FLORENCE, S.C. – For the first time as an NCAA member institution, the Francis Marion University women’s softball team has cracked the national Top 25 poll. The 27-3 Patriots are ranked 24th in this week’s National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s (NFCA) NCAA Division II Top 25 rankings.
Francis Marion plays a non-conference doubleheader at Presbyterian College, Thursday at 2 p.m., before hosting two nationally ranked opponents this weekend in key Peach Belt Conference twinbills.
The Patriots will play host to 13th-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University, Saturday at 1 p.m. and 10th-ranked University of North Florida, Sunday at 1 p.m.
FMU, AASU, and UNF are among six Peach Belt schools in this week’s poll. Barry University occupies the top position with a 29-6 record, while unbeaten Georgia College & State University is ranked second.
At 7-1, Francis Marion is third in the PBC standings behind both Armstrong Atlantic State (2-0) and North Florida (2-0). AASU and UNF played each other Wednesday afternoon.
Francis Marion, under the direction of first-year head coach Jack Byerley, opened the season by winning its first 18 games, the best start since the NAIA national runners-up squad won its opening 31 games in 1987.