NCAA Division II Softball Rankings
NFCA Division II Rankings
For the first time in school history, the Concordia University Irvine softball team is ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II.
On Wednesday, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) released its new rankings and the Eagles moved up from No. 3 to No. 1 after picking up four road wins at Cal State East Bay and Dominican.
The CUI softball team has now won 15 straight games and opened up PacWest play 6-0 after sweeping doubleheaders with Biola, Azusa Pacific and Dominican. Sophomore pitcher Callie Nunes is 10-1 and has tossed back-to-back no-hitters and recently earned national recognition as the NFCA Pitcher of the Week. Fellow pitchers Jordan Quinn and Erika Morrisare a combined 5-0 on the mound and first-year outfielder Megan Massa has already been named PacWest Freshman of the Week twice.
The 2019 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.
"I think the respect from your peers is always awesome and validates what you've been doing," said CUI head coach Crystal Rosenthal. "I think it's a well-earned honor. It's a big deal for our program and I'm incredibly proud of all the hard work we've done currently, all the work our kids put in during our transition (from NAIA) to Division II when we could not go to postseason back in those days.
This is the fifth week of the NFCA rankings for NCAA DII and the Eagles opened the year at No. 10. Since then, CUI went on a tear and climbed from No. 10 to No. 9, and from No. 5 to No. 3 just last week. There has been lots of movement at the top of the poll, with five different No. 1 teams in NCAA DII this season.
"I also shared with our team my gratitude towards the past players in our program for helping put us in this position where we are still relevant," continued Rosenthal. "Back then, I shared with them the value of what they were doing and how they would help build this program moving forward and I hope they feel a part of this because they are and it's not possible for us to be here without the past success Concordia has had."
The Eagles recently returned home after a 12-game road trip where they went 6-0 away from Irvine. Yes, the math is correct there, because half a dozen of their scheduled games were rained out. This includes all four contests slated to be hosted by Academy of Art this past weekend. Both teams are hopeful to make the games up at later dates.
"I'm extremely proud of our team's ability to adjust," added Rosenthal. "No matter what situation: weather, travel, pitching, whatever it's been, we've done a good job of being able to adjust and I really enjoy being around this group. This team is hard-working and the investments they've made in particular this season has been the reason for our success. The scary part to me is that we have a lot of room to improve in some key areas. We haven't played our best softball of the year and I think moving forward that's really cool to think what we're capable of."
The Eagles return to action this week with three home doubleheaders on the horizon. CUI is scheduled will host Hawaii Pacific for two games each on both Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15 starting each day at 2 p.m. On Sunday, March 17, the Green and Gold will host Stanislaus State in a non-conference doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.
|1||Concordia Irvine (11)||389||15-1||3|
|2||West Florida (1)||376||22-2||2|
|3||North Georgia (2)||369||20-6||4|
|4||Central Oklahoma (2)||356||20-1||8|
|8||West Texas A&M||294||18-5||9|
|10||Grand Valley State||264||14-2||11|
|13||UC San Diego||198||16-4||14|
|16||Wayne State (MI)||170||11-2||24|
|T-20||Cal State San Bernardino||79||10-3||19|
|22||Southern New Hampshire||64||7-3||23|