Amherst Finishes 16th in Nation
First NCAA Appearance Vaults Jeffs Among Nation's Elites

AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Amherst College softball finished as the No. 16 team in the nation as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in its Longstreth Division III Final Poll. The Jeffs are among four New England teams in the top-25.

Amherst softball posted the finest season in its four-year varsity history. Bolstered by a 13-game win streak midway through the season, the Jeffs posted a 28-6 record in the regular season, along with the program's first-ever Little III title. Amherst earned a No. 5 seeding in its first-NCAA appearance, just one year after its post-season debut in the 1997 ECAC Tournament. The Jeffs eliminated both Tufts University (who finished No. 25 in nation) and Wheaton College (No. 20) before falling, 1-0, in the New England Championship game to top-seeded Bridgewater State College (No. 8).

The team graduates the first two women to play four years of varsity softball at Amherst, but it returns eight starters, including its leading hitter and pitcher, Allison Schwarting '00 (Los Angeles, CA). Amherste had never ranked in the nation top-25 before this final poll.

Longstreth Division III Final Softball Poll

Rank	School				Record	Points	Last Poll
1.	Wisconsin-Stevens Point		43-15	200	12
2.	Chapman (CA)			39-9	192	2
3.	Simpson (IA)			40-4	184	1
4.	Salisbury State (NJ)		35-10	173	7
5.	Muskingum (OH)			38-13	168	24
6.	Cortland State (NY)		33-10	159	3
7.	Messiah (PA)			33-10	154	10
8.	Bridgewater (MA)		35-11	146	6
9.	Wisconsin-Eau Claire		40-15	135	3
10.	Rowan (NJ)			36-9	128	11
11.	Binghamton (NY)			28-11	115	22
12.	Alma (MI)			34-4	107	9
13.	Central (IA)			28-13	99	NR
14.	College of New Jersey		30-9	93	5
15.	St. Mary's (MN)			37-1	87	NR
16.	Amherst (MA)			31-8	82	NR
17.	North Carolina Wesleyan		29-11	77	NR
18T.	Ithaca (NY)			29-12	63	7
18T.	William Patterson (NJ)		25-15	63	NR
20.	Wheaton (MA)			38-12	52	13
21.	Buena Vista (IA)		25-9	35	23
22.	Western Maryland		27-9	27	18
23.	North Central Illinois		31-7	20	NR
24.	Montclair State (NJ)		27-10	18	15
25.	Tufts (MA)			25-12	16	NR

Others Receiving Votes: Wisconsin-Whitewater, Eastern Connecticut State

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5/28/98