KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Rio Grande softball team jumped 10 positions to No. 23 in the post-season release of the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25.
The RedStorm tallied 126 points in the final poll released Wednesday 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.
The RedStorm finished 36-16 after going 2-2 in the Lawrenceville, Ga. bracket of the NAIA Softball National Championship last month
Head coach Chris Hammond’s squad notched wins over then-No. 12 Truett-McConnell (Ga.) and No. 29 LSU-Alexandria, while falling twice to eventual national semifinalist and No. 8-ranked Georgia Gwinnett College. The host Grizzlies came from behind in each of their wins over the RedStorm.
Rio Grande, which made the biggest jump in the poll, was one of only two teams to enter the final Top 25. Corban (Ore.) was the other at No. 25.
National champion Southern Oregon topped the poll with 529 points and all 19 first-place votes in the balloting. The Raiders, who were fourth in the final regular season poll, finished with a record of 52-8.
National runner-up Oklahoma City moved up one spot and finished second with 512 points, while former No. 1 Science & Arts (Okla.) was third after tallying 495 points.
Georgia Gwinnett climbed four spots to finish No. 4 with 475 points, while Marian (Ind.) slipped from second to fifth place with 457 points.
The biggest drop belonged to Truett-McConnell, which slipped from 12th to 18th.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.