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Cathi Aradi

Cal Baptist Still Tops In Latest NAIA Poll

Cal BaptistKANSAS CITY, Mo. – Behind a 20-game winning streak, No. 1 California Baptist holds the top position in the second regular-season edition of the 2011 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Lancers have been ranked No. 1 for the last 18-straight polls dating back to the 2009 season. Armed with its own lengthy winning streak at 11 games, William Carey (Miss.) locks down the No. 2 spot. Concordia (Calif.), joining CBU from the Golden State Athletic Conference, checks in with the No. 3 ranking. No. 4 California State-San Marcos earned 620 points to hold from last week. No. 5 Brenau (Ga.) slides up one position with 593 points. 

California Baptist has not lost since March 1 falling to then-No. 8 California State-San Marcos by a 1-0 score. The Lancers collected all 24 first-place votes and 684 total points. The season has been a dominating one as California Baptist tops the NAIA in runs scored (326), RBIs (309), doubles (82) and earned run average (ERA) (0.490). With the most wins in the NAIA at 37-1, the Lancers are scheduled to take on Hope International (Calif.) on Tuesday, followed by a home date against No. 12 Columbia (Mo.) on Wednesday. Since California Baptist was ranked No. 1 starting on March 24, 2009, the Lancers hold a 132-8 (.943) overall record. 

Besides California Baptist and William Carey, No. 6 Central Baptist (Ark.) and No. 15 Marian (Ind.) are the only other programs with just one defeat on the season. One of the biggest jumps this week is No. 10 Southern Nazarene (Okla.), who is eight spots better than the March 22 edition. Conversely, Lubbock Christian (Texas) falls from fifth to No. 17. 

No. 24 (tie) MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and No. 24 (tie) Oregon Tech are newcomers this week. MidAmerica Nazarene (17-4) takes a four-game winning streak into a doubleheader against Central Methodist (Mo.) on Wednesday. With a 19-6 record, Oregon Tech has gone 10-1 in its last 11 games, including two wins against nationally-ranked Concordia (Ore.) on March 21. 

Two teams, Concordia (Ore.) and Simon Fraser (B.C.), dropped out of the poll. The Cavaliers, ranked 11th last week, has gone 8-10 thus far, dropping seven of their last eight contests. Simon Fraser, the defending national champion, has fallen quickly after a No. 2 spot in preseason. The Clan is 4-6 overall and will take on No. 4 California State-San Marcos on Saturday. 

Fourteen conferences and unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all leagues with five ranked teams: William Carey, Brenau, No. 9 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 11 Mobile (Ala.) and No. 22 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.). The Association of Independent Institutions, Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference each landed a trio of teams in the Top 25. 

To view the entire poll, click here

- Courtesy of the NAIA