents 115-30, fueled by seven shutouts and six shortened games due to the eight-run lead after five innings mercy rule.

Junior third baseman Whitney Sowers (Marshalltown) was named Iowa Conference position player of the week after batting .654 and slugging 1.038 with 10 runs scored and eight runs batted in over Central’s last 10 games. She was 17-for-26 overall with two doubles, one triple and a pair of solo home runs against La Verne (Calif.) and Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.). She also stole four bases in four attempts and recorded eight putouts and 14 assists.

Sophomore pitcher Trisha Smith (New Hampton) was stellar in the circle over the past week, posting a 2-0 record with a 0.76 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched over five appearances. She struck out 27 batters while allowing only 16 hits, five walks and six runs (three earned).

Defending national champion Tufts (Mass.) (12-1) returned to the top spot after a one-week hiatus. Salisbury (Md.) (15-1), who was atop the poll after a 14-0 start, dropped to No. 2 after a split last week. Montclair State (N.J.) (11-1), Texas-Tyler (23-2) and Linfield (Ore.) (19-3) round out the top five, while Trine (Ind.) (14-1), Luther (8-2), Virginia Wesleyan (18-2), Coe (13-2) and East Texas Baptist (18-5) complete the top 10.

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll – 2014 Week 5
Rank  Team                         Record  Points  Previous
1         Tufts (7)                     12-1       199         2
2         Salisbury (1)              15-1       191        1
3         Montclair State          11-1       186        3
4         Texas-Tyler                23-2       169        9
5         Linfield                       19-3       165        10
6         Trine                          14-1       145         13
7         Luther                         8-2         139        6
8         Virginia Wesleyan   18-2       136         7
9         Coe                            13-2       134        12
            East Texas Baptist 18-5       134         5
11       Piedmont                   23-3       130        8
12       Central (Iowa)           12-4       118        4
13       Lebanon Valley         11-0       104       14
14       St. Thomas (Minn.)    5-3         96         11
15       Christopher Newport 17-5       83        18
16       Emory                            27-5      82        15
17       Carthage                       3-1         62       16
18       Illinois Wesleyan         9-2         56      
19       Ithaca                            8-2         48        22
            Redlands                   14-6       48         21
21       Augustana (Ill.)          11-5       44         17
22       North Central (Ill.)       4-2         26        23
23       Washington (Md.)      12-2       22         20
            Washington (Mo.)      13-6       22        19
25       Wheaton (Mass.)       15-1       21       

Others receiving votes:
Anderson 10, Kean 9, Wittenberg 7, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 6, Western Connecticut 6, Lynchburg 2.

Dropped out:
Babson, Cortland State, Guilford, Louisiana College, Muhlenberg.


Central College