By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the 18th-straight time, Concordia (Calif.) lands in the No. 1 position in the 2014 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The streak dates back to the first regular-season 2013 edition. In this final 2014 installment, the Eagles gathered 560 total points and all 20 first-place votes.
The 40 Softball National Championship Opening Round qualifiers will be announced today at 5 p.m. CDT. The pairings for the opening round tournament will be announced with a video selection show at 7 p.m. on NAIA.org.
Champions of the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Tournament, Concordia heads into the Softball National Championship Opening Round with a 48-5 overall record. The 5-0 win on April 26 in the GSAC title game was Concordia's 12th-straight victory. The Eagles head to their second-straight Opening Round, which is scheduled for May 12-14.
No. 2 LSU Alexandria (La.) flip-flopped with third-ranked Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) this week. The Generals, who posted 534 total points, boast their highest ranking of the season after winning the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Tournament on May 3. With 522 points, Auburn Montgomery advanced to the semifinals of the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament on May 3.
No. 4 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and No. 5 Cal State San Marcos remain in their spots with 516 and 477 points, respectively. The Tigers won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles, while Cal State San Marcos fell to LSU Alexandria in the A.I.I. tournament championship.
No. 25 Kansas Wesleyan is included in the Top 25 for the first time in school history. The Coyotes earned 68 total points after winning the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships.
24th-ranked USC Beaufort (S.C.) is the other newcomer this week after taking a one-week hiatus from the Top 25.
Central Baptist (Ark.) (No. 23) and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (No. 25) both drop out this week.
Movement this week was minimal with no team shifting either direction more than one position. Overall, 12 programs locked down their spot from last week.
Fourteen of 21 conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented this week’s poll. The SSAC places the most teams among the Top 25 with five: Auburn Montgomery, No. 7 Spring Hill, No. 10 (tie) William Carey, No. 15 Belhaven (Miss.) and No. 21 Brenau (Ga.). Both the A.I.I. and the Sooner Athletic Conference claim a trio of ranked programs.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences /independent /unaffiliated groupings. The 2014 Postseason Top 25 will be announced on June 4.
For the complete calendar of 2014 Top 25 Polls, click here.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) No. 25 Kansas Wesleyan becomes the 35th different team to be ranked this season -- of those 35 teams, 16 of them have been ranked in every poll... No. 16 Oklahoma City maintains the most wins in the NAIA with 49, No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) and No. 6 St. Gregory's (Okla.) are next with 48... With all first-place votes, No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) has now been the unanimous pick in three polls this year, including the last two... The 18-straight No. 1 rankings for Concordia is the longest stretch for any program since former member California Baptist rattled through 24-consecutive polls from 2009-11… No. 2 LSU Alexandria (La.) has been ranked among the top five since vaulting into the poll in the first regular-season edition on March 18... Concordia has now held the No. 1 position in 22 of the last 24 polls overall dating back to the 2012 season…Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 100-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch, which dates back to start of 2004 season; No. 10 (tie) William Carey (Miss.) is second with 63-consecutive mentions and Concordia is right behind at 54-straight polls… Since 2000, 11 teams have topped the poll with former member California Baptist leading the way with 46 all-time No. 1 appearances, followed by Concordia with 24, Oklahoma City with 20, former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) with 18, Thomas (Ga.) with 13, Mobile (Ala.) with five, former member Lubbock Christian (Texas) with four, Cal State San Marcos with two and Oklahoma Baptist with two -- Oregon Tech and former member Shorter (Ga.) each have one.
2014 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – FINAL (May 6)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Concordia (Calif.) (20)||48-5||560|
|3||2||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||38-6||522|
|4||4||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||46-3-1||516|
|5||5||Cal State San Marcos||38-7-1||477|
|6||6||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||48-9||459|
|7||7||Spring Hill (Ala.)||40-12||448|
|8||8||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||45-7-1||438|
|T10||11||William Carey (Miss.)||44-10||390|
|T10||9||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||45-9||390|
|14||14||Central Methodist (Mo.)||41-6||326|
|19||20||William Woods (Mo.)||39-15||236|
|24||RV||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||39-11||99|