JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4Jax.com Super Six high school softball rankings will be published each Wednesday during the season. Records for 2019 are not shown since not all teams have played yet.
No., Team, Class, Previous
1. Oakleaf, Class 8A, —
Glance: The Knights went 29-3 a season ago and lost in agonizing fashion — 1-0 to Oviedo Hagerty — in the Class 8A championship game to deny them back-to-back titles. But Oakleaf returns a strong senior class, led by ace pitcher Madisyn Davis. District 2-8A was quietly challenging, and Oakleaf will likely get tested, even if it’s late in the season, in district games from the likes of Atlantic Coast, Fleming Island and Fletcher. The Knights will be a presence in the national polls, too. Sky’s the limit for Oakleaf.
2. Trinity Christian, Class 4A, —
Glance: This team has sick potential and has state championship aspirations. The Conquerors lost very little from last year’s state runner-up and added some pop in its lineup. The Ross cousins, Alexis and Amaya, and extra-base machine MacKenzie Marell all return. Bailey Cooley is back in the pitcher’s circle.
3. Bartram Trail, Class 7A, —
Glance: A 25-3 run in 2018 was nothing new for the Bears, the preeminent program in St. Johns County. Bartram has made the state playoffs 17 of its 18 seasons since opening in 2000. Big graduation losses in the form of IFs Reedy Davenport and Savannah Parker, but Maegan O’Brien, Riley Condon and Olivia Creamer all return for Bartram. Expect District
4. Clay, Class 6A, —
Glance: At 17-13, the record in 2018 wasn’t overpowering, but the Blue Devils played beautifully down the stretch, winning three playoff games on the road behind timely hitting and the steady pitching of pitcher Morgan Crutcher. The good news for the Blue Devils? Last year’s team had just three seniors. Marianne McDonald (.373) is the top returning bat for Clay. Crutcher (13-10, 1.35 ERA, 141 Ks in 165.1 IP) should be one of the area’s top arms.
5. Mandarin, Class 9A, —
Glance: The Mustangs were 20-7 in 2018 and did that with just three seniors, albeit, two big ones in Morgan Gersten and Sara Stolp. Bri Arsenault (.392), Hallie Kern (.379), Soraya Hernandez (.377) and Kaylee Beauford (.364) return and power the lineup. Junior pitcher Ashley Wiebenga (15-7) has been logging innings in the circle since she was a freshman.
6. Columbia, Class 7A, —
Glance: At 21-5 last season with just one senior, the Tigers were ranked No. 25 in the state by MaxPreps. They lost to Bartram Trail in the playoff opener, but this team enters 2019 dangerous and experienced. Storey Giebeig, Morgan Hoyle, Whitney Lee and Lauren Hutcherson lead the Columbia lineup. Cris'Deona Beasley is back in the circle for the Tigers.
Others: Atlantic Coast (8A), Baker County (Class 5A), Creekside (Class 7A), Episcopal (Class 4A), Keystone Heights (Class 5A), Providence (Class 3A), Ridgeview (Class 6A), St. Johns Country Day (Class 3A), West Nassau (Class 5A).