Oregon Tech Ranked 5th in NAIA Softball Poll
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oregon Tech, the defending national champion and preseason No. 1 pick, managed to garner three first-place nods, but fell to the No. 5 spot with 496 total points in the first regular-season edition of the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday.
The Owls are off to a 17-3 start led by the power bats of Jess Plummer (six home runs) and Janelle Cromie (four home runs). Oregon Tech opens Cascade Conference action this weekend versus No. 16 ranked Corban University. College of Idaho, the only other CCC school in the top-25, came in 22nd after receiving votes in the Preaseason NAIA Coaches Poll.
Powered by 19-straight victories, Cal State San Marcos has vaulted to the top spot, climbing one spot from their preseason position, garnering 11 of 20 first-place votes and 545 total points. Cal State San Marcos, which owns a record of 28-2, is making its first-ever appearance at No. 1.
The Cougars rank in the top eight in the nation in both ERA (1.04) and total runs scored (201), among other significant statistical categories.
No. 2 Lubbock Christian (Texas) and No. 3 Concordia (Calif.) also gathered three first-place votes apiece as both advanced five positions in the poll. Lubbock Christian earned 532 points, while Concordia received 509. Checking in at No. 4 is Oklahoma City with 506 points.
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. Cal State San Marcos joins former NAIA member California Baptist, Lubbock Christian (Texas), 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.
Thirteen conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The Southern States Athletic Conference boasts the most ranked clubs with six: William Carey, No. 10 Brenau (Ga.), No. 12 Shorter, Lee, No. 19 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 23 Mobile (Ala.). The Sooner Athletic Conference claims four ranked teams: Lubbock Christian, Oklahoma City, Southern Nazarene and No. 21 Oklahoma Christian.
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 3.
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