FRIDAY FEBRUARY 3 UPDATE
| NFCA Launches New Website
|STARKVILLE, Miss. – It’s finally here! After more than two years in production, the NFCA launched its new web site Thursday, February 2.Visitors should notice the new look immediately. Instead of the blue/green colors of the past, the new NFCA logo and orange/blue colors dominate the layout.
For members, the major change for taking full advantage of the site is the login. Your “Member Login” is now your email address. Members who don’t remember their old password can have it emailed from the site.
Once the login process is completed, members will see a “Coach’s Box” icon on the right-hand side. Clicking on that will take visitors to the members-only area of the site, where features like the Skills and Drills Notebook, Your Account Info, access to the score-input page and more are located.
NFCA DIVISION II POLL
| UC San Diego Begins 2012 Season At No. 1 in NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll
|STARKVILLE, Miss. – UC San Diego will begin its defense of its 2011 national title as the No. 1 team in the land, according to the 2012 NFCA Division II Preseason Poll that was released by the Association on Wednesday.The Tritons (45-13) received all 16 first-place votes and were followed in the poll by last year’s national runner-up Alabama-Huntsville (48-6-1) in second.
Perennial power North Georgia (53-12) was picked third, while Saginaw Valley (53-12) and West Texas A&M (42-18) rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Arkansas-Monticello (46-16) had the biggest gain from the final 2011 poll, jumping 12 spots from 24th to 12th, while Cal State Chico followed behind with a 10 spot jump, moving from the “receiving votes” category to 15th.
Three other teams were new to the poll from the final 2011 edition, with Armstrong Atlantic, Missouri Western State and Colorado Mines, all moving into the rankings. Armstrong made its debut at No. 21, while Missouri Western and Colorado Mines followed at 23rd and 24th, respectively.
Teams that did not make the transition from last year’s final poll to the first poll of this season were No. 14 West Alabama, No. 15 Cal State Bernardino, No, 17 Nebraska Omaha and No. 22 Emporia State. Nebraska Omaha is no longer eligible for the NFCA Division II Top 25 poll, having moved to Division I in the off-season.
The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches, two representing each of the eight NCAA regions..
|1||UC San Diego (16)||45-13||400|
|4||Saginaw Valley State||42-18||313|
|5||West Texas A&M||50-17||303|
|8||Augustana (South Dakota)||50-11||262|
|15||Cal State Chico||31-19||161|
|18||Grand Valley State||41-16||146|
|21||Armstrong Atlantic State||31-14||80|
|22||West Virginia Weleyan||48-8||74|
|23||Missouri Western State||40-15||60|
|24||Colorado School of Mines||36-24||58|
Others receiving votes:
Indianapolis 40, Flagler 30, Cal St. San Bernardino 19, Dowling 19, Missouri Southern St. 18, Sonoma St. 14, Kutztown 7, Lewis 5, Emporia St. 4, St. Mary’s (TX) 4, Barry 3, Winona St. 2, Molloy 1
No. 14 West Alabama, No. 15 Cal St. San Bernardino, No. 17 Nebraska Omaha*, No. 22 Emporia State *Nebraska Omaha has moved to Division I, making them ineligible for this poll.
NFCA DIVISION III POLL
| Linfield No. 1 in NFCA Division III Preseason Top 25
|STARKVILLE, Miss. – After going wire-to-wire and dominating its way to a national championship, Linfield unsurprisingly received all eight first place votes to take the No. 1 spot in the preseason NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll, the association has announced. Linfield finished 51-3, cruising through NCAA regionals and then battling back from the loser’s bracket on its way to the program’s second title. Texas-Tyler begins 2012 in the No. 2 spot after going 40-13 a year ago and finishing third in the country. Christopher Newport, a program that experienced its best finish ever as national runner-up a year ago, begins at No. 3 after a 38-12 season. No. 4 Eastern Connecticut, which tied for fifth at the national championship last year, looks to improve upon that finish in three-time all-American pitcher Molly Rathbun’s final year. Another national championship participant, Luther, begins the season at No. 5 after finishing 41-6 in 2011.
Cortland State, which has made national championship appearances in three of the last four years, begins this season at No. 6, while Atlantic Region powers Salisbury and Emory follow at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively. DePauw is the preseason No. 9 after finishing in a tie for fifth at the national championship, while Coe rounds out the top 10 after a 38-11 season.
Division III Top 25 – Preseason
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 Poll is voted on by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Final 2011 records are shown. First place votes are in parentheses.
|4||Eastern Connecticut State||35-7||163|
|17||St. Thomas (Minnesota)||42-6||75|
|19||East Texas Baptist||36-9||62|
Others receiving votes:
Point totals in parentheses: Hiram (6); St. John Fisher (3); five others received votes but appeared on only one ballot.
Campbell Softball Announces And Begins New Stadium Project
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Over the last decade, dramatic changes have transformed the Campbell University campus. From the construction of the new dorms, addition of Butler Chapel, beginning of the Physician Assistant program, groundbreaking for the School of Osteopathic Medicine, opening of Barker-Lane Stadium/Ed Gore Field (football), construction of the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center/Gilbert Craig Gore Arena (basketball, volleyball and wrestling), building of the Irwin Belk Track (track and field) and renovations of Taylor Field (baseball), the campus has grown tremendously in a short period of time. The Campbell University softball team is proud to announce that the Eakes Athletic Softball Complex is also undergoing a major renovation that began late last month.
The first phase of the Campbell Softball Stadium Project officially began on Thursday, Jan. 26, when the concrete walkway behind the team’s backstop was broken up and the ground was leveled. A new concrete pad was poured from Feb. 1-2.
“This has been a long awaited and prayed for addition to our facility,” head softball coach Drew Peterson explained. “I have hoped to take this next step for many years, and with the help of several very supportive individuals and a few major donors, the grandstand addition is finally underway. We in the softball program are thrilled as this helps legitimize our Division I status with a facility more on par with the elite programs in the country.”
Upgrades during the initial phase will include permanent grandstand seating on the newly built concrete pad behind the backstop between the dugouts, a fully functioning enclosed press box in the center section on top of the grandstand and a bricked exterior façade of the structure. The initial plans call for the first wave of the project to be completed in early April of 2012.
The second phase of the projects calls for a new nine-inning wireless running LED scoreboard in right field.
“Of course the scoreboard is another greatly needed piece of the total plan, and Lord willing other key friends of our program will help bring a modern era scoreboard to the site,” said Peterson. “I am confident that it will happen soon and when all phases are completed we will have an outstanding softball facility.”
“In the future I foresee many local high schools, North Carolina State Tournaments and summer travel softball tournaments taking place here at Campbell,” Peterson continued. “Once completed the softball community will no doubt desire to hold various events at our elite facility, and this will of course be another significant occasion to bring future “camels” to our gorgeous campus.”
Bandits sign 2008 NPF Defensive Player of the Year, Kristen Butler
| Photo courtesy of University of Florida Athletics
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Chicago Bandits GM, Aaron M. Moore, announced the signing of catcher and the 2008 NPF Defensive Player of the Year Kristen Butler to the 2012 roster.
“We are really happy with the addition of Kristen to our roster,” stated Moore. “She has had some great experience in the NPF and has some knowledge of the pitchers on our staff. We’re expecting her to step in and help solidify an already strong position for us.”
Prior to signing with the Bandits, Butler spent four seasons with the Akron Racers (2006-2009). In 2008, she had arguably her best season as a professional with a career best 10 home runs. She finished second in the league that season with 24 RBIs and fourth with a .317 batting average which earned her a spot on the All-NPF Team.
In 2007, Butler knocked nine homeruns and drove in a career-high 29 runners.
Akron Racers sign 2011 National Champion from Arizona State
AKRON, Ohio – (Feb. 3, 2012) – In need of offensive firepower, Akron Racers GM Joey Arrietta made her first splash into the 2012 free agency today with the signing of 2011 Women’s College World Series National Champion Kaylyn Castillo from Arizona State University.
“Kaylyn has been on my radar for some time now,” said Arrietta. “She is a gifted athlete with the work ethic to match. I am proud to have her join the Racers family.” Castillo helped lead the ASU Sun Devils to the national championship in 2011, garnering NFCA Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year honors in the process. Castillo batted .353 with nine home runs, 42 RBIs, 39 runs and 35 walks at the plate. On the defensive side she was equally impressive, committing zero errors behind the plate in nearly 400 opportunities. Castillo also managed to gun down 9-of-16 base stealers.
Racers fans can expect to see Castillo spend time behind the plate as well as stepping in with a designated player roll in the line-up. Her offensive ability is expected to help the Racers offense provide the needed run support for the team’s pitching staff.