The Faribault Falcons remained the top ranked team in Class 3A in the latest Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches Association rankings this week.  Faribault clinched the Big Nine Conference championship with a 2-0 win at Mankato West Thursday.  The Falcons went unbeaten in arguably the best Class 3A conference in the state.  The Big Nine Conference is comprised of 12 high schools in 9 school districts. Four teams in the league are in Class 5A and the remaining are Class 3A schools.

The final poll will probably come out next week with the section tournaments beginning during that week also.  It's interesting to note the Falcons were ranked 15th in the pre-season poll and finished last year rated #8 in the final poll after being ranked as high as #2.  Mankato West stays at #3, defending State Champion Winona moves up a spot to #4, Mankato East is #7 and Northfield received votes.  Five Big Nine teams ranked in Class 3A.

In Class 2A two time defending State Champion Zumbrota-Mazeppa dropped to #4 this week from #2.  When they won last year they were ranked #10 in the final poll.  Maple Lake is #1, Rochester Lourdes is #3, Chatfield #5 and Winona Cotter #10.  All out of Section 1.

In Class 4 Prior Lake is on top.  The only team to beat Faribault this season, New Prague is ranked #5 and is in Section 1.  Eastview of Apple Valley is #7 and defend State Champion Farmington is in the others receiving votes category.

In Class 1A NCE-Ulen-Hitterdal is #1 and New York Mills #2.  They traded places from last week's poll.  Carlton won the Hayfield tournament last weekend and is now #9 and Randolph stays at #10.

The complete polls for each class are listed below. Those in bold only are Big Nine teams those also in italics are in the same section with Faribault.

Class AAA

1. Faribault

2. North Branch

3. Mankato West

4. Winona

4. Hill-Murray

6. Waconia

7. Mankato East

7. Rocori

9. Chisago Lakes

10. Delano

11. Northfield

12. New Ulm

13. Hermantown

14. Totino-Grace

14. Academy of Holy Angels

14. Bemidji

17. Detroit Lakes

17. Willmar

Those in bold only are Hiawatha Valley League teams and those with bold and italics are in the same section with Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

Class AA

1. Maple Lake

2. Pipestone Area

3. Rochester Lourdes

4. Zumbrota-Mazeppa

5. Chatfield

6. Thief River Falls

7. Park Rapids Area

8. Esko

9. St. Peter

10. Winona Cotter/Hope Lutheran

11. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta

12. Hawley

13. Jordan

14. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton

15. Annandale

15. Rockford

17. St. Agnes

18. Norwood-Young America

Those in bold are in the KDHL/POWER 96 listening area.

Class A

1. NCE. Ulen-Hitterdal

2. New York Mills

3. Sleepy Eye St. Mary's

4. Kimball Area

4. New Ulm Cathedral

6. Pine River-Backus

7. Edgerton/SW Mn

7. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River

9. Carlton

10.Randolph

11. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg

12. Wabasha-Kellogg

13. West Central Area

14. Hayfield

15. Cherry

16. Silver Bay

17. Brandon-Evansville

Those in bold are in the South Suburban Conference.  Those in bold italics are in KDHL/POWER 96 listening area.

Class AAAA

1. Prior Lake

2. Forest Lake

3. Buffalo

4. Park

5. Chanhassen

5. New Prague

7. Eastview of Apple Valley

8. Maple Grove

9. Coon Rapids

9. Elk River

11. North St. Paul

12. Farmington

12. Anoka

14. Minnetonka

14. Centennial

16. Shakopee

Faribault Sofball Players Pose with Gordy by Dugout at Mankato West After Big 9 Championship. L-R Cassie Swanson, McKayla Armbruster, Camryn Salmonsen, Guy With Face For Radio, Ellie Knutson and Abby Van Ryn- photo provided by Deb Reineke-Salmonsen