Willamette is Ranked #10 in NCAA Division III Softball Poll

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University softball team is ranked #10 this week in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Top 25 Poll released on Wednesday, April 22. Willamette will close out the regular season with a four-game Northwest Conference series against Linfield College, which is ranked #2 in this week's poll.

The Bearcats, 28-3 overall and 21-3 in the NWC, will host Linfield in a doubleheader at the WU Softball Field on Saturday, April 25, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). Linfield, 33-3 overall and 23-1 in the conference, will play the final two games of the series at home. First pitch on Sunday, April 26 is set for 12 p.m. (PDT) in McMinnville, Ore.

East Texas Baptist University, 30-4, moved past Linfield into the #1 spot in the poll with five of eight first place votes and 196 points. Linfield dropped from #1 to #2, but still received two first place votes and 185 points. Louisiana College, 30-4, remained #3 and had one first place vote to go with 185 points. Central College (Iowa), 30-4, advanced one position to #4 with 179 points. Tufts University (Mass.), the only undefeated team, moved up three places to #5 and received 152 points.

Completing the Top 10 were the University of Texas at Tyler, 26-6, at #6 with 149 points, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 27-3, at #7 with 143 points, The University of St. Thomas (Minn.), 31-3, at #8 with 131 points, Cortland State (N.Y.), 31-3, in 9th with 129 points, and Willamette in 10th with 123 points.

Willamette’s offense has average 6.6 runs per game with a .346 team batting average. The Bearcats have hit 50 doubles, 16 triples and 21 home runs. WU has been successful on 95 of 121 stolen bases.

The Bearcats have limited opposing hitters to a .176 batting average and have allowed only 1.2 runs per game. Opponents have been successful on just 15 stolen base attempts. Willamette’s foes have combined for a 6.16 ERA.

WU Head Coach Damian Williams is in his 11th season leading the Bearcats. He has earned an overall record of 219-170 (.563) at Willamette, including a record of 167-113 (.596) since the start of the 2002 season. The Bearcats have registered 20 or more wins each of the last five years.

NFCA Division III Top 25
Released on April 22, 2009
Willamette has earned a .346 team batting average this year, while holding opponents to a .176 average.

Willamette has earned a .346 team batting average this year, while holding opponents to a .176 average.