Spartanburg, S.C. – Off to a 23-3 start to the season and increasing the level of its non-conference competition, the USC Upstate softball team has achieved its highest RPI ranking ever after the NCAA released its first RPI of the season, coming in at No. 51 in the ranking.
Upstate's ranking of No. 51 in the RPI is six spots higher than the previous high ranking of No. 57 achieved in mid-April of the 2008 season when the Spartans made a run to a share of the regular season A-Sun championship in their first season playing on the Division I level. Upstate has never been ranked out of the Top 100 and has finished the first five seasons playing Division I softball ranked 76th (2008), 83rd (2009), 72nd (2010), 95th (2011) and 82nd (2012) in the final RPI ranking each year.
Upstate is among a strong contingent of A-Sun schools listed in the RPI ranking. In all, six of the 10 A-Sun schools are in the Top 100. Kennesaw State is the highest ranked conference school at No. 36 and is followed by Upstate (51st), Florida Gulf Coast (53rd), Jacksonville (57th), Lipscomb (70th) and North Florida (73rd) among A-Sun schools ranked in the Top 100.
In addition to the RPI ranking, Upstate continues to be among the nation's leaders in several team and individual statistical categories in the latest stat rankings released by the NCAA. As a team, the Spartans rank in the Top 10 in five different categories, including fourth with a .360 batting average, sixth with a .979 fielding percentage and seventh with 7.23 runs scored per game and a .885 winning percentage.
Individually, Shellie Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) ranks ninth in the nation with 1.19 runs per game, 15th with 0.42 doubles per outing and 20th with 1.23 RBIs per contest. Maddison Kieffer (Middleburg, Fla.) is 12th with three sacrifice flies and 25th with a .456 batting average. Pitcher Jamie Ujvari (Niceville, Fla.) is 12th with 3.68 hits allowed per game and 26th with 8.9 strikeouts per contest.