Concordia's (CA) Katie Carson. Photo Courtesy of Concordia (CA) Sports Information.KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Behind a NAIA-record 43-game winning streak, Concordia (Calif.) holds at No. 1 in the fifth regular-season edition of the NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. After a doubleheader sweep on April 14 over Biola (Calif.), the Eagles established a national record, snapping a record by Shawnee State (Ohio) that stood since 1996. With 19 first-place votes and 560 points, Concordia sits on top of the poll for the third-consecutive week.
Concordia has established a school-record win total with a 50-2 log. The Eagles, who own college softball's longest active winning streak among any level, earned their first Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season title in 21 years. They take on No. 8 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) on Tuesday to finish up the regular season. The Eagles have not lost since a 2-1 setback to Eastern Oregon on Feb. 11.
Cal State San Marcos garners the second position with 580 points and the remaining first-place vote for the fourth-straight poll. The Cougars have been positioned in either the Nos. 1 or 2 spots all year long. Cal State San Marcos brings an 11-game winning streak against Patten (Calif.) on Saturday.
For the third-consecutive time, No. 3 Oklahoma City and No. 4 Central Baptist (Ark.) both hold steady. With 556 points, Oklahoma City has not lost since March 3. The Mustangs collected 525 points and stand 34-4 on the season. Central Baptist takes a step out of NAIA action on Thursday against Crowley's Ridge (Ark.) before six road games end the regular season.
No. 5 Lubbock Christian slides up one position with 517points. The Lady Chaps have gone 10-1 in their last 11 contests, including a 2-0 victory over then-No. 18 St. Gregory's (Okla.) on April 13. With eight games left, Lubbock Christian holds a half-game lead over No. 19 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) in the Sooner Athletic Conference standings.
No. 25 Webber International (Fla.) sits in the Top 25 for first time since a No. 21 ranking on April 15, 2003. The Warriors own a six-game winning streak and have won 11 of their last 12 games. The three other newcomers, No. 17 Corban (Ore.), No. 21 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 23 Central Methodist (Mo.) all were ranked at least one previous time this season.
Corban leaped all the way up to No. 17 in large part to a doubleheader sweep of defending national champion and then-No. 5 Oregon Tech on April 14. The Warriors are 25-9 on the year and own a six-game winning streak.
A cluster of four teams dropped out this week: SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (No. 15), Evangel (Mo.) (No. 20), College of Idaho (No. 21) and Campbellsville (Ky.) (No. 24).
Thirteen conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The Southern States Athletic Conference checks in with six ranked teams: No. 6 William Carey (Miss.), No. 9 Shorter (Ga.), No. 11 Lee (Tenn.), No. 14 Brenau (Ga.), No. 18 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 24 Mobile (Ala.). The Sooner Athletic Conference claims four Top 25 teams: Oklahoma City, Lubbock Christian, No. 16 St. Gregory's (Okla.) and No. 19 Southern Nazarene.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences /independent /unaffiliated groupings. The next poll will be released on April 24.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) There have been 36 different teams ranked in six polls this year... The Southern States Athletic Conference has claimed six programs in the Top 25 for all six polls (including preseason)... Concordia (Calif.) joins Lubbock Christian (Texas), Cal State San Marcos and Oregon Tech as the No. 1-ranked teams this year through six polls... Oregon Tech's No. 1 preseason ranking was nine spots higher than it had ever previously appeared in any poll and its first top 10 ranking since being slotted 10th on March 19, 2002 ... Concordia joins 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.) and Thomas (Ga.) as the only schools to appear at No. 1 ... 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, Mobile with five, Lubbock Christian with four and Concordia with three ... No. 24 Mobile leads all active programs with a 105-straight stretch of being ranked in the Top 25... No. 3 Oklahoma City is second and has appeared in 77-straight polls, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch; No. 5 Lubbock Christian and No. 6 William Carey (Miss.) are tied for third with 40-consecutive mentions, No. 10 Houston-Victoria (Texas) follows with 35-straight and Concordia is at 31-straight polls.
To view the entire poll, click here.
-Courtesy of the NAIA