February 16, 2011

Saints Hold Strong at No. 2 in Latest NFCA Top 25 Poll

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia softball team held strong as the No. 2 team in the country in the first regular season NFCA Division II Top 25 poll of the 2011 season, one of 18 unbeaten teams in the ranking.

With a perfect 9-0 mark through the first two weeks of the season, the Saints picked up five of the possible 16 first-place votes to remain second in the land, sitting only behind top-ranked and 2-0 Valdosta State.

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. Records as of Feb. 13, 2011 are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.

The Saints have appeared in the Top-10 of the NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll for 21 straight weeks, with 12 of those coming as the No. 1 team in the country dating back to the 2009 season when North Georgia came in as No. 9 in the country on March 5.

Since that top-10 ranking, North Georgia has held the top spot in the country for 12 weeks, including 11 straight weeks during the 2010 season. The Saints have entered the last two NCAA Tournaments as the No. 1 team in the country, and currently have a 40-game home winning streak, having not been defeated in Dahlonega since the final regular season game of the 2008 season.

Making the biggest jump in the poll was Angelo State, as the Rambelles moved up five slots and occupy the third spot in the ranking, while Hawaii Pacific is fourth, and Bloomsburg is fifth, having yet to play a game this season.

Armstrong Atlantic remains the only other Peach Belt Conference school in the poll, as the Pirates moved up one spot after their 4-0 start, earning the No. 21 ranking in the country. Francis Marion continues to receive votes, sitting at 5-1 on the young season.

The Saints' No. 2 ranking will be put to the test this weekend at the UAH Charger Chillout, playing three of their six games against nationally ranked programs, including two of those against top-10 teams.

After opening the weekend against Barry University, Arkansas Tech, and Quincy University, North Georgia will face three straight top-25 programs with games against, No. 19 Arkansas Monticello, No. 6 Wayne State, and No. 9 Alabama Huntsville.