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Friday May 29th, 2015 2:21AM

North Georgia softball earns preseason No. 15 ranking

By staff reports
The University of North Georgia softball team has landed at No. 15 in the initial National Fastpitch Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll as announced on Wednesday by the Association. The Nighthawks are schedule to open the season on Saturday (Feb. 1) at the Peach Belt/Sunshine State Conference Challenge in Columbus.

North Georgia finished the 2013 season making its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament after going 36-14 on the season. The Nighthawks finished third in the Peach Belt Conference after going 16-6 in PBC play.

Head coach Mike Davenport's team opened the 2013 season ranked #12 and would climb to as high as fourth.

Central Oklahoma (51-11) is the unanimous No. 1 selection as the Bronchos picked up all 16 possible first-place votes from the members of the NFCA Division II Top 25 Committee to commandeer the top position, while last season's national runner-up Kutztown (37-22) followed closely behind in second.

A trio of 2013 NCAA DII Championship finalists, Grand Valley State (46-9), Humboldt State (53-14) and Armstrong Atlantic State (44-10-1), rounded out the top five. Columbus State (#25) joined UNG and Armstrong Atlantic in representing the Peach Belt Conference in the initial poll.

The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions.
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