The Rattlers started the 2003 season ranked first, dropped to 10th by mid-season and entered the post-season ranked fourth. St. Mary’s snared the top spot in the final 2002 NFCA poll after winning the 2002 Div. II national tournament and was ranked 20th in the 2001 post-season poll after falling in the regional finals of the 2001 national tournament.
St. Mary’s won their third-straight Heartland Conference championship this season en route to a third-straight national tournament appearance. The Rattlers hosted and won the tournament’s South Central Regional to advance to the championship finals in Salem, Ore., where they lost in the semi-finals to UC Davis, the eventual national champions. St. Mary’s ended with a 50-12 record – their second consecutive 50-win season. Rattler ace Kym Kling, the Div. II Softball Player of the Year and a first-team All-American for the second time, finished with a 31-4 record. Kling, a junior from San Antonio, now has an amazing 66-9 record as a Rattler. She had a 4-8 record as a freshman at Div. I Stephen F. Austin University in 2001.
Top 25 poll results from throughout the 2003 season for all three NCAA division can be found at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association website.
|2||Georgia College and State University||120||12|
|3.||North Dakota State||114||3|
|11.||Cal State Bakersfield||78||13|
|12.||St. Cloud State||71||NR|
|(tie)||Grand Valley State||58||6|
|16.||Armstrong Atlantic State||52||NR|
|23.||Long Island-C.W. Post||20||20|
Western New Mexico
Others receiving votes: Columbus State 5, Valdosta State 3, Adelphi 2, Texas
A&M-Kingsville 1, West Virginia Wesleyan 1, Winona State 1.