TACOMA, Wash. -- Pacific Lutheran's two road victories against previously No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Linfield boosted PLU to seventh in this week's NFCA poll.

The Lutes, 13-5 this season, went from unranked to seventh in the Division III rankings. Additionally, one of the ranking committee's eight members gave PLU a first-place vote. The Lutes compiled 138 points in the poll.

Linfield saw its record 17 consecutive weeks atop the poll come to an end. The Wildcats (12-2) slipped to fourth in the poll with two first-place votes 179 points, with Luther taking the top spot with a 4-0 record, 190 points and three first-place votes. The other two first-place votes went to No. 2 ranked Emory.

While Pacific Lutheran has the most losses of any team ranked in the NFCA top 25, four of its five defeats came to Division II opponents on its season-opening trip to Hawaii in early February.

The last time a Pacific Lutheran softball team earned a national ranking was in the final poll of the 2003 season when the Lutes were ranked eighth. That PLU team had been ranked No. 1 in the fourth and fifth weeks of the national poll before losing to Central (Iowa) in a regional championship game played on Central's home field in Pella, Iowa. Central went on to win the national title that year.

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Luther takes over top spot in NFCA poll