After falling out of first, the University of Hawaii at Hilo still finds itself just above another important cutline.
The Vulcans debuted at No. 7 in the NCAA Division II West Region softball rankings. UHH was one of five Pacific West Conference teams in Wednesday’s top 10.
League leader Grand Canyon was second, Dixie State was fourth and Hawaii Pacific and Notre Dame de Namur were ninth and 10th, respectively. The top eight teams at season’s end get berths to the postseason. Regionals will be held May 10-12.
The PacWest champion garners an automatic berth as well. The Vulcans (35-17, 21-7) fell two games in back of the Antelopes (36-12, 19-5) in the loss column in getting swept at home Sunday against Chaminade and are percentage points behind Grand Canyon and tied with Dixie State in second place.
UHH has four games remaining, an April 28 doubleheader at Chaminade (25-17, 17-9), a team still hoping to break into the top 10, and two games at home against Hawaii Pacific (23-16, 12-10) on May 4.
Dixie State (30-11, 18-6) and Grand Canyon both have four-game sets left with Azusa Pacific (21-18, 10-12), then they finish the regular season by facing off four times May 3-4 in Saint George, Utah.
Humboldt State of the California Collegiate Athletic Association topped the West rankings.
1. Humboldt State, 36-12; 2. Grand Canyon, 36-12; 3. Sonoma State, 32-12; 4. Saint Martin’s, 22-9; 5. Dixie State, 30-11; 6. Cal State Dominguez, 26-19; 7. UHH, 35-17; 8. Cal San Diego, 28-16; 9. Hawaii Pacific, 22-15; 10. Notre Dame de Namur, 23-15