KANSAS CITY, Mo.– For the sixth-consecutive week, Concordia (Calif.) claimed the No. 1 position in the 2013 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office Tuesday. The Eagles pulled in 19-of-20 first-place votes and 560 total points in the sixth regular-season edition.
Concordia has won nine-straight contests and on April 16 swept Arizona Christian, 18-0, in game one and 11-0 in game two. The Eagles have outscored their opponents by 308 runs (350-42) on the year. Concordia tops the NAIA in ERA (0.600) and opponent batting average (0.130). Katie Cotta leads the Eagles pitching staff with an 18-2 record and an ERA of 0.18. The Eagles are primed to host the Unaffiliated Group (Golden State Athletic Conference / California Pacific Conference) Tournament April 25 – 27.
Holding steady at No. 2 is Lubbock Christian (Texas), who received the last first-place vote and tallied 542 points. The Lady Chaps have won seven-consecutive games and have clinched the Sooner Athletic Conference regular season title for the fifth-straight year. Lubbock Christian holds a 48-7 overall record, most wins in the NAIA and 22-2 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
Moving up one spot to No. 3 is Lee (Tenn.) with 507 points. Also moving up one position is No. 4 is Williams Baptist (Ark.). The tandem moved up a position after holding the Nos. 4 and 5 rankings for the past four weeks.
Rounding out the top 5 is No. 5 Cal State San Marcos. The Cougars received 490 points, but fell two positions in the poll. Cal State San Marcos was swept by Menlo (Calif.), 3-2, 3-2, on April 19 but has bounced back winning its next three.
No. 15 Spring Hill (Ala.) made the biggest improvement this week making a seven-spot improvement in the poll. On the other end of the spectrum, No. 23 Oregon Tech fell eight spots.
Joining the top 25 is No. 19 Concordia (Ore.). The Cavaliers swept Eastern Oregon, 4-1, 4-1, on April 20. Concordia’s winning-streak of eight games came to an end on April 21 when College of Idaho swept the Cavaliers, 7-4, 4-3. Concordia looks to rebound from being swept when it returns to action on April 26 against Corban (Ore.).
Houston-Victoria (Texas) (No. 25) suffered a fall out of the Top 25 this week after joining the top 25 last week.
Twelve of 21 conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The Southern States Athletic Confernece leads the way with six programs within the Top 25: Lee, No. 7 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 11 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 15 Spring Hill (Ala.), No. 17 William Carey (Miss.) and No. 22 Brenau (Ga.).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 seventh-regular season edition of the Coaches’ Poll will be announced on April 30.
For the complete calendar of 2013 Top 25 Polls, click here.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) Seventeen programs have been ranked in each of the seven polls (including Preseason) this year… No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) has now held the No. 1 position in 12 of the last 14 polls dating back to the 2012 season… There have been 34 different teams ranked in the Top 25 this year… No. 7 Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 88-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. 14 William Carey (Miss.) are tied for second with 51-consecutive mentions and No. 1 Concordia is right behind at 42-straight polls… With its first preseason No. 1 ranking in school 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… This year, two teams have held the No. 1 ranking: Cal State San Marcos (1) and Concordia (6) – 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, 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 (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, Thomas with 13, Concordia with 12, Mobile with five and Lubbock Christian with four… Concordia (Ore.) rejoins the Top 25 for the first time since March 26.
***courtesy of Chad Waller/Travis Rae, NAIA Communications & Sports Info