Mavericks top South Central Region poll
Colorado Mesa’s baseball team tops the first official NCAA Division II South Central Region poll, which was released Wednesday.
Six teams in the region qualify for the NCAA tournament. The top-ranked team in the region can host the region tournament when the official pairings come out May 11.
The Mavericks (31-8, 25-5 RMAC), ranked 14th in the nation, are 30-6 in the region.
“We have two tough weekends ahead of us,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “If you want something, you have to go get it. We’re not going to focus too much on that. We feel we can play better. We need to improve what we do on the road.”
Mesa plays a four-game series this weekend at Regis, then another four-game series next weekend at Colorado School of Mines before the RMAC tournament May 8-10.
The Mavericks are 6-8 in road games and 7-8 away from home.
West Texas A&M (31-12) is second in the region. Last year’s regional host, Texas A&M-Kingsville (29-14), is third. New Mexico Highlands is ranked seventh, and CSU-Pueblo is eighth.
Colorado Mesa’s softball team is not ranked in the region, which makes its final home games this weekend all the more important.
The Mavericks (24-18, 23-11 RMAC) are in third place in the RMAC standings, but if they sweep Colorado Christian in a four-game series this weekend, they potentially could move up to first place and host the RMAC tournament next weekend.
Playing at Bergman Field would better their chances of winning the RMAC tournament and receiving an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
Metro State (25-11, 19-8 RMAC) is in first place in the RMAC by percentage points over the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (25-13, 21-10 RMAC).
The Roadrunners are ranked fifth in the South Central region. UCCS is ranked ninth, and CSU-Pueblo (23-18, 20-10 RMAC) is 10th. Eight teams qualify from the region.
Colorado Mesa softball coach Candace Abrams received a national letter of intent from Brooke Hodgson of Rio Rancho, N.M., for the 2015 season.
The Cleveland High School senior was a first-team all-district player the past three seasons. She plays a variety of positions, including pitcher, infield and outfield.
Hodgson has a 3.7 grade-point average and plans to study sports management.
A New League
Former Colorado Mesa baseball player Mike Provencher has signed with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League.
The season starts next month.
Provencher, who played on the 2009 Division II World Series team, has played in professional independent leagues since the 2009 season.
He played the past four seasons in the American Association.
Colorado Mesa’s men’s tennis team moved up two spots in the NCAA Division II South Central region poll to fifth, but only four teams qualify for the NCAA tournament.
RMAC tournament champion Western New Mexico, which receives an automatic berth for winning the conference tournament, is ranked third.
Colorado Mesa’s women’s team isn’t ranked in the region, but it won the RMAC tournament last weekend to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Pairings will be announced Tuesday.
Cathryn Ambler joined Whitney Rowe and Bacall Sterling with NCAA Division II provisional qualifying standards last week.
Ambler qualified in the 400-meter run in 55.96 seconds.
Rowe has qualified in the 100 (11.77) and 200 (24.45). Sterling has qualified in the triple jump (39 feet, 11.25 inches) and the heptathlon (4,543 points).
Shane Niksic has a provisional qualifying time in the 800 in 1 minute, 52.43 seconds. The junior qualified for nationals last year in the event.