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FLORENCE – The University of North Alabama softball team cracked the Top 10 for the first time in program history Wednesday, moving up one spot to No. 10 in the National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top 25 poll. The Lions also maintained the No. 1 ranking in the NCAA South Region poll.
UNA swept a double-header over Union over the weekend to improve to 38-12 overall and 21-9 in Gulf South Conference play. The Lions also have a 32-9 in-region record and hold on to the top spot for the second consecutive week after debuting at No. 1 last week.
In the regional rankings, the top six teams remained unchanged with three GSC teams atop the poll. Valdosta State and Alabama-Huntsville round out the top three, followed by Sunshine State Conference (SSC) members Tampa, Saint Leo and Rollins. Barry was able to jump West Alabama for the No. 7 spot while the Tigers fell to No. 8 in the rankings. Palm Beach Atlantic and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) member Albany State each entered the rankings for the first time this season at No. 9 and No. 10 respectively.
The regional rankings determine which teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Conference champions from each of the three leagues in the region receive an automatic bid, followed by the next five highest-ranking teams. The final regional poll will be released after the GSC tournament on May 5. The top two seeds will host a four-team regional May 10-12, with the winners advancing to a best-of-three Super Regional the following weekend.
In the NFCA poll, UNA received 260 total points to jump one spot and crack the Top 10. Indianapolis remains the top-ranked team in the country while Valdosta State dropped one spot to No. 4.
UNA will close out the regular season with a pair of GSC road double-headers. The Lions will play at West
Alabama Saturday at 2 p.m. followed by a 1 p.m. showdown against Alabama-Huntsville the following day.