KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oklahoma City claimed the top spot in the 2019 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll, inching out reigning national champion Science & Arts (Okla.). This gives the Sooner Athletic Conference the top two teams in the preseason poll, although first-place votes are spread amongst a group of teams.
The poll is voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
- Oklahoma City now has 44 No. 1-rankings, tailing former member California Baptist by two. There is a substantial drop-off following Oklahoma City, as former member Concordia (Calif.) has 24, former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) has 18 and current member Thomas (Ga.) has 13.
- This is Oklahoma City’s first No. 1-ranking since the 2018 Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll. That followed a year in which the Stars went 68-1 and were ranked No. 1 the entirety of the season.
- The Stars return first-team All-Americans Kennedy Jackson (.441, 41 stolen bases as a freshman) and Jaci Smith (.409, 11 HRs, 68 RBIs), in addition to second-team All-American Georgia Wall (18-4, 1.41 ERA, 137 Ks).
- The Stars received 11 of a possible 19 first-place votes. No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) received five votes; Georgia Gwinnett had two and Marian (Ind.) had one.
- Science & Arts, at No. 2, should be a fixture at the top of the poll all season long. The Drovers return most of their key contributors from their national championship team. That includes 2018 NFCA/NAIA Player of the Year Emily Cerny (33-4, 1.15 EA, 298 Ks).
- Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 136-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch. No. 17 William Carey (Miss.) is second with 99-consecutive mentions, followed by No. 13 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 60 straight.
2019 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll
|RANK||2018 POSTSEASON||SCHOOL [1ST-PLACE VOTES]||2018 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||4||Oklahoma City ||53-9||521|
|2||1||Science & Arts (Okla.)||57-5||495|
|4||2||Columbia (Mo.) ||37-16||482|
|5||5||Georgia Gwinnett ||53-6||472|
|6||6||Marian (Ind.) ||51-7||456|
|9||12||Hope International (Calif.)||47-11||372|
|13||19||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||40-16||323|
|15||15||St. Francis (Ill.)||41-9||277|
|17||22||William Carey (Miss.)||38-16||264|
|18||21||Central Methodist (Mo.)||43-11||258|
|21||16||Grand View (Iowa)||48-10||179|
|25||RV||Valley City State (N.D.)||39-12||94|
RECEIVING VOTES: Baker (Kan.) 80, Rio Grande (Ohio) 74, Simpson (Calif.) 62, USC Beaufort (S.C.) 31, Brenau (Ga.) 30, Georgetown (Ky.) 30, Houston-Victoria (Texas) 22, Aquinas (Mich.) 20, Tabor (Kan.) 19, Morningside (Iowa) 17, Thomas (Ga.) 14, Texas Wesleyan 13, Lyon (Ark.) 9, Taylor (Ind.) 5, Eastern Oregon 4, Ottawa (Kan.) 3, Bellevue (Neb.) 3, Carroll (Mont.) 3
-- Courtesy of NAIA