Oregon Tech Ranked 6th in NAIA Softball Poll
Jess Plummer (left) and Janelle Cromie (right) Lead the Oregon Tech Attack (Photo by Kelly Caleb)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oregon Tech, the defending national champion and preseason No. 1 pick, fell to the No. 6 spot with 469 total points in the 2nd
regular-season edition of the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday.
The Owls are off to a 20-4 start led by the power bats of Jess Plummer (eight home runs) and Janelle Cromie (five home runs). Oregon Tech is now 3-1 in CCC play and continues Cascade Conference action this week as the Lady Owls travel to Southern Oregon University Wednesday and host No. 20 College of Idaho Friday.
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Lubbock Christian (Texas) becomes the third different No. 1 team in as many polls this year, the national office announced Tuesday in the second regular-season edition of the NAIA Softball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. This top ranking is the first for the Lady Chaps since March 17, 2009 and fourth overall since 2000.
Lubbock Christian compiled 553 total points and 12 first-place votes to take over the top spot from second-ranked Cal State San Marcos. The Lady Chaps rolled out to a 24-0 record before a loss to Huntington (Ind.), 3-1, on March 15. With a 26-1 record overall and playing 25-of-27 of those games on the road, Lubbock Christian leads the NAIA in batting average (.446) and hits per game (13.4).
Cal State San Marcos, who fell one spot to second with 532 points, holds a 32-3 overall record. The Cougars had their 22-game winning streak snapped with a 4-2 loss to unranked St. Gregory's (Okla.) on March 22. Having won five of its last nine games by virtue of a shutout, Cal State San Marcos recorded five first-place nods.
No. 3 Concordia (Calif.) held its status from last week with 531 points and the remaining three first-place votes. The Eagles have the most wins in the NAIA with a 44-2 record. Concordia owns the nation's longest active win streak at 37 games. The last Eagles' loss came on Feb. 11 against Eastern Oregon, 2-1.
No. 4 Oklahoma City checked in with 515 total points. The Stars are scheduled to do battle with top-ranked Lubbock Christian on Thursday in Lubbock, Texas. Sliding up one spot is No. 5 Central Baptist (Ark.) with 478 points. This is the 11th-straight top-10 ranking for the Mustangs.
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.
Twelve conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The Southern States Athletic Conference boasts the most ranked clubs with six: No. 7 William Carey (Miss.), No. 8 Brenau (Ga.), No. 12 Shorter, No. 16 Lee (Tenn.), No. 18 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 24 Mobile (Ala.). The Sooner Athletic Conference claims five ranked teams: Lubbock Christian, Oklahoma City, St. Gregory's, No. 21 Oklahoma Christian and No. 25 Southern Nazarene (Okla.). Three other conferences and unaffiliated groups list multiple teams in the poll.
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