March 26, 2009

Softball Tops First Region Poll, Still 3rd in Nation

NFCA Top 25 | NCAA Regional Ranking

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia softball team is at the top of the first NCAA Division II Southeast Region Ranking released yesterday afternoon, while the NFCA has the Saints as the #3 team in the country for the second straight week.

North Georgia has the second most wins in all of Division II, sitting at 29-3 overall, while leading the Peach Belt Conference with a 7-1 mark in the league. The Saints are riding a six-game winning streak and have won 21 of their last 22 games, while going a perfect 9-0 at home this season.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Assocation kept the Saints ranked 3rd in the nation last week, sitting behind Angelo State and Alabama-Huntsville who have claimed the top two spots each of the last two weeks. Southeastern Oklahoma and Humboldt State round out of the nation’s top five, while Francis Marion is the only other Peach Belt conference school in the top 25, currently sitting at #19.

North Georgia has taken on three schools in the top 25 this season, posting a 3-1 record against those institutions with the only loss coming to 2nd-ranked Alabama Huntsville last month. The Saints swept 7th-ranked Valdosta State on the road in a pair of one-run games the first week of the season and run-ruled 21st-ranked Lewis University in the sixth game of the season.

In the all-important National Collegiate Athletic Assocation (NCAA) Division II Regional Rankings, the Saints find themselves at the top of the Southeast Region for the first time in school history. The NCAA ranked the top ten teams in each region with records as of March 23.

North Georgia tops the poll with a 23-2 record against in-region teams, while Lenoir-Rhyne comes in second, USC Aiken third, GCSU fourth, and Wingate rounds out the top five. Francis Marion, Newberry, Augusta State, Catawba, and Lincoln Memorial round out the top ten in that order.

The NCAA will now release weekly regional polls throughout the rest of the season before selecting the field of 64 teams the evening of Sunday, May 3.

North Georgia was set to host the 2009 Moe’s Classic over the weekend, but rain has forced the opening day of the tournament to be cancelled. The Saints are still set to play 7th-ranked Valdosta State and Augusta State on Sunday with the tournament possibly carrying over into Monday.