Rio softball picked No. 23 in NAIA preseason poll


By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing



KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Rio Grande is ranked No. 23 in the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll, announced earlier this week by the national office.

The RedStorm, which finished 47-10 last season and came within one win of reaching the NAIA Softball World Series, garnered 155 points in the balloting of 19 head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.

Rio Grande has won the last two regular season conference championships and the last three conference tournament championships. Last week, head coach Chris Hammond’s club was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the River States Conference.

Ten-time and defending national champion Oklahoma City grabbed the the No. 1 ranking in the poll. The Stars captured all 19 first-place votes and 529 total points.

Last year, Oklahoma City finished 68-1 and won its second-straight national championship and NAIA-record 10th overall title.

The rest of the top five includes No. 2 Columbia (Mo.), No. 3 Southern Oregon and No. 4 Marian (Ind.), while Brenau (Ga.) and Corban (Ore.) are tied for fifth.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

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