Rich Tortorelli, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
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 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 June 2 against Saint Xavier (Ill.) by a 5-0 score. Oklahoma City recorded a 67-3 mark last year, marking its fourth straight year with at least 50 wins.
The Stars begin their season Feb. 10 at the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas. Phil McSpadden has led OCU to a 1,545-364 record in 29 years to lead college softball in victories over four-year schools.
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. The first regular-season Top 25 will be announced Tuesday, March 21.
2017 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll
|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|
|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)