By: Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications and Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ten-time and defending national champion Oklahoma City will begin the 2018 season with the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Stars captured all 19 first-place votes and 529 total points.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000):
- Ranked No. 1 for 15-consecutive polls, Oklahoma City holds the the longest streak by an NAIA program since former member Concordia (Calif.) went 18-consecutive weeks at No. 1 that spanned the 2013-14 seasons.
- Last year, Oklahoma City won its second-straight national championship and NAIA-record 10th overall title on June 1. The Stars, who went 4-0 at the 2017 NAIA Softball World Series, defeated Corban (Ore.) by a 4-1 score to capture the title.
- Oklahoma City finished the year with a 68-1 record, which established a new NAIA record. The Stars held the previous high of 67, set back in 2016. Oklahoma City started the year 47-0 prior to its only loss against NCAA Division II top-10 ranked West Texas A&M on April 18.
- As a team, the Stars were No. 1 in the NAIA in several statistical categories: runs per game (7.7), total hits (730), total RBIs (474), total stolen bases (170), opponent batting average (.146), ERA (0.690) and fielding percentage (.974).
- The rest of the top five includes No. 2 Columbia (Mo.), No. 3 Southern Oregon, No. 4 Marian (Ind.) and No. 5 Brenau (Ga.) tied with No. 5 Corban (Ore.).
- Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 129-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch, which goes back to the start of the 2004 season. No. 8 (tie) William Carey (Miss.) is second with 92-consecutive mentions. Next in line for consecutive streaks is No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 53.
- Former member California Baptist tops the charts of most all-time No. 1 mentions with 46. Oklahoma City is second all-time with 43, 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.
- For the complete calendar of 2018 Top 25 Polls, click here.
2018 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll – Jan. 16, 2018
|RANK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2017 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||Oklahoma City (19)||68-1||529|
|T8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||39-13||379|
|T8||William Carey (Miss.)||43-11||379|
|11||St. Francis (Ill.)||43-7||374|
|20||LSU Alexandria (La.)||52-10||237|
|21||Grand View (Iowa)||42-15||202|
|23||Rio Grande (Ohio)||47-10||155|
|25||Science & Arts (Okla.)||40-18||120|
Others Receiving Votes: Oregon Tech 108; Jamestown (N.D.) 107; Williams Baptist (Ark.) 103; Clarke (Iowa) 40; Taylor (Ind.) 36; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 29; Bellevue (Neb.) 23; Madonna (Mich.) 19; Thomas (Ga.) 12; Concordia (Neb.) 11; Georgetown (Ky.) 11; Tabor (Kan.) 9; Friends (Kan.) 3.