Softball: Pioneers ranked 14th in nation

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The TWU softball team will enter the 2014 season with the highest national ranking in the history of the program after the Pioneers were ranked 14th in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll released Wednesday.

TWU, under new coach Genny Stidham, will open the season Saturday at St. Mary’s Division II College Classic in San Antonio. The Pioneers will play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday and a single game Monday.

Stidham led Central Oklahoma to the Division II national title last season before taking over at TWU after previous head coach Richie Bruister left for Texas A&M-Commerce.

UCO is No. 1 in the preseason poll, followed by Kutztown, Grand Valley State and Humboldt State.

The Pioneers posted a 51-14 record in 2013 — the best since the program was reinstated in 1997. TWU won the Lone Star Conference regular-season title, the LSC tournament, the NCAA South Central regional and the super regional.

TWU finished the season sixth in the NFCA poll and made its first appearance in the NCAA Division II tournament.

TWU, the preseason favorite to defend its conference title, is one of three LSC teams ranked in the NFCA poll. West Texas A&M is ranked eighth and Angelo State 17th.

NFCA Preseason Poll

 

2013

TEAM

RECORD

1. Central Oklahoma

51-11

2. Kutztown

37-22

3. Grand Valley State

46-9

4. Humboldt State

53-14

5. Armstrong Atlantic State

44-10-1

6. Valdosta State

46-13

7. Indianapolis

54-8

8. West Texas A&M

44-13

9. Alabama-Huntsville

43-17

10. Southeastern Oklahoma State

45-9

11. Long Island Post

47-15

12. St. Martin’s

41-16

13. Tampa

33-10

14. TWU

51-14

15. North Georgia

36-14

16. California (Pa.)

38-6

17. Angelo State

37-18

18. Missouri-St. Louis

41-13

19. Caldwell

45-12

20. Anderson (S.C.)

40-15

21. California-San Diego

33-25

22. Augustana (S.D.)

32-17

23. Dixie State

40-14

24. Barry

34-20

25. Columbus State

41-18


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