Rio Grande softball 33rd in final NAIA coaches’ poll

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Rio Grande softball team slipped to the equivalent of 33rd place in the latest release of the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25.

The RedStorm received 33 points in the latest poll released Tuesday by the national office.

The poll is the result of voting by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.

Rio Grande saw its overall record drop to 34-14 after suffering a pair of losses to Indiana University Southeast in the championship of the River States Conference Softball Championship last weekend.

The RedStorm will face No. 8 Georgia Gwinnett College in the Lawrenceville, Ga. bracket of the NAIA Softball National Championship next Monday at 2:30 p.m. The bracket also includes No. 12 Truett-McConnell (Ga.) and No. 29 LSU-Alexandria.

The top team in the poll remained unchanged, with Science & Arts (Okla.) piling up 526 points in the balloting with 15 of the 19 first-place votes. The Drovers currently sport a 52-1 record.

Marian (Ind.) University, at 48-0, remained No. 2. The Knights grabbed the final four first-place votes and tallied 513 points in the voting.

There were also no changes to the remainder of the top five, which includes Oklahoma City (492 pts.), Southern Oregon (471 pts.) and Lindsey Wilson (469 pts.).

No. 22 College of Idaho, No. 23 Bellevue (Neb.), No. 24 Morningside (Iowa), and No. 25 Brenau (Ga.) are the four newcomers to this week’s poll, while Corban (Ore.), Tennessee Wesleyan and Central Baptist (Ark.) were the schools which fell off the list.

Three schools leaped five positions in this week’s poll – Baker (Kan.) from 19th to 14th, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) from 21st to 16th and Columbia (Mo.) from 23rd to 18th.

The biggest drop belonged to Houston-Victoria (Texas), which slipped from 16th to 20th.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.