Willamette Jumps into this week's NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll at #5

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

(SOFTBALL) STARKVILLE, MISS. -- The Willamette University softball team, which took second place at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Leadoff Classic this past weekend, has moved into the NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll as the #5 team in the nation. Willamette, 7-4 on the season, has losses only to teams even higher in this week's poll. Top-ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.) defeated the Bearcats, 4-0, in the Leadoff Classic championship game and Linfield College, which moved up a spot this week to #3, took three of four games from Willamette -- two by one run each -- in Northwest Conference action March 3-4.

Willamette's success at the Leadoff Classic included three wins over teams in this week's poll. The Bearcats defeated 6th-ranked Chapman University (Calif.), 8-1, downed 8th-ranked Central College (Iowa), 12-4 (6 inn., run rule) and outscored 13th-ranked University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (ranked 7th last week), 8-4. The Bearcats to not play this weekend, but return to action on Saturday, March 24 at George Fox University with an NWC doubleheader, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).

NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll released on the evening of March 15, 2007