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Auburn Montgomery No. 1 in 2014 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fresh off its first NAIA Softball World Series championship, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) holds the No. 1 ranking in the 2014 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday.
The Warhawks, who began varsity softball in 2009, also boast their first-ever No. 1 position and become the 12th different program since 2000 to hold the top ranking. Auburn Montgomery knocked off former No. 1 Concordia (Calif.), who had previously held the spot for 18-straight polls.
Auburn Montgomery, who received all 20 first-place votes and 560 points, held off fellow Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) member and No. 2-ranked William Carey (Miss.) by a 10-6 score on May 29 in the 34th-annual NAIA Softball World Series championship in Columbus, Ga. The Warhawks came through the winner’s bracket and were 3-0 in the World Series prior to a loss to William Carey in the first championship game. Later that day, Auburn Montgomery (44-7) won the deciding game to hoist the banner. The 10-runs scored in the championship tilt was the most since 1997. Junior pitcher Cassie Daniels was named the World Series Most Valuable Player and tossed 27.1 innings in five appearances holding a 1.54 ERA with 27 strikeouts.
Reaching its highest spot of the year, William Carey checks in with 542 total points. The Crusaders competed in their first-ever title game on May 29. William Carey ends the year with a 52-12 overall record. Three players were selected to the All-World Series Team, which tied Auburn Montgomery for the most players recognized.
With 521 points, No. 3 Reinhardt (Ga.) advanced to the third-place game of the World Series. The Eagles (46-10) placed two players, CJ Browder and Randi Wimpi, on the All-World Series Team.
No. 4 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) tallied 488 total points after the Blue Raiders won two games at the World Series. The No. 4 ranking gives Lindsey Wilson (50-11) nine-straight top 10 mentions.
No. 5 St. Gregory’s (Okla.) rounds out the top five with 465 points. The Cavaliers (51-12) won their own National Championship Opening Round bracket on May 14 before taking one victory at the World Series.
Newcomers No. 7 College of Idaho and No. 25 IU Southeast (Ind.) are highlighted in this edition. The Coyotes went 2-2 at the World Series and finished the year with a 35-18 mark. IU Southeast earns its first ranking of the year and first since the Grenadiers held a No. 25 spot on May 7, 2013.
Concordia (Ore.) (No. 23) and Kansas Wesleyan (No. 25) both dropped out since the final regular season poll on May 6.
Fourteen of 21 conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented this poll. The SSAC places the most teams among the Top 25 with five: Auburn Montgomery, William Carey, No. 12 Spring Hill, No. 17 Belhaven (Miss.) and No. 23 Brenau (Ga.). Both the A.I.I. and the Sooner Athletic Conference claim a trio of ranked programs.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences /independent/unaffiliated groupings.
For the complete calendar of 2014 Top 25 Polls, click here.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) No. 25 IU Southeast (Ind.) became the 36th different team to be ranked this season -- of those 36 teams, 16 of them have been ranked in every poll...Auburn Montgomery joins Concordia (Calif.) as the teams to be ranked No. 1 this season...Prior to the postseason edition, the 18-straight No. 1 rankings for Concordia was the longest stretch for any program since former member California Baptist rattled through 24-consecutive polls from 2009-11…The drop to No. 10 for Concordia is the lowest position since May 10, 2011 when the Eagles were No. 12…No. 8 Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 101-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch, which dates back to start of 2004 season; No. 2 William Carey (Miss.) is second with 64-consecutive mentions and Concordia is right behind at 55-straight polls… Since 2000, 12 teams have topped the poll with former member California Baptist leading the way with 46 all-time No. 1 appearances, followed by Concordia with 24, Oklahoma City with 20, former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) with 18, Thomas (Ga.) with 13, Mobile (Ala.) with five, former member Lubbock Christian (Texas) with four, Cal State San Marcos with two and Oklahoma Baptist with two – Auburn Montgomery, Oregon Tech and former member Shorter (Ga.) each have one.
***courtesy of Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communication & Sports Information
2014 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll – June 4
Others Receiving Votes: Concordia (Ore.) 88; Kansas Wesleyan 68; Bellevue (Neb.) 55; Bryan (Tenn.) 47; Taylor (Ind.) 38; William Penn (Iowa) 33; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 32; Columbia (Mo.) 32; Georgetown (Ky.) 22; Georgia Gwinnett 16; Dickinson State (N.D.) 13; Morningside (Iowa) 7; Mobile (Ala.) 5; Cornerstone (Mich.) 3.