The NCAA released its latest NCAA RPI and the USC Upstate softball team moved up in the ranking for the second straight week and is ranked No. 39 among all Division I teams. The Spartans were ranked 42nd in last week’s ranking.
Upstate is the top-ranked school in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State, which is in second place behind Upstate in the league standings, is next at No. 67 and is followed by Lipscomb (81), Stetson (84), North Florida (101), Jacksonville (110), Florida Gulf Coast (118) and Northern Kentucky (271) in the ranking. The conference has four of its eight teams ranked in the Top 100 and seven of eight in the Top 120. The RPI is a key tool in determining at-large selections and seeding for the NCAA Tournament.
Upstate has played or will play seven teams ranked in the Top 100 in this week’s RPI, including No. 6 Florida State, No. 19 Georgia, No. 33 South Carolina, No. 34 NC State, No. 37 North Carolina, No. 71 Elon and No. 82 Furman.
In addition to the RPI ranking, Upstate finds itself among the nation’s top statistical teams as well. The Spartans are ranked in the Top 10 in five different categories, coming in at No. 2 with 1.95 home runs per game and No. 3 with a .640 slugging percentage. Overall, Upstate ranks in the Top 25 in nine different categories, including ninth with a .352 batting average, 10th with a .977 fielding percentage and a .829 winning percentage, 13th with 7.37 runs per game, 14th with 1.71 doubles per game, 24th with a .423 on-base percentage and 25th with a 2.30 ERA.
Individually, Shellie Robinson and Lexi Shubert continue to lead the way for the Spartans in the rankings. Robinson ranks third in the country with 19 home runs and sixth with 0.46 home runs per game. She is also seventh with 1.29 runs per game, 20th with a .907 slugging percentage, 26th with 49 RBIs, and 34th with 1.20 RBIs per game. Shubert ranks fourth in the country with 24 wins, seventh with seven shutouts, 21st with 1.20 walks allowed per game, 25th with a 1.51 ERA and 48th with 5.02 hits allowed per game.
In addition to Robinson and Shubert, Kendall Settlemyre ranks 13th in the country with 0.43 home runs per game, 25th with 15 home runs and 27th with a .865 slugging percentage, while Cheyenne Griffin is 47th with 12 home runs. Aly Schneider is the 43rd toughest player to strikeout in all of the NCAA.