know the NAIA teams coming to Clermont, Florida this May for the NAIA World Series! This article from the NAIA gives you a sneak peak at who is likely to be making the trip to Central Florida for the upcoming college softball National Championship. Keep an eye on this page for more information as the season progresses!
2017 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll
By: Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications and Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Defending national champion Oklahoma City will begin the 2017 campaign in the same position it ended last year – at No. 1. The Stars hold the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office. The top billing is the eighth-straight overall for Oklahoma City dating back to the middle of the 2016 season. The first regular-season Top 25 will be announced Tuesday, March 21.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000):
• The unanimous pick with all 19 first-place votes, Oklahoma City landed 529 total points. The Stars have been ranked No. 1 in 16 of the previous 20 polls dating back to the 2015 first regular-season edition.
• The Stars capped their 2016 season by winning their ninth overall national championship on June 2 against Saint Xavier (Ill.) by a 5-0 score.
• Oklahoma City recorded a 67-3 mark last year, marking the fourth-straight year with at least 50 wins.
• The Stars begin their season Feb. 10 at the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas.
• Second-ranked and national runner-up Saint Xavier gathered 529 points. The Cougars competed in their first-ever NAIA Softball World Series title game last year.
• No. 3 Southeastern (Fla.) and No. 4 St. Gregory’s (Okla.) both moved up one spot from the 2016 postseason edition.
• No. 5 Williams Baptist (Ark.) rounds out the top five. The Eagles hold their highest ranking since the 2014 Preseason Top 25 edition when they were fourth.
• No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) enjoys the most positive movement within the ranking with a four-spot hike.
• Two newcomers – No. 17 Grand View (Iowa) and No. 25 San Diego Christian (Calif.) – check in to the Top 25. Both clubs were ranked multiple times during the 2016 season.
• Eighteen of the 19 conferences are represented in the poll. Seven leagues send the most representatives with two apiece.
• Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 122-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch, which goes back to the start of the 2004 season. William Carey (Miss.) is second with 85-consecutive mentions. Next in line for consecutive streaks is St. Gregory’s (Okla.) at 49-straight and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 46.
• Former member California Baptist tops the charts of most all-time No. 1 mentions with 46. Oklahoma City is second all-time with 36, followed by former member Concordia (Calif.) with 24, former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) with 18 and Thomas (Ga.) with 13.
• In 10 polls last year, there were 41 different ranked teams.
• 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. This policy was approved by the National Administrative Council (NAC) for the 2016-17 academic season. This change will allow raters the opportunity to consider a larger body of work in between rating periods.
• For the complete calendar of 2016 Top 25 Polls, click here.
2017 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll – Jan. 17
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2016 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (19)||67-3||529|
|2||2||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||46-8-1||504|
|4||5||St. Gregory’s (Okla.)||48-7||474|
|5||7||Williams Baptist (Ark.)||40-21||454|
|8||12||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||47-14||396|
|10||12||William Carey (Miss.)||38-17||365|
|11||11||Webber International (Fla.)||31-16||359|
|14||14||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||47-17||301|
|17||RV||Grand View (Iowa)||43-11||248|
|20||19||Central Methodist (Mo.)||43-18||202|
|21||20||Dickinson State (N.D.)||46-12||197|
|24||25||Rio Grande (Ohio)||41-9||103|
|25||NR||San Diego Christian (Calif.)||34-17||102|
Dropped from rankings: No. 3 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.); No. 24 Arizona Christian.
Others Receiving Votes: Indiana Wesleyan 88; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 81; Southern Oregon 63; Science & Arts (Okla.) 47; Arizona Christian 46; Oklahoma Wesleyan 29; Brenau (Ga.) 18; Valley City State (N.D.) 15; USC Beaufort (S.C.) 13; Doane (Neb.) 9; Huntington (Ind.) 9; St. Francis (Ill.) 4; Evangel (Mo.) 3; Georgetown (Ky.) 3; Madonna (Mich.) 3.
^ Ranking from 2016 Postseason Top 25 Poll (June 7, 2016)