Butler softball has moved into the top spot of the NJCAA Division I rankings and headlines the first Top 20 poll of the 2017 regular season.
The poll was officially released following the Grizzlies' home doubleheader sweep of MCC-Maple Woods on Tuesday. Butler (24-0 overall, 2-0 conference) has won 62 consecutive games dating back to last year and is the only remaining undefeated team in the rankings.
The No. 1 ranking marks the first time since 2014 that Butler has been atop the poll. The Grizzlies held the top spot in the three straight regular season polls (March 19 - April 2) that season. Butler, which has been ranked in 10 consecutive polls, also had a three-week stretch at No. 1 in 2013.
Three Florida schools followed Butler in this week's rankings. Chipola (Fla.), which Butler defeated in last year's NJCAA title game to win its first championship in school history, is ranked second at 30-1 overall. Florida Southwestern State (28-3), Central Florida (25-6) and Salt Lake (11-4) round out the top five.
Butler has played three opponents that are currently ranked in the top 20: No. 10 Seminole State (Okla.), No. 14 Trinity Valley (Texas) and No. 15 Tyler (Texas). Another opponent, Galveston (Texas), is receiving votes.
The Grizzlies will next be in action Wednesday in a Jayhawk Conference doubleheader against Colby (12-8 overall, 1-1 conference). First pitch from East Park is at 2:00 p.m.
|2017 NJCAA Division I Softball Rankings|
|March 7, 2017|
|3.||Florida Southwestern State||28-3||3|
|5.||Salt Lake, UT||11-4||8|
|6.||Seminole State, FL||25-2||NR|
|10.||Seminole State, OK||16-6||RV|
|12.||San Jacinto-South, TX||19-11||9|
|13.||Indian River Sttae, FL||23-10||13|
|14.||Trinity Valley, TX||17-7||NR|
|16.||Shelton State, AL||15-3||10|
|19.||Chattanooga State, TN||14-4||PV|
|20.||Daytona State, FL||17-7||NR|
Other schools receiving votes: Galveston, TX (15-12); Howard, TX (15-8); Walters State, TN (8-4).
Dropped from rankings: *Northwest Florida Stae (6); Walters State, TN (7); Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (11); Galveston, TX (12); Southern Idaho (14); *Eastern Arizona (15); Jefferson, MO (16); Howard, TX (17); Pima, AZ (18; Lake Land, IL (20).
*Team not nominated for ranking