PFX Athletics is excited to host the NAIA Softball World Series again in 2018! The Pre-Season Polls were released this week! We will be welcoming a handful of these teams next month to Clermont for THE Spring Games!
By: Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications and Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ten-time and defending national champion Oklahoma City will begin the 2018 season with the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The Stars captured all 19 first-place votes and 529 total points.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000):
Ranked No. 1 for 15-consecutive polls, Oklahoma City holds the the longest streak by an NAIA program since former member Concordia (Calif.) went 18-consecutive weeks at No. 1 that spanned the 2013-14 seasons.
Last year, Oklahoma City won its second-straight national championship and NAIA-record 10th overall title on June 1. The Stars, who went 4-0 at the 2017 NAIA Softball World Series, defeated Corban (Ore.) by a 4-1 score to capture the title.
Oklahoma City finished the year with a 68-1 record, which established a new NAIA record. The Stars held the previous high of 67, set back in 2016. Oklahoma City started the year 47-0 prior to its only loss against NCAA Division II top-10 ranked West Texas A&M on April 18.
As a team, the Stars were No. 1 in the NAIA in several statistical categories: runs per game (7.7), total hits (730), total RBIs (474), total stolen bases (170), opponent batting average (.146), ERA (0.690) and fielding percentage (.974).
The rest of the top five includes No. 2 Columbia (Mo.), No. 3 Southern Oregon, No. 4 Marian (Ind.) and No. 5 Brenau (Ga.) tied with No. 5 Corban (Ore.).
Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 129-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch, which goes back to the start of the 2004 season. No. 8 (tie) William Carey (Miss.) is second with 92-consecutive mentions. Next in line for consecutive streaks is No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 53.
Former member California Baptist tops the charts of most all-time No. 1 mentions with 46. Oklahoma City is second all-time with 43, followed by former member Concordia (Calif.) with 24, former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) with 18 and Thomas (Ga.) with 13.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
Frequency of polls occur bi-weekly.
For the complete calendar of 2018 Top 25 Polls, click here.
2018 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll – Jan. 16, 2018
RANK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2017 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 Oklahoma City (19) 68-1 529
2 Columbia (Mo.) 48-7 506
3 Southern Oregon 46-15 484
4 Marian (Ind.) 47-8 465
T5 Brenau (Ga.) 52-7 456
T5 Corban (Ore.) 46-13 456
7 Georgia Gwinnett 50-9-1 395
T8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 39-13 379
T8 William Carey (Miss.) 43-11 379
10 Indiana Wesleyan 44-15 376
11 St. Francis (Ill.) 43-7 374
12 Campbellsville (Ky.) 38-15 285
13 Ottawa (Kan.) 40-19 281
14 Reinhardt (Ga.) 41-14-1 273
15 Morningside (Iowa) 40-12 268
16 Southeastern (Fla.) 43-17 259
17 Vanguard (Calif.) 46-15 246
18 Simpson (Calif.) 45-10 240
19 Mobile (Ala.) 42-20 238
20 LSU Alexandria (La.) 52-10 237
21 Grand View (Iowa) 42-15 202
22 Warner (Fla.) 29-15 165
23 Rio Grande (Ohio) 47-10 155
24 Houston-Victoria (Texas) 34-19 122
25 Science & Arts (Okla.) 40-18 120
Others Receiving Votes: Oregon Tech 108; Jamestown (N.D.) 107; Williams Baptist (Ark.) 103; Clarke (Iowa) 40; Taylor (Ind.) 36; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 29; Bellevue (Neb.) 23; Madonna (Mich.) 19; Thomas (Ga.) 12; Concordia (Neb.) 11; Georgetown (Ky.) 11; Tabor (Kan.) 9; Friends (Kan.) 3.
For the complete list of rankings per conference, click HERE!