By: Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications and Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oklahoma City lands the No. 1 ranking for the 11th-straight time in the 2017 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Stars captured all 19 first-place votes and 529 total points. The fourth regular-season Top 25 will be announced Tuesday, May 2.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000):
• Oklahoma City is the only undefeated team in the NAIA with a 46-0 record. The defending national champion is currently riding a 51-game win streak after winning its final five contests to claim the 2016 national title.
• The Stars continue to dominate several key statistical categories, ranking first in the NAIA in total runs scored (371), RBIs (331) and ERA (0.540). The team also ranks No. 3 in batting average (.381) as eight-of-nine starters all maintain a .300-plus batting average.
• With an 18-0 record in Sooner Athletic Conference play, Oklahoma City is the No. 1 seed with a three-game lead over second-place and 23rd-ranked Science & Arts (Okla.). Both teams have an upcoming doubleheader scheduled for April 25.
• The Stars next face NCAA Division II powerhouse West Texas A&M Tuesday in Canyon, Texas. The Lady Buffs are ranked No. 6 in the latest NFCA-Division II Coaches’ Poll.
• No. 2 Brenau (Ga.) moves up one position from the last poll. It marks the highest position for the Tigers this year.
• Falling back one spot, No. 3 Columbia (Mo.) captured 498 total points.
• No. 4 Marian (Ind.) and No. 5 Georgia Gwinnett both hold their spots from the second regular-season edition.
• Seven teams improve three spots for the largest positive jump within the poll.
• No. 16 Reinhardt (Ga.) falls four positions for the worst negative movement.
• Three newcomers join the Top 25 this week: No. 22 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), No. 24 Warner (Fla.) and No. 25 Bellevue (Neb.). Both Freed-Hardeman (March 29, 2016) and Bellevue (Jan. 19, 2016) were recognized in the poll last year. For Warner, today marks the first national ranking since May 4, 2010 when the Royals were No. 24.
• Overall, 18 of the 19 conferences are represented in this edition. The Southern States Athletic Conference has the most schools represented with three.
• Six conferences send at least two schools into the Top 25.
• Through four polls this year, 39 different programs have been ranked at least once.
• Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 125-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch, which goes back to the start of the 2004 season. William Carey (Miss.) is second with 88-consecutive mentions. Next in line for consecutive streaks is Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 49.
• Former member California Baptist tops the charts of most all-time No. 1 mentions with 46. Oklahoma City is second all-time with 39, followed by former member Concordia (Calif.) with 24, former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) with 18 and Thomas (Ga.) with 13.
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
• Frequency of polls occur bi-weekly. This policy was approved by the National Administrative Council (NAC) for the 2016-17 academic season. This change will allow raters the opportunity to consider a larger body of work in between rating periods.
• For the complete calendar of 2017 Top 25 Polls, click here.
2017 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – April 18, 2017
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2017 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (19)||46-0||529|
|6||9||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||35-8||435|
|7||7||William Carey (Miss.)||38-7||420|
|12||15||St. Francis (Ill.)||30-4||330|
|19||22||Rio Grande (Ohio)||32-6||191|
|21||20||Grand View (Iowa)||30-10||176|
|23||24||Science & Arts (Okla.)||32-13||142|
Dropped from rankings: No. 14 Thomas (Fla.), No. 19 Williams Baptist (Ark.), No. 25 Oregon Tech.
Others Receiving Votes: Williams Baptist (Ark.) 92; Aquinas (Mich.) 63; Thomas (Ga.) 62; Friends (Kan.) 55; Oregon Tech 52; Georgetown (Ky.) 50; Taylor (Ind.) 17; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 17; Menlo (Calif.) 15; Concordia (Neb.) 13; Clarke (Iowa) 12; Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 7.
^ Ranking from 2017 Coaches Top 25 Poll (April 4, 2017)