By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Despite not having the majority of No. 1 votes, Concordia (Calif.) reigns as No. 1 in the 2013 NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office Tuesday. The Eagles, with a 25-2 record and 560 total points, is one of four programs with at least one first-place nod. Concordia earns its seventh No. 1 in program history behind five first-place votes.
Preseason No. 1 Cal State San Marcos captured eight first-place votes to garner the No. 2 position. No. 3 Lee (Tenn.) with five first-place votes and No. 4 Rogers State (Okla.) with three round out the teams at the top.
Fifth-ranked Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) posted 528 votes. Overall, 24 of 25 teams shifted positions from the preseason Top 25 announced on Nov. 13.
Concordia is on top of the polls for the first time since May 8, 2012 when that ranking was the sixth-straight No. 1 for the Eagles. Since a 4-3 loss to Southern Oregon on Feb. 9, Concordia has won 21-straight contests. During its win streak, the Eagles have out-scored their opponents 177-18 and recorded 12 shutouts during that span.
No. 3 Lee is the biggest improvement within the poll, sliding up eight positions. Conversely, No. 19 Central Baptist (Ark.) falls the farthest, down 13 spots from the Preseason Top 25.
Rogers State highlights the list of newcomers this week with a No. 4 position. Nationally listed for the first time since May 7, 2008 (No. 7), the Hillcats are 27-0 and the only undefeated team of any program with at least 10 or more games played. They rank No. 2 in the NAIA in slugging percentage (.594) and fourth in batting average (.370).
No. 18 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 22 Park (Mo.), No. 23 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) and No. 24 William Jessup (Calif.) are the other rookies this week. Both Park and William Jessup are included in the Top 25 for the first time in school history. Belhaven was last ranked on Nov. 15, 2012 at No. 6. Freed-Hardeman checks in after an absence since April 28, 2009.
The following schools dropped out since the Preseason Top 25: Houston-Victoria (Texas) (No. 10), Central Methodist (Mo.) (No. 18), Indiana Southeast (No. 20), Bethany (Kan.) (No. 23) and Indiana Wesleyan (No. 24).
Thirteen of 21 conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The Southern States Athletic Conference boasted six within the Top 25 to lead the way: Lee, Auburn Montgomery, No. 11 William Carey (Miss.), No. 12 Brenau (Ga.), No. 18 Belhaven and No. 21 Mobile (Ala.). The Sooner Athletic Conference claims four ranked teams, while four other leagues boast a pair of programs.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences /independent /unaffiliated groupings. The second regular-season Top 25 will be announced on March 26.
For the complete calendar of 2013 Top 25 Polls, click here.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) There have been 31 teams ranked in the Top 25 in two polls this year... Houston-Victoria (Texas) had its 40-week reign in the Top 25 stopped, which was the fourth longest active streak... No. 9 Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 83-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch; No. 6 Lubbock Christian (Texas) and No. 11 William Carey (Miss.) are tied for third with 46-consecutive mentions and Concordia is at 37-straight polls... The Sooner Athletic Conference lands three programs in the top 10 - No. 4 Rogers State (Okla.), No. 6 Lubbock Christian and No. 9 Oklahoma City... With its first preseason No. 1 ranking in history, Cal State San Marcos is looking to become the first team to be on top of the preseason charts and win the national championship in the same season since Oklahoma City did so in 2002... There were 38 different teams ranked in 10 polls last year... Last year, there were five programs to hold the No. 1 ranking: Cal State San Marcos, Concordia (Calif.), Lubbock Christian (Texas), Oregon Tech and former member Shorter (Ga.)... Since 2000, there have been 11 teams to be on top of the polls: Concordia, Cal State San Marcos, former NAIA member California Baptist, Lubbock Christian, Mobile (Ala.), Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City, Oregon Tech, former NAIA member Simon Fraser (B.C.), former member Shorter and Thomas (Ga.)... Former member 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, Concordia with seven , Mobile with five and Lubbock Christian with four.
2013 NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 Poll (Rating No. 1 - March 19)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||5||Concordia (Calif.) (5)||25-2||560|
|2||1||Cal State San Marcos (8)||26-4||556|
|3||11||Lee (Tenn.) (5)||22-1||552|
|4||NR||Rogers State (Okla.) (3)||27-0||543|
|5||8||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||20-1||500|
|6||2||Lubbock Christian (Texas)||29-6||491|
|7||14||Williams Baptist (Ark.)||19-1||478|
|10||12||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||13-1||403|
|11||7||William Carey (Miss.)||14-5||397|
|13||16||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||19-2||347|
|14||15||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||17-3||330|
|16||21||South Carolina Beaufort||18-2||293|
|19||6||Central Baptist (Ark.)||13-9||212|
|20||25||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||14-2||207|
|24||NR||William Jessup (Calif.)||19-9||110|
|25||22||William Penn (Iowa)||12-6||105|
Others receiving votes: Concordia (Ore.) 94; Indiana Wesleyan 87; Spring Hill (Ala.) 79; Houston-Victoria (Texas) 77; Central Methodist (Mo.) 52; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 44; Ottawa (Kan.) 43; Davenport (Mich.) 35; Faulkner (Ala.) 33; Indiana Southeast 31; Campbellsville (Ky.) 27; Oklahoma Baptist 14; Tennessee Wesleyan 9; Bellevue (Neb.) 9; William Woods (Mo.) 9; Simpson (Calif.) 7; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 6; British Columbia 5; Georgetown (Ky.) 4; Friends (Kan.) 4; Southern Oregon 3.
^ Indicated ranking in the 2013 Coaches' Preseason Top 25 on Nov. 13, 2012