Bearcats Advance to #7 in NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University moved up one spot to #7 in the nation in this week's National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Top 25 Poll, release on March 25. Willamette, 10-1 before voting by the panel of coaches, is now 12-1 after sweeping a doubleheader from Southern Oregon University on March 24.

The University of Texas-Tyler, 17-1, jumped two spots to #1 this week with all eight first place votes and 200 points in the poll. UTT surged past Louisiana College, 14-3, which remained #2 and received 191 points. The University of St. Thomas (Minn.), 7-1, inched up one spot to #3 with 176 points. Emory University (Ga.) advanced three spots to take over the #4 position at 23-5 with 156 points.

Washington University (Mo.), 13-4, holds the #5 spot with 153 points, after moving up from #10 a week ago. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 9-3, dropped one spot to #6 with 150 points. Willamette received 146 points in the poll for its new position at #7. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which owned the #1 spot for several weeks despite not playing early in the season, finally got in a few contests and fell to #8 with a 5-1 record.

The Top 10 this week also includes Tufts University (Mass.), 12-0, at #9 with 128 points, and Cortland State (N.Y.) at #10 with 118 points. Willamette foe Linfield College, who the Bearcats will play at the end of the regular season schedule, advanced 11 spots to #11 with a 12-0 record and 115 points.

Willamette, 5-1 in the Northwest Conference, is slated to play four NWC games in Tacoma, Wash., this weekend. The Bearcats will take on the University of Puget Sound in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 28, starting at 2 p.m. (PDT). WU will close out the weekend with two games against Pacific Lutheran University on Sunday, March 29, with the action getting underway at 12 p.m. (PDT).

NFCA Division III Top 25
Released on March 25, 2009
Freshman pitcher Alex Watilo is 6-0 for the 'Cats with a 1.40 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 40 innings.

Freshman pitcher Alex Watilo is 6-0 for the 'Cats with a 1.40 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 40 innings.