ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Attitude and effort are the foundation of the Oakleaf High School softball program. They’ve outscored opponents 136-12 this season and recently there were ranked the No.1 softball team in the country.
We’re excited as a team and we worked really hard to get here,” said Oakleaf pitcher Kelsey Sweatt. “Coach [Christina] Thompson harps on us to take things one game at a time.”
The Lady Knights started the season ranked No. 76 but made the jump to No. 1 after beating a top 20 ranked team from Gainesville.
“It’s one of those things that the kids are going to take with them forever,” said Oakleaf head coach Christina Thompson. “They can tell people from here on out that at one point in their life they were No. 1 in the nation and not many athletic teams get to say that.”
Building a program from scratch usually takes time. That hasn’t been the case at Oakleaf. The Lady Knights are essentially an overnight success. They’ve made the playoffs every year since the program started in 2011, but their mindset is that yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.
“Hitting a homerun is great and we’re really proud of our teammates when they do,” said middle infielder Alex Acevedo. “It doesn’t matter if it happened yesterday or even a weak ago or even the at bat before. What happens and what matters is now.”
Oakleaf has already wrapped up the top seed in its District, but they’re not focused on winning a state title just yet. To them if that things one game at a time, the rest will take care of itself.