By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third-straight week, Concordia (Calif.) pulls in the No. 1 ranking in the third regular-season edition of the 2013 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office Tuesday. With 19 of the possible 21 first-place votes, the Eagles rode the nation’s longest win streak at 29 games into last weekend. Simpson (Calif.), who is receiving 77 votes this week and in the “receiving votes” category, snapped Concordia’s win streak with a 2-1 victory on March 30.
Three of the four next teams in the poll hold their position from last week: No. 2 Cal State San Marcos, No. 4 Lee (Tenn.) and No. 5 Williams Baptist (Ark.). Third-ranked Lubbock Christian (Texas) vaulted up three spots and grabbed the remaining two first-place nods.
Concordia owns the second-most wins with a 34-3 record. The Eagles rebounded with a loss on March 30 with a 9-2 victory in Game 2 versus Simpson – the Eagles have allowed two-or-more runs this year on only nine occasions (in 37 games). The Eagles’ pitching staff is No. 1 in the NAIA in ERA (0.700), strikeouts (295) and opponent batting average (0.127).
Second ranked Cal State San Marcos posted 556 total points to stay in the No. 2 slot for the third-consecutive week. Lubbock Christian is perhaps one of the nation’s hottest teams as the Lady Chaps roll into this week with a 23-game win streak. Recently in a four-game sweep over then-No. 3 Rogers State (Okla.), Lubbock Christian out-scored the Hillcats 21-1. The Chaps are a NAIA-best 37-6 overall this year and 32-1 against NAIA competition.
Lee and Williams Baptist round out the top five with 529 and 509 points, respectively. The Flames fell in two games over the weekend but still lead the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) with an 11-2 mark. Co-leaders of the American Midwest Conference, Williams Baptist is 26-2 overall.
No. 15 Saint Xavier (Ill.) enjoys the best movement this week, sharing the stage with Lubbock Christian, with a three-spot jump. The Cougars are 19-3 overall and one of three undefeated teams in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Suffering the farthest fall of 11 spots, No. 19 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) was 19-1 before a doubleheader loss at the hands of unranked Aquinas (Mich.) March 30.
No. 25 Campbellsville (Ky.) becomes the 34th different team to be ranked this year. The Tigers, who were last positioned in the Top 25 on April 10, 2012 (No. 24), have won 13 of their last 14 contests.
Concordia (Ore.) (No. 24) dropped out this week.
Twelve of 21 conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The SSAC is respresented with seven programs within the Top 25 to lead the way: Lee, No. 6 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 10 (tie) William Carey (Miss.), No. 14 Brenau (Ga.), No. 16 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 22 Mobile (Ala.) and No. 24 Spring Hill (Ala.). The Sooner Athletic Conference claims four ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences /independent /unaffiliated groupings. The fourth regular-season Top 25 will be announced on April 9.
For the complete calendar of 2013 Top 25 Polls, click here.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) Both the Sooner Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference land a trio of teams in the top 10… There have been 34 teams ranked in the Top 25 in four polls this year (which includes the Preseason Top 25)… No. 9 Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 85-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch which dates back to start of 2004 season; Lubbock Christian and No. 10 (tie) William Carey (Miss.) are tied for second with 48-consecutive mentions and No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) is at 39-straight polls… With its first preseason No. 1 ranking in history back on Nov. 12, 2012, 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 nine , Mobile with five and Lubbock Christian with four.
2013 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Rating No. 3 – April 2)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Concordia (Calif.) (19)||34-3||590|
|2||2||Cal State San Marcos||31-5||556|
|3||6||Lubbock Christian (Texas) (2)||37-6||554|
|5||5||Williams Baptist (Ark.)||24-2||509|
|6||7||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||25-2||488|
|7||3||Rogers State (Okla.)||32-5||487|
|T10||9||William Carey (Miss.)||22-7||418|
|12||13||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||26-4||359|
|15||T18||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||19-3||327|
|17||16||South Carolina Beaufort||23-3||289|
|19||8||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||19-3||270|
|20||20||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||23-6||230|
|23||23||Central Baptist (Ark.)||17-9||121|
|24||25||Spring Hill (Ala.)||26-8||111|