The No. 4 Southeastern softball team has debuted at No. 2 in the Central region rankings in their initial release on Wednesday afternoon.
The first regional poll of the season bucked the standard set by the national poll by moving the 36-7 Savage Storm to the No. 2 spot, instead opting to elevate Fort Hays State into the top spot despite their No. 18 ranking at 35-7 on the year.
SE is in the midst of a nine-game winning streak, its longest of the year, and the squad has won 17 of its last 20 contests.
The Storm leads the Great American Conference with a 21-3 record and four games to play in a situation where two wins or two East Central losses would seal up the regular season championship.
Southeastern is the lone GAC representative in the Central region poll which ranks the top 10 teams in the region which is comprised of the GAC, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
The regional ranking is entirely independent of the NFCA national poll and is instead selected by a committee of coaches and administrators from schools within each region.
Minnesota State-Mankato checks in at No. 3, followed by Central Oklahoma at No. 4 and Winona State at No. 5.
The bottom half of the top 10 starts with Augustana at No. 6 and is followed by Minot State, Missouri Western State, Emporia State and Truman State.
SE is 4-1 against teams in the regional poll including wins over Augustana, Missouri Western State and Emporia State.
Traditionally, the top two teams in the final regional ranking, provided they submitted suitable bids, host a four-team double elimination tournament with the winners of those regionals meeting for a best-of-three series with a trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship tournament on the line.