Spartanburg, S.C. – Heading into this week’s A-Sun Tournament, the USC Upstate softball team is ranked No. 40 in the latest RPI ranking released by the NCAA, while standout pitcher Lexi Shubert is ranked fourth in the nation with 30 wins.
Upstate has remained one of the top-tier teams in the NCAA RPI throughout the rankings this season. The RPI is one of the key tools used by the NCAA Selection Committee for at-large selections and seeding for the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans were an at-large selection last season after earning the A-Sun’s automatic berth by winning the A-Sun Tournament in 2013.
Upstate is the top A-Sun team in the latest RPI ranking. In all, the conference has four schools ranked in the Top 100 and seven of eight ranked in the Top 125 in the latest ranking. Following the Spartans in the ranking is Lipscomb (62), Kennesaw State (78), North Florida (79), Stetson (110), Jacksonville (115), Florida Gulf Coast (123) and Northern Kentucky (266). In addition to playing the three other A-Sun schools ranked in the Top 100, the Spartans have faced seven non-conference teams ranked in the Top 100 this season including No. 8 Florida State, No. 14 Georgia, No. 30 South Carolina, No. 31 NC State, No. 34 North Carolina, No. 73 Elon and No. 86 Furman.
Shubert’s No. 4 ranking in the nation for wins highlights a strong Spartan contingent in the national rankings again this week despite not playing since April 26 because of exams. She is also ranked 13th in the country with eight shutouts, 24th with a 1.56 ERA, 31st with 1.30 walks allowed per game and 37th with 5.02 hits allowed per game.
Shellie Robinson continues to be one of the top power hitters in the country. She ranks ninth with 0.44 home runs per game, 11th with 21 total home runs, 13th with 1.21 runs per game, 19th with a .890 slugging percentage and 28th with 1.17 RBIs per game. Kendall Settlemyre ranks 16th with 0.40 home runs per game, 30th with 17 total home runs and 32nd with a .854 slugging percentage. Hayley Reinfeld’s A-Sun-leading .432 batting average is ranked 58th in the country.
As a team, Upstate ranks in the Top 25 in 10 different statistical categories. The Spartans are third in the nation with 1.90 home runs per game and a .638 slugging percentage to highlight the rankings. They are also fifth with a .357 batting average, seventh with a .977 fielding percentage and ninth with 7.31 runs per game.