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Wayne Cavadi | | July 21, 2022

There is a new No. 1 in the DII softball Power 10 rankings

DII softball preview: What to look forward to in the 2022 season

There has been a shuffling in the upper echelon since the previous DII softball Power 10 rankings. That includes the top spot, now occupied Auburn Montgomery, a team that just took a series from fellow Power-10er Valdosta State.

Nearly every team has moved up or down the Power 10. It also should be noted that the top 20 teams are separated by fractions of points, making these rankings very tough to sort out.

RANKINGS: Previous Power 10 | First regional

Remember, these are my rankings and mine alone. This is not a poll, there is no voting body — it is just my rankings based on overall record, but also several of the same metrics the selection committee uses come tournament time: strength of schedule, record against ranked opponents and in-region wins to name just a few. There is plenty room for (welcomed) disagreement within these rankings.

The DII Softball Power 10 rankings (through April 20)

No. 1 Auburn Montgomery | Previous: 5

The Warhawks are the top team in the South Region, which is one of the toughest this year. Nova Southeastern is a 30-win team with one of the highest RPIs and strength of schedules in DII softball and aren’t even top 25. AUM is dominating ranked competition, having won four series against nationally ranked teams since March 11. This is such a balanced team on both sides of the plate: The Warhawks are hitting .303 as a team with a 2.85 ERA in the circle.

No. 2 UT Tyler | Previous No. 1

The Patriots remain atop the Lone Star Conference, which had four teams considered for these rankings. The offense continues to be sensational, now hitting .363 with a combined 1.024 OPS. Every player in the starting lineup is hitting north of .300. The Patriots most recently split against nationally ranked Angelo State, Lubbock Christian and Texas A&M-Kingsville IN A ROW. This team is tournament ready.

No. 3 Central Oklahoma | Previous: NR

The Bronchos shoot up the rankings and are the biggest jumpers of the week. Two commanding victories over Rogers State (previously No. 7 in the Power 10) helped boost the Bronchos up my rankings and to the top of the MIAA with a 17-1 conference record. Central Oklahoma sits atop the MIAA with a .342 batting average and .980 OPS while also scoring a conference-high 314 runs. It doesn’t get much easier to close it out: Nebraska-Kearney and Missouri Southern remain as does the home-run happy Pittsburg State Gorillas.

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No. 4 Cal State San Marcos | Previous: 8

As we discussed in the last Power 10 rankings, this was a team that was 7-12 when the 2020 season came to a halt and never resumed play last year. Now the Cougars are 34-6, sitting atop the West Region against one of the tougher schedules in DII softball with one of the highest RPIs in the nation. It’s crazier to think that half the losses came this past weekend in a series loss to Cal State Dominguez Hills. Paige Donnelly leads the offense, hitting .438 with 15 doubles and five home runs while Savannah Coyle and Jayline Sloss anchor one of the best rotations in DII.

No. 5 Tampa | Previous: 3

Remember these are power rankings and not a poll. The Spartans check off a lot of boxes that earn them this high ranking. Tampa has a bevy of signature wins against ranked teams, has one of the toughest schedules in DII softball with an opponents’ winning percentage north of .600, and one of the highest RPIs in the land. The Spartans continue to dominate in the circle as well. Mary Beth Feldman leads DII softball with a 0.53 ERA and Mariah Galhouse is fifth in DII with a 0.85 ERA.

No. 6 UIndy | Previous: First five out

The Greyhounds are the top team in the Midwest by a wide margin and jump into the Power 10. They just split a pair of 4-3 games against a very tough Southern Indiana team and are 13-1 in April, so they are getting hot at the right time. This is one of the best hitting teams in the nation, batting a combined .370 and combined .972 team OPS. Lexy Rees supplies the power with 10 home runs while Megan Nichols leads the team with a .423 batting average.

No. 7 Valdosta State | Previous: 4

The Blazers don’t necessarily slip because they got any worse, there are just some other teams playing out of their minds right now. Despite AUM climbing to No. 1, statistically, Valdosta State still leads the GSC in most hitting and pitching categories. The Blazers are tops in the conference with a .320 batting average, 63 home runs and 237 RBI while the pitching staff leads the way with a 2.44 ERA. This team is as strong as it gets, and the fact that they come in at No. 7 shows how deep the field is this season.

HISTORY: DII softball programs with the most titles

No. 8 (tie) Rogers State | Previous: No. 7

The Hillcats just slipped to Central Oklahoma, but this team has been in the top-10 all season and remains in the hunt. Currently 38-6, Rogers State is powered by Elexis Watson who has been one of the best hitters in DII softball for a couple of years. She’s hitting a team best .406 with a team-high 10 home runs. The team does a lot of damage in the circle, leading the MIAA by a substantial margin with a combined 1.52 ERA and 16 shutouts.

No. 8 (tie) Concordia University Irvine | Previous: 6

The Eagles have not had a friendly April, with all five of their losses coming this month, two of which were to Cal State San Marcos recently. Still, this is a 42-win team and very good at playing softball with wins against regionally ranked teams like Colorado Mesa and Chico State. For CUI, it starts in the circle with a DII-best 1.09 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP that is in the top 10 as well. Rylie Rohr swings the boom stick on offense with a team-high 11 home runs to go with 11 doubles.

No. 10 (tie) Augustana (SD) and Lubbock Christian | Previous: 10 and 9 respectively

This was a tough one. Augustana has a better RPI and strength of schedule than Minnesota State, and even split its series against its NSIC foe, but somehow came in below the Mavericks in the first regional rankings. That doesn’t matter here, however; with the higher metrics and more wins against DII opponents with a .500-plus winning percentage, Augie gets the nod.

Lubbock Christian and Texas A&M-Kingsville were neck and neck for this. LCU has the stronger RPI, but lesser SOS and both teams have 14 wins against winning DII opponents. The Chaps were previously ranked and get to hold their spot for now but should know the Javelinas are hot on their tail.

Just missed (in alphabetical order)

  • Anderson (SC)
  • Angelo State
  • Chico State
  • Kutztown
  • Minnesota State
  • Texas A&M-Kingsville

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