-2017 Final NFCA DI Poll

2017 USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll (Final)

The 2017 USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.


Rank Team Record Points Previous
1 Oklahoma (32) 61-9 800 6
2 Florida 58-10 768 2
3 Washington 50-14 718 7
4 Oregon 54-8 707 3
5 UCLA 48-15 670 9
6 LSU 48-22 630 18
7 Baylor 48-15 594 17
8 Texas A&M 47-13 572 12
9 Arizona 52-9 528 5
10 Florida State 55-8 513 4
11 Tennessee 48-12 442 10
12 Alabama 46-18 431 15
13 Auburn 49-12 420 8
14 Utah 37-16 379 16
15 Minnesota 56-5 371 1
16 Ole Miss 43-20 362 13
17 Kentucky (303) 39-19 19
18 James Madison 52-8 246 11
19 Louisiana 47-8 219 14
20 Michigan 43-13 191 20
21 BYU 46-13 159 21
22 Tulsa 41-17 106 23
23 Arizona State 31-22 80 22
24 Marshall 42-12 45
25 Georgia 35-23 32 25
South Carolina 34-25 32 24

Others receiving votes:

California (24), Oklahoma State (19), Wisconsin (11), North Dakota State (5), Arkansas (4), USC Upstate (4), Illinois (4), Mississippi State (4), Florida International (2), Texas State (2), Cal State Fullerton (2), Oregon State (1).

Dropped out:


All Polls for Division I in 2017

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8-18-2017 Scrap Yard Dawgs in NPF Championship

Scrap Yard Dawgs Move Onto Championship Finals


BATON ROUGE (August 18, 2017) – The Scrap Yard Dawgs got a late run on a bases loaded walk in the fifth inning and that proved to be the difference in a 4-3 win over the Akron Racers Friday at the NPF Championships at LSU’s Tiger Park.


The win advances the Dawgs to the NPF best-of-3 championships series on Saturday night at 7 p.m. against either the USSSA Pride or the Chicago Bandits who were playing the late game on Friday. The Dawgs won two consecutive games over the Racers in their semifinal, winning 4-1 on Thursday.


For the second straight game, after throwing a one-hitter on Thursday, Monica Abbott picked up the win to run her record to 19-3. Abbott came in as the third pitcher for the Pride, pitching 3.2 innings with eight strikeouts, giving her 22 for the two games. The Dawgs are now 33-18.


Megan Betsa, who put what would be the winning run on base, took the loss to go to 3-8. The Racers finish at 26-26.


In the fifth, Nerissa Myers walked and Akron brought in former LSU pitcher Rachele Fico to the circle. Myers was replaced on the field by Allexis Bennett on a fielder’s choice. Brittany Cervantes walked and then Taylor Edwards was hit by pitch to load the bases. Kasey Cooper then walked to score Bennett with the go-ahead run.


The Dawgs scored a solo run in the first on a Cervantes single and got two in the second on a two-run single by Myers.


The Racers would then get three of their own – two coming on a two-run homer to right field by Sami Fagan in the third and a single by Griffin Joiner in the third.


That set up the Dawgs go-ahead run and then Abbott got four strikeouts and two fly balls over the final two innings to seal the win and advancement to the championship series.


8-13-2017 Team USA Wins Pan Am Gold

August 13, 2017

Team USA wins Pan American Championship in decisive fashion with 9-0 (five innings) win over Mexico


Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — Two days after nearly being eliminated from the Pan American Championship, the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) proved why they are the reigning World Champions after dominating the final day in a pair of run-rule victories to earn the Gold.  Almost 14 years ago to the day on the very same field, future Olympic Gold Medalist Cat Osterman threw a perfect game as the United States defeated Canada at the 2003 Pan American Games and today Kelly Barnhill (Marietta, Ga.) nearly accomplished the same feat with a complete game, no-hitter over Mexico in the Gold Medal Game.  The U.S. defeated Canada 11-3 (five innings) to advance to the Gold Medal Game for a rematch with Mexico, who’s extra-inning win over the U.S. in the first round of playoffs sent the Americans to the loser’s bracket to battle their way back.  Team USA did just that, and in commanding fashion, shutting out Mexico 9-0 (five innings) to hold the Pan American Championship trophy in the air.


“Unbelievable,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen.  “I think it’s the first time in double-page system that a team has lost the first game and then won four-in-a-row to win the tournament.  We needed a wakeup call.  I don’t know if anyone realized that we were at the brink of elimination over the course of the next four years because of the way the system is setup.  This team took it upon themselves and they got in a groove.  We had really good pitching and defense yesterday to carry through and it made the hitters more comfortable.  Michelle Moultrie, Amanda Chidester, Valerie Arioto and Jess Moore did an incredible job in leadership.  I was here the last time Team USA won a Gold Medal on this field when Cat Osterman pitched a perfect game and Kelly Barnhill almost matched her today.  History repeats itself here in Santo Domingo.”


Barnhill got the start in the circle for the U.S., and came out on fire as she retired the first three batters faced with a pair of strikeouts.  Mexico would return the favor in the bottom of the frame as a groundout, pop up and fly ball to keep the game scoreless.


The sole baserunner for Mexico would get on base in the top of the second after a batter was hit by a pitch with one out, but Barnhill came back with two strikeouts to quickly squash any attempt by Mexico’s offense for a rally.


The U.S. bats came alive in the bottom of the second in a nine-run outing at the plate.  Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) led off the at-bat with a single and advanced to second on a sac bunt from Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.).  With Chidester in scoring position, Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) absolutely crushed the ball over the centerfield fence to plate the first two runs of the game.  Back-to-back singles from Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) then put two on with one out.   


This prompted a pitching change for Mexico, but the scoring didn’t stop there as Team USA’s bats remained relentless.  Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) sent a first-pitch, three-run home run over the centerfield fence to extend Team USA’s lead to five runs.  The U.S. continued to pounce offensively after Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) reached on a fielding error by Mexico and moved to third on a single from Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) with two outs.  Another single from Chidester plated Stewart and put runners on the corners.  On a 3-1 pitch, Arioto hit a no-doubter, sending the ball flying well over the left field fence for the third home run of the inning.   A walk looked to continue the rally for the Americans, but a groundout ended the inning with Team USA boasting a 9-0 lead.


The next three innings of play would be scoreless, but the damage had already been done as the U.S. earned the 9-0 (five innings), shutout, run-rule victory.  At the plate, Arioto and Takeda each picked up three RBI in the win, while Aguilar collected two.  Barnhill absolutely dominated in the circle, fanning 10 batters while allowing zero hits in her five innings of work. 


“I was really excited going in to today,” said Barnhill.  “For us to win Gold on this field like so many of the Olympians before us is amazing.  It’s something that I’ve been dreaming of, to be like those Olympic pitchers, and to be on that path that they were once on is really special because we’re all on the same path in the end.”


Earlier in the day, the U.S. defeated Canada 11-3 (five innings) in the Bronze Medal Game after bouncing back from a three-run deficit after the first inning.  Moultrie shined at the plate for Team USA, going 3-for-4, including a three-run home run which put the U.S. up in the top of the fourth inning. 


Each U.S. batter had a hit in the win over Canada, while Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) earned the win after entering in relief in the top of the first inning.  Moore tossed four and one-third scoreless innings with one strikeout, two hits and one walk.  Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.) got the start in the circle for the U.S. while Barnhill tossed the final out of the game.


With their backs against the wall, the United States accomplished what no other team has been able to do in the history of the event. 


“It would have been so easy to just fall apart after that loss,” said Arioto.  “It just shows our closeness and how we believe in each other and each person’s heart.  We did it as a unit.  That loss could have really set us back, and we said ‘No way, we’re fighting.’  We fought every single pitch.  It wasn’t every single game, it was every single pitch.  The world saw our heart there, we just laid it out and played some good softball.”


As a team, the U.S. hit an astounding .436 with 19 home runs and 102 RBI in 12 games played.  Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) paced the offense, hitting .613 (19-for-31) as the leadoff batter with one home run, five RBI and 17 runs scored.  Arioto picked up 18 RBI while hitting .357 (10-for-28) and amassing a .857 slugging percentage.  From the circle, the U.S. staff combined for a 1.40 ERA.  Moore was a perfect 4-0 with 16 strikeouts and a 0.68 ERA in 20.2 innings in the circle.  Barnhill went 3-0 while fanning 40 batters with a 0.35 ERA in 20 innings pitched. 


Up next for Team USA is the Japan Cup, which will be held August 25-27 in Takasaki City, Japan.  It will be a battle of the top-four ranked teams in the world as No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Canada and No. 4 Australia are all slated to compete. 


Fans can follow along with the USA Softball National Team programs all year long at USASoftball.com


About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.


As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.


8-12-2017 USA Rebounds with Two Pan Am Wins

Women’s National Team stays alive at Pan American Championship with pair of wins; will face Canada for Bronze Medal Game


Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — The USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) showed the world a glimpse of what it means to be an Eagle after posting a pair of victories in must-win games at the Pan American Championship.  The Americans faced the possibility of elimination for the first time in the history of the Pan American Championship, but the strength and relentless mentality of the team persevered as the Red, White and Blue stayed alive in the tournament.  In their first contest of the day, the U.S. shutout Puerto Rico behind a one-hit performance by Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.), while an 8-2 win over Venezuela in their second game of the day pushed Team USA into the Bronze Medal Game.  With the wins, the U.S. has qualified for both the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship, to be held in Chiba, Japan, and the 2019 Pan American Games, to be held in Lima, Peru.


“When you’re on the verge of elimination, maybe even elimination for the next four years, to come out and play like the team did in game one, the team played flawlessly,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen.  “Danielle O’Toole answered the bell, she threw an incredible game.  We played great defense and had some great at-bats against a tough pitching staff in Puerto Rico.  I thought that after that game we kind of relaxed and got the monkey off our back and I thought we played well tonight we just hit the ball right at people.  You have to give the credit to Jess Moore coming in in the middle of an inning and shutting down a big inning for Venezuela and Kelly Barnhill coming in and shutting the door down in the end.  The way our lineup made a turn in the execution of the ball on the ground with sacrifice bunts and moving the runners and passing the bat, that’s fast pitch softball.  That’s what this team is built on.  If we can continue that tomorrow we have a pretty good chance to be at the top of the medal stand at the end of the day.”


Game One: USA 4, Puerto Rico 0

Click here for a box score


O’Toole tossed a one-hit shutout as the United States secured a WBSC World Championship and Pan American Games berth with a 4-0 win over Puerto Rico.  O’Toole fanned four Puerto Rican batters in her near-complete game, tossing six and two-third innings before Kelly Barnhill (Marietta, Ga.) struck out the final out of the game.


The U.S. took the lead in the bottom of the second and never looked back.  Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.) led off the at-bat by getting on base after Puerto Rico’s shortstop committed an error that allowed her to reach safely.  A sac bunt from Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) allowed Aguilar to advance to second, but the quick glove of the third baseman on a line drive from Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.) kept Aguilar at second.  Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.) came up big with a fly ball single that dropped into left field to allow Aguilar to score and put the U.S. up 1-0.


O’Toole and the U.S. defense retired Puerto Rico in order in the top of the third to keep their one-run lead.  That lead would then be extended in the bottom of the frame after the hot hitting Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) singled to left field.  Back-to-back outs kept McCleney stranded at first, but a deep fly ball from Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) allowed McCleney to score from first.  After two innings of play, USA led 2-0.


Both sides would get runners on base through the next two innings but failed to string together a rally until the U.S. would cross the plate in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to three runs.  Takeda led off with a single and moved to second base after a fielding error by the left fielder.  McCleney then beat out a beautifully placed bunt that landed right in front of the catcher.  With runners on the corners, Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) hit a sac fly to center field to make it 3-0, USA.


The last run of the game for the U.S. came in the bottom of the sixth when Aguilar absolutely crushed a ball over the center field fence for a solo home run.


Leading 4-0, the U.S. needed just three outs to stay alive.  O’Toole quickly recorded a strikeout and a groundout to Aguilar at second base, but a walk prompted a pitching change as Barnhill entered the circle.  Barnhill did her job, striking out the final batter of the game to hand the U.S. the win.


O’Toole got the ‘W’ in the circle, her second of the Pan American Championship, while McCleney was unstoppable at the plate, going a perfect 4-for-4 while scoring once.  Takeda also had a perfect outing at the plate, going 3-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. 


Game Two: USA 8, Venezuela 2

Click here for a box score


In a closely-fought contest, the United States came out on top of Venezuela after a six-run, sixth inning helped propel the U.S. to an 8-2 win.  The Red, White and Blue took an early lead, but after Venezuela tied up the ballgame in the top of the third the majority of the contest was neck-and-neck until Team USA broke the game open in the sixth.


Making her fourth start at the Pan American Championship, USA’s Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) was tested right out the gate by a scrappy Venezuela offense.  A leadoff hit batter put a runner on base before they advanced to second on a sac bunt.  A fly ball to Jazmyn Jackson (San Jose, Calif.) in right field would keep the runner at second before a single to left field put runners on the corners.  Carda came up with a huge strikeout to leave the runners stranded.


The U.S. took the lead in the bottom of the first after taking advantage of the speedy Stewart, who tripled with a deep fly ball to right field.  Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) then hit a chopper up the middle to plate Stewart and make it an early 1-0, U.S. ballgame. 


Team USA added to that lead in the bottom of the second after Jackson singled with one out and moved to second on a walk to Hannah Flippen (San Diego, Calif.).  Takeda then drove a single up the middle to plate Jackson, giving the U.S. a two-run lead.


The game got interesting in the top of the third inning after Venezuela tied up the ballgame.  After a back-to-back walks, a single to right field plated a run for Venezuela, cutting Team USA’s lead to 2-1.  This prompted a pitching change as Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) entered in relief for Carda, and Moore promptly issued an intentional walk to load the bases for Venezuela.  A groundout to Arioto at first base kept the U.S. lead, but a passed ball on a third strike swinging allowed the runner at third base to score to tie up the game.


Both sides would be hitless until the top of the fifth inning when Venezuela hit back-to-back singles to load the bases after a one out walk.  Moore and the U.S. defense held strong, as she snagged a line drive up the middle and fired it over to Stewart at third base for a double play and squashed the Venezuela rally.  Team USA would look to score in the bottom of the frame after back-to-back singles from Takeda and McCleney, but a pair of fly outs and a groundout kept the U.S. from capitalizing. 

Barnhill would enter the circle in the top of the sixth after Moore issued a walk with one out.  Barnhill again did her job, fanning the next two batters.


Needing to spark a rally, the Red, White and Blue did just that in a six-run outing in the bottom of the sixth.  Arioto started the charge with a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a perfectly executed bunt single by Aguilar.  Jackson followed with a sac bunt that was misplayed by the Venezuela third baseman to load the bases.  With no outs, Spaulding entered as a pinch hitter and delivered a single to left field to plate two and give the U.S. a 4-2 lead.  After Takeda advanced the runners on base with a sac bunt, Team USA’s bats stayed relentless as they tacked on another four runs to their lead.  McCleney knocked in a run with an infield single and Stewart brought home a run with a double to left field.  With Stewart on second, Moultrie singled on a line drive to the right fielder, who misplayed the ball which allowed Moultrie to scoot around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.


Leading 8-2, Barnhill retired Venezuela in order in their final at-bat with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to Stewart at third base.  Barnhill earned the win for the U.S., her second of the Pan American Championship after fanning four and allowing no hits in her one and two-third innings in the circle.  Carda finished the game with two strikeouts, three hits, two walks and one earned run in her two innings of work while Moore struck out five, walked three and allowed two hits in three and one-third innings.


At the plate, Spaulding and Moultrie each picked up two RBI, while four U.S. batters had a multi-hit game: McCleney, Stewart, Moultrie and Takeda. 


Team USA will now face Canada at 1:30 p.m. ET for the Bronze Medal Game with the winner advancing to the Gold Medal finale the Pan American Championship.  Fans can watch Team USA throughout the tournament with live streaming through InternetTV for an $11.95 (USD) subscription.  Live stats will also be available for fans to follow along through USASoftball.com





Find a list of 2017 #USASoftball National Championships today!

8-11-2017 Team USA Loses to Mexico (8)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — The USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) suffered their first loss at the Pan American Championship, dropping a 7-2 (eight innings) decision to Mexico.  The U.S. was unable to overcome a five-run outing by Mexico in the top of the eighth inning after the game was forced into extra-innings.

“Mexico played a very good game today,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen.  “They were relentless and played with no fear.  You have to tip your hat to them.”

Click here for a box score

It was a scoreless ballgame through the first four innings of play as both U.S. starter Kelly Barnhill (Marietta, Ga.) and Mexico’s Dallas Escobedo kept both teams off the scoreboard.  Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) entered the game for Team USA in the top of the fifth and continued the momentum with three-straight groundouts.

The score would stand at 0-0 until the bottom of the fifth when the U.S. plated two runs.  Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) tripled with two outs before Jazmyn Jackson (San Jose, Calif.) hit a two-run blast over the right field fence to give the U.S. the early 2-0 lead.

Both sides would be retired in order in the sixth inning to bring Mexico to their final at-bat.  A leadoff single put a runner on base before Tori Vidales squared up on a pitch for a home run to tie the game up at two runs apiece.  Moore and the U.S. defense held strong, recording two outs before a hit batter resulted in a pitching change as Danielle O’Toole (Upland, Calif.) entered the game.

Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.) recorded a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh, but two popups and a strikeout forced the game into extra-innings.

Mexico took the lead for good in the top of the eighth after a sac bunt advanced the international tie-breaker (ITB) runner to third and a walk put runners on the corners.  An infield single loaded the bases to prompt a pitching change for USA as Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.) entered the game.  Back-to-back singles plated three runs, a bases loaded walk added another and a single made it a 7-2 lead for Mexico.

Down to their final at-bat, USA would get runners on the corners after Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) singled with two outs to move ITB runner Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) to third.  A pop out would end the game, with USA suffering their first loss of the Pan American Championship.

Carda suffered the loss for the U.S., allowing four hits, one walk and two runs in two-third innings pitched.  O’Toole finished the game with one hit and two runs in her two-third innings while Moore fanned one with two hits and two runs in two and two-third innings.  Barnhill fanned five and allowed two hits in four innings.

At the plate, Chidester, McCleney and Spaulding each went 1-for-3 while Jackson recorded two RBI in her one plate appearance after the home run.

Team USA will now face Puerto Rico at 11 a.m. ET with the winner advancing in the Pan American Championship.  Fans can watch Team USA throughout the tournament with live streaming through InternetTV for an $11.95 (USD) subscription.  Live stats will also be available for fans to follow along through USASoftball.com.