2017 champs Minnesota State unanimous No. 1 in final NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – 2017 national champion Minnesota State was voted unanimous No. 1 in the final 2017 NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Mavericks (64-7) won their first national title by sweeping top seed Angelo State in the Championship Series.

In route to its first championship, Minnesota State went 10-1 in the postseason and set a program record for wins. The Mavericks swept through regionals before earning a hard-fought Central Region title on the road at top-seeded Harding. The highly competitive Super Regional featured three one-run contests with the Mavericks winning games one (1-0 in 10 inn.) and three (7-6). As the No. 2 overall seed, Minnesota State was a perfect 5-0 in Salem, Va., including a pair of 5-1 triumphs over Angelo State.

National runner-up Angelo State comes in at No. 2. The Rambelles (60-7), who were ranked No. 1 in the NFCA poll for seven weeks, including the final five of the regular season, garnered the top seed in the South Central Region and overall at the National Championships. They won their first eight postseason games, sweeping through regionals and supers and knocking off Humboldt State, West Virginia Wesleyan and Armstrong State before taking on Minnesota State in the championship series.

Semifinalists West Virginia Wesleyan and Armstrong State finish the season at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. The Bobcats (51-10) put in a strong showing in their first National Championships’ appearance going 2-2. They posted a pair of shutout wins over Molloy (4-0) and West Florida (1-0) and dropped games to the finalists Angelo State (6-5 in 12 inn.) and Minnesota State (5-2). On its way to Salem, WVWC swept through regionals and topped Atlantic Region No. 1 seed West Chester in games one (3-2) and three (10-1).

The Pirates (38-14) made the most of their last season as an athletic program, making their second straight national semifinals appearance. Coming out of the Southeast as the No. 3 seed, Armstrong State went 8-3 in the postseason. Hosting the Southeast Regional No. 2, the Pirates dropped their opening game to Young Harris. They bounced back to win four straight elimination games and seven straight postseason contests, including a two-game Super Regional sweep at Southeast No. 1 North Georgia. They won their final contest on campus, a 10-1 regional clinching victory over Pfeiffer, with the last athletic play on campus being a game-ending grand slam off the bat of Macy Coleman.

West Florida, Humboldt State, Southern Indiana and Molloy are the No. 5-8 ranked programs. The Argonauts (46-15), swept through regionals and supers as the South Region’s No. 1 seed. Registering a 6-2 mark in the postseason, West Florida finished the season with 46 victories, the most since 2005 The Jacks (44-15) returned to the National Championships stage for the second straight season. They swept through regionals and super regionals as the West’s No. 2 seed and finished with a 6-2 postseason mark.

The Screaming Eagles (46-14), under the direction of Sue Kunkle, earned their program’s first trip to the National Championships. As the Midwest Region’s No. 2 seed, also swept through the regional and super regional stages and finished 5-2 in the post season. Molloy made its third appearance at the National Championships after sweeping the East’s top seed, Adelphi on the road in supers. The Lions (37-18), who are in the top-25 for the first time this season, also won all three of their regional contests.

Rounding out the top 10 were Super Regional participants Harding and North Georgia. The Bisons (58-9) enjoyed a record-breaking season setting several program records, which included 58 victories and  Great American Conference regular season and tournament titles. The Nighthawks (48-13) rallied from a regional-opening loss to win four straight elimination games to host Super Regionals before falling to Armstrong State in two games.

Joining Molloy as first-time top-25 teams in 2017 are No. 15 Lee and No. 25 Shepherd. The Flames (36-20) reached the South Super Regionals, while the Rams were an Atlantic Regional finalist, forcing an “if necessary” game with West Chester.

The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions. Records reflect games played through Monday, May 29.

2017 NFCA Division II Softball Coaches Poll
Final | June 7, 2017

Rank Team (First place votes) Points 2017 Record Last Week 1 Minnesota State (16) 400 64-7 6 2 Angelo State 384 60-7 1 3 West Virginia Wesleyan 362 51-10 7 4 Armstrong State 358 38-14 RV 5 West Florida 327 46-15 10 6 Humboldt State 324 44-15 12 7 Southern Indiana 304 46-14 9 8 Molloy 289 37-18 RV 9 Harding 275 58-9 2 10 North Georgia 246 48-13 3 11 Colorado Mesa 225 48-8 11 12 Dixie State 215 42-14 23 13 Wayne State (Mich.) 196 40-16 RV 14 West Chester 189 48-13 18 15 Lee 165 36-20   16 Adelphi 151 38-15-1 24 17 West Texas A&M 146 43-11 4 18 Pfeiffer 125 46-8 8 19 Chico State 98 39-18   20 Winona State 91 52-13 RV 21 UMSL 81 42-15 25 22 Saint Leo 61 37-15 15 23 St. Mary’s 55 44-16 20 24 Caldwell 48 45-15 14 25 Shepherd 23 41-22 RV


Dropped Out:  No. 5 Cal State Monterey Bay, No. 13 Lenoir-Rhyne, No. 16 Central Oklahoma, No. 17 UAH, No. 19 California Baptist, No. 21 Southern Arkansas, No. 22 Saginaw Valley State

New to Poll: No. 4 Armstrong State, No. 8 Molloy, No. 13 Wayne State (Mich.), No. 15 Lee, No. 19 Chico State, No. 20 Winona State, No. 25 Shepherd.

Receiving Votes:  Limestone (15), UAH (13), Saginaw Valley State (12), Augustana (8), Valdosta State (7), Texas Woman’s (3), North Alabama (1), Lenoir-Rhyne (1), Cal State Monterey Bay (1), Central Oklahoma (1).

The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions. Records reflect games played through Monday, May 29.

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