LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of North Georgia softball team slipped another spot in the most recent National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top-25 Poll Released Wednesday morning, coming in at No. 9.
The Saints (21-6, 1-1 PBC) split their Peach Belt Conference opening doubleheader with Augusta State University on Saturday, Mar. 9 before bouncing back with a dominating pair of performances in out of conference action on Tuesday. The Jaguars claimed Saturday's first game 3-0 before the Saints fought back to claim a 6-1 victory in the day's second game.
Tuesday saw North Georgia sweep Belmont Abbey College in dominating fashion with two lop-sided, shutout victories. The nationally-ranked Saints took the first game 8-0 in six innings with sophomore pitcher Melissa Dickie securing the no-hitter. The Saints then continued to impress at the plate with 16 unanswered runs in just five innings in the second game. The 16-0 score in game-two was the largest margin of victory for North Georgia since besting Coker College 19-0 in a single, five-inning game on March 5, 2011.
For the first time this season there is a new No. 1 atop the national poll as West Texas A&M University (19-1) surpassed Valdosta State University (20-5) for the honor with 13 first-place votes compared to two by the Blazers. The University of Indianapolis (18-2) is now third in the poll with fellow PBC institution Armstrong Atlantic State University (17-2-1, 2-0 PBC) fourth. Southeastern Oklahoma State University (21-6) dropped from second to fifth in this week's poll.
Joining Armstrong and North Georgia from the Peach Belt in the poll this week is Columbus State University (20-9, 4-0 PBC) as Flagler College dropped out of the poll from 14th last week. The Cougars check in at No. 24 after starting the season ranked 10th in the preseason poll.
The ninth-ranked Saints will play the University of South Carolina Aiken (14-8-1, 2-2 PBC) in their first PBC home doubleheader this Thursday, Mar. 14 at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The games will be North Georgia's annual "Cancer Awareness Day" with t-shirts being sold at the game for $10 with all proceeds being donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. In between games, North Georgia will recognize and honor those who have battled and/or are still battling cancer.
The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches, two representing each of the eight NCAA regions. The entire NFCA Top-25 Poll can be found HERE.