Spartanburg, S.C. – Having ended the regular season with a three-game rainout of its A-Sun series against Mercer, the USC Upstate softball team enters a week without competition during exams but armed with a No. 46 ranking in the latest RPI report issued by the NCAA. In addition, the Spartans are the top-ranked defense in all of Division I softball for the second consecutive week.
Upstate has been ranked in the Top 50 in all but one RPI ranking by the NCAA this year. The Spartans were ranked 51st in the first RPI issued by the NCAA on March 25 and rose to a season high and program-best 37th for two straight weeks in early April. Upstate comes in this week at No. 46, giving the Spartans five straight weeks being ranked in the Top 50 in the country.
In addition, Upstate remains the top-ranked school in the A-Sun. Florida Gulf Coast is the second highest A-Sun school in the RPI at No. 50 and is followed by Kennesaw State (No. 51), Lipscomb (No. 52), North Florida (No. 53), Jacksonville (No. 77) and Stetson (No. 86) in giving the A-Sun seven schools in the Top 100. In addition to the other six A-Sun schools in the Top 100, Upstate has played Florida (No. 3), Kentucky (No. 11), Georgia (No. 35) and Appalachian State (No. 87) in non-conference action against teams also ranked in the Top 100.
With a .982 fielding percentage, Upstate ranks as the nation's top defense for the second consecutive week. Ranking in the Top 5 for most of the season, the Spartans ascended to the top of the NCAA in defense last week and despite an error last week, maintained its position by .001 over UCLA. In all, Upstate ranks in the Top 20 in six different team categories, including 12th with a .804 winning percentage and 14th with a .333 batting average.