Southeastern Softball No. 4 in Final NFCA Ranking

The NFCA has released its final 2014 poll and following its run through the NCAA Postseason, Southeastern has finished fourth in the top-25 poll released on May 30.

While fourth is not the highest the team has ever been ranked in the poll, with the 2013 club climbing to second nationally, it is the highest position that the softball team has appeared in the final poll of the year.

The ranking comes on the heels of the team's 45-20 season in which it entered the NCA Central Region tournament as a seven seed, but emerged three weekends later with a third place finish after advancing to the national semifinals.

The team won the Great American Conference regular season title and saw Jessica Simmons earn GAC Player of the Year, Mindy McElroy earn GAC Pitcher of the Year and Ron Faubion earn GAC Coach of the Year.

However, the team's hopes for a second-straight GAC Tournament title were dashed with back-to-back losses on the final day of the event, leaving SE sweating its chances to reach the postseason.

The Storm did advance with an at-large bid for the second straight year, and for the second-straight year was sent to Mankato, Minn. for the sub-regional.

There the squad dispatched with host Minnesota State and defending national champion Central Oklahoma to reach the finals undefeated. Emporia State would force the Storm into an if necessary game, but SE would emerge victorious to advance to the super-regional as the lowest seed in the country to do so.

SE then became one of just two teams to sweep its super-regional, downing host Augustana 13-12 and 5-4 in Sioux Falls, S.D., to advance to its first ever National Finals.

In the finals, the Storm dropped a 3-2 decision to Dixie State in the opener, but two days later eliminated Wayne State and Armstrong Atlantic on the same day to advance to the semifinals where it fell to eventual national runner-up Valdosta State.

The Storm opened the year ranked No. 10 in the national poll, but dropped out of the rankings in the second poll and had not returned until the final poll of the year.

West Texas A&M was the unanimous No. 1 team after downing Valdosta State in the national title game, with VSU coming in second.

Dixie State finished one spot ahead of Southeastern, while Armstrong Atlantic rounded out the top five.

West Chester, Wayne State, LIU Post, St. Mary's and North Georgia made of the remainder of the top 10.


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