By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the eighth-consecutive poll, Concordia (Calif.) holds down the No. 1 ranking in the 2013 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office Tuesday. The unanimous No. 1 pick gathered 591 total points in the eighth regular-season installment. The Eagles stand 45-3 on the season and will host one of the 10 NAIA National Championship Opening Round tournaments May 13 – 15.
The 40 qualifiers for the inaugural NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round will be announced at 5 p.m. CDT. The official Opening Round pairings and seeds will be announced via a live graphical selection show at approximately 7 p.m. on www.NAIA.org
Movement within the poll was minimal with the biggest shift being a four-spot increase. No. 20 Oregon Tech, powered behind a Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament runner-up finish, improved four positions. Conversely, No. 11 Corban (Ore.) tumbled down from the eighth spot last week.
No. 24 Houston-Victoria (Texas) and No. 25 IU Southeast are this week’s newcomers. The Jaguars have been absent for the last two weeks, while IU Southeast was 24th in the April 23rd edition.
Following top-ranked Concordia again is No. 2 Lubbock Christian (Texas). With 572 points, the Lady Chaps have been the runner-up for four-straight weeks. Lubbock Christian, who is a national championship automatic qualifier by virtue of winning the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament, owns the most wins in the NAIA (55-7).
No. 3 Lee (Tenn.) earns its eighth-consecutive top-five ranking. The Flames won their way through the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament that featured five other Top 25 programs. With 553 total points, Lee is 11-2 in its last 13 games as it heads into the opening round.
Oklahoma City and Cal State San Marcos flip-flopped positions at Nos. 4 and 5. The Stars picked up 529 points and Cal State San Marcos tallied 493.
Concordia (Ore.) (No. 19) and Rogers State (Okla.) (No. 22) dropped out this week.
Thirteen of 21 conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The Southern States Athletic Conference leads the way with six programs within the Top 25: Lee, No. 7 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 13 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 15 Spring Hill (Ala.), No. 18 Brenau (Ga.) and No. 21 William Carey (Miss.). The Sooner Athletic Conference claims three ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences /independent /unaffiliated groupings. The 2013 postseason Top 25 will be announced June 5.
For the complete calendar of 2013 Top 25 Polls, click here.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) The eight-straight No. 1 rankings for Concordia (Calif.) is the longest stretch for any program since former member California Baptist rattled through all nine polls in 2011… Seventeen programs have been ranked in each of the nine polls (including Preseason) this year… No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) has now held the No. 1 position in 14 of the last 16 polls dating back to the 2012 season… There have been 34 different teams ranked in the Top 25 this year… No. 4 Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 90-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch, which dates back to start of 2004 season; No. 2 Lubbock Christian (Texas) and No. 21 William Carey (Miss.) are tied for second with 53-consecutive mentions and No. 1 Concordia is right behind at 44-straight polls… With its first preseason No. 1 ranking in school history back on Nov. 12, 2012, No. 4 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… This year, two teams have held the No. 1 ranking: Cal State San Marcos (1) and Concordia (8) – last year, there were five different programs… Since 2000, there have been 11 teams to be on top of the polls: Concordia, Cal State San Marcos, California Baptist, Lubbock Christian, Mobile (Ala.), Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City, Oregon Tech, former NAIA member Simon Fraser (B.C.), former member Shorter (Ga.) and Thomas (Ga.)… California Baptist leads the way with 46 all-time No. 1 appearances, followed by Oklahoma City with 20, Simon Fraser with 18, Concordia with 14, Thomas with 13, Mobile with five and Lubbock Christian with four.
2013 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Rating No. 8 – May 7)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Concordia (Calif.) (21)||45-3||591|
|2||2||Lubbock Christian (Texas)||55-7||572|
|5||4||Cal State San Marcos||40-10||493|
|6||6||Williams Baptist (Ark.)||40-6||484|
|7||7||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||41-10||467|
|9||10||South Carolina Beaufort||41-4||432|
|10||11||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||46-6||415|
|12||13||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||48-8||391|
|14||15||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||46-7||334|
|15||15||Spring Hill (Ala.)||41-14||321|
|16||14||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||34-15||288|
|21||20||William Carey (Miss.)||34-18||177|
Others receiving votes: Central Methodist (Mo.) 109; Bellevue (Neb.) 104; Oklahoma Baptist 89; College of Idaho 79; Virginia Intermont 59; Rogers State (Okla.) 29; Marian (Ind.) 27; Concordia (Ore.) 20; William Woods (Mo.) 15; Mobile (Ala.) 13; Davenport (Mich.) 13; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 12; Central Baptist (Ark.) 11; Morningside (Iowa) 7; Bethany (Kan.) 3.