The 2022 DII softball season is in the books. And it ends with a brand-new No. 1 in the last Power 10 rankings of the season.
Rogers State was simply sensational down the home stretch. The Hillcats stumbled just a bit as the regular season wrapped up, falling to both Central Oklahoma and Washburn in April, but never left the Power 10 rankings. They turned it on when it mattered most, losing just one game in the MIAA tournament, Central Region tournament, super regionals and finals combined. The Hillcats finish the season at No. 1.
ROGERS STATE'S RUN: Round-by-round recap of the 2022 DII softball championship
Before we get to the Power 10, here is your final reminder for the 2022 DII softball season. These are my rankings and mine alone. This is not a poll, there is no voting body—it is just my rankings. I try to blend what the NFCA coaches poll and regional rankings take into account and come up with a top-10 somewhere in between.
The final DII Softball Power 10 rankings for 2022
No. 1 Rogers State | Previous: 8
Like I said, the Hillcats got hot when it mattered most. They avenged those April losses, sweeping Washburn in the MIAA tournament and then sweeping Central Oklahoma in the super regionals. They then went on a tear in Denver, winning all five of their games by a total score of 38-13. That was in large part due to a huge finish from pitcher Andrea Morales, who pitched four complete games in the Hillcats five wins.
No. 2 UT Tyler | Previous 1
I know what you’re thinking: How is a team Cal State Dominguez Hills defeated ahead of the Toros? It’s a fair question, but the answer is simple: UT Tyler dominated for much of the season and its final two losses came to the national runners-up and the national champions. It’s the overall big picture that gets the Patriots to No. 2: they played a tough schedule; had a winning record by a large margin over winning teams; had the highest RPI in the South Central; and made it to the national semifinals. If you want to breakdown stats, UT Tyler was in the top 10 in plenty.
No. 3 Auburn Montgomery | Previous: 2
The Warhawks had a fantastic season. They piled up 49 wins, won the South and picked up a win in Denver before bowing out in a tightly contested loss to UT Tyler. The Warhawks handled their business and were arguably at their best against ranked opposition all season long. Kat Fallen had a record-setting season for AUM, setting the single-season mark in hits (70) and RBI (59).
No. 4 Cal State Dominguez Hills | Previous: NR
What a storybook finish by the Toros. They took two of three from nationally ranked Concordia (CA), then took two of three from Cal State San Marcos, a team that came in at No. 5 in the last Power 10 rankings. The Toros opened things up in Denver by stunning No. 1-seeded UT Tyler and then swept North Georgia in two thrillers in the semifinals. Not only was the first trip to the finals a run to the championship series, Raquel Jaime had a record-setting performance, recording 16 hits in Denver, while recording at least two hits in all six games.
No. 5 Southern Indiana | Previous: First five out
Entering the tournament, I had Grand Valley State ranked a tad bit higher than Southern Indiana. The Screaming Eagles lost the first game of regionals and then utterly dominated their way to the super regionals, where they swept the Lakers in two well-fought, one-run games. USI had a hard time getting it going once in Denver, but then again, had to face the national champs and the No. 1 seed in its first two games. However you look at it, the Screaming Eagles had to take down two Power 10 teams to reach Denver, and that’s enough for the high ranking.
No. 6 Central Oklahoma | Previous: 3
Here’s a pick that may confuse people, but let’s not forget: Both Rogers State and Central Oklahoma were Power 10 teams before the tournament. Central Oklahoma was actually ranked higher than the national champs entering the tournament and that’s because the Bronchos had a very good season. They took two of three from a former Power 10 team in Augustana (SD) to reach the supers where they ran into the national champs.
No. 7 North Georgia | Previous: NR
The Nighthawks were cruising in the postseason. First, they swept their way to the PBC title (because that’s what they do, now eight years in a row), then dominated their portion of the Southeast regional before taking down Lincoln Memorial in the supers. Once in Denver, North Georgia came out strong, taking its first two games before falling to the Toros. It was yet another remarkable deep run for one of the game's most consistent powers over the past decade.
No. 8 Valdosta State | Previous: First five out
Taking two of three from Tampa, a team in the Power 10 all season up to the tournament, certainly helped the Blazers sneak into the final rankings of the season. They even took down AUM 5-1 before dropping a pair of one-run heartbreakers and bowing out of the supers. This team was fun to watch at the plate with power galore and had a true ace in the circle in Samantha Richards, making it one of the best all season long.
No. 9 Augustana (SD) | Previous: 10
I know it’s wild that a team that didn’t even make the supers finished above two teams that reached Denver, but the Central Region was just stacked up top. This team hardly lost in the second half of the season, finishing on a 25-3 run before sweeping its way to the NSIC title. They happened to run into Central Oklahoma and took the Bronchos to the limit. While the end wasn’t what the Vikings wanted, the overall big picture of the entire season was a great one.
No. 10 Seton Hill | Previous: NR
I almost went with Grand Valley State and its remarkable record against winning teams, finishing the season 23-5 against teams with a plus-.500 record. I also considered Texas A&M-Kingsville here because of the incredible depth in the South Central and the Javelinas run to supers.
But the Griffins did what neither of those two teams did: Win the super regionals. And they didn’t simply win, they dominated No. 1 Kutztown in a sweep. Seton Hill then bumped Adelphi from the finals in a historic season. The Griffins didn’t play the toughest schedule in the championship field, but statistically, they had one of the best pitching staffs in the nation and made a deep run, which is good enough to springboard them into the top 10.
Also considered (in alphabetical order)
This spot is typically reserved for the first five out, but with this the final rankings of the season, there were more than five that deserved a mention.
- Angelo State
- Cal State San Marcos
- Concordia (CA)
- Grand Valley State
- Lubbock Christian
- Texas A&M-Kingsville