By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Lubbock Christian (Texas) becomes the third different No. 1 team in as many polls this year, the national office announced Tuesday in the second regular-season edition of the NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. This top ranking is the first for the Lady Chaps since March 17, 2009 and fourth overall since 2000.
Lubbock Christian compiled 553 total points and 12 first-place votes to take over the top spot from second-ranked Cal State San Marcos. The Lady Chaps rolled out to a 24-0 record before a loss to Huntington (Ind.), 3-1, on March 15. With a 26-1 record overall and playing 25-of-27 of those games on the road, Lubbock Christian leads the NAIA in batting average (.446) and hits per game (13.4).
Cal State San Marcos, who fell one spot to second with 532 points, holds a 32-3 overall record. The Cougars had their 22-game winning streak snapped with a 4-2 loss to unranked St. Gregory's (Okla.) on March 22. Having won five of its last nine games by virtue of a shutout, Cal State San Marcos recorded five first-place nods.
No. 3 Concordia (Calif.) held its status from last week with 531 points and the remaining three first-place votes. The Eagles have the most wins in the NAIA with a 44-2 record. Concordia owns the nation's longest active win streak at 37 games. The last Eagles' loss came on Feb. 11 against Eastern Oregon, 2-1.
No. 4 Oklahoma City checked in with 515 total points. The Stars are scheduled to do battle with top-ranked Lubbock Christian on Thursday in Lubbock, Texas. Sliding up one spot is No. 5 Central Baptist (Ark.) with 478 points. This is the 11th-straight top-10 ranking for the Mustangs.
With its upset over Cal State San Marcos on March 22, No. 13 St. Gregory's (Okla.) moved into the poll for the first time since April 27, 2010 (No. 18). The Cavaliers have won 14 of their last 15 contests and hold a 28-3 overall record. No. 22 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) is also appearing for the first time in 2012. The Bees were last mentioned on April 19, 2011 (No. 13).
Davenport (Mich.) (No. 24) and Marian (Ind.) (No. 25) were the two programs to fall out this week.
Twelve conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The Southern States Athletic Conference boasts the most ranked clubs with six: No. 7 William Carey (Miss.), No. 8 Brenau (Ga.), No. 12 Shorter, No. 16 Lee (Tenn.), No. 18 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 24 Mobile (Ala.). The Sooner Athletic Conference claims five ranked teams: Lubbock Christian, Oklahoma City, St. Gregory's, No. 21 Oklahoma Christian and No. 25 Southern Nazarene (Okla.). Three other conferences and unaffiliated groups list multiple teams in the poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences /independent /unaffiliated groupings. The next poll will be released on April 3.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) There have been 34 different teams to be ranked this year (through three polls)... Lubbock Christian (Texas) joins Cal State San Marcos and Oregon Tech as the No. 1-ranked teams this year in three polls... Oregon Tech's No. 1 preseason ranking was nine spots higher than it had ever previously appeared in any poll and its first top 10 ranking since being slotted 10th on March 19, 2002 ... Cal State San Marcos joins former NAIA member California Baptist, Lubbock Christian (Texas), Mobile (Ala.), Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City, Oregon Tech, former NAIA member Simon Fraser (B.C.) and Thomas (Ga.) as the only schools to appear at No. 1 ... California Baptist leads the way with 46 all-time No. 1 appearances, followed by Oklahoma City with 20, Simon Fraser with 18, Thomas with 13, Mobile with five, Lubbock Christian with four and Oklahoma Baptist with two ... Cal State San Marcos has been ranked in 24-straight polls ... No. 4 Oklahoma City has appeared in 73-straight polls, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 SEASON||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Lubbock Christian (Texas) (12)||26-1||553|
|2||1||Cal State San Marcos (5)||32-3||532|
|3||3||Concordia (Calif.) (3)||44-2||531|
|5||6||Central Baptist (Ark.)||28-3||478|
|7||7||William Carey (Miss.)||23-4||461|
|10||9||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||28-6||398|
|13||RV||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||28-3||332|
|14||13||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||31-6||319|
|15||14||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||22-5||311|
|17||16||Williams Baptist (Ark.)||24-5||271|
|18||19||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||20-4||244|
|20||22||College of Idaho||22-6||216|
|22||RV||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||17-1||177|
|25||18||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||20-10||103|