JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4Jax.com Top 5 high school softball teams weekly Power Poll will be published each Wednesday during the season. Records are through Feb. 26 games.
No., Team, Record, Class, Previous
1. Oakleaf (4-0), Class 8A, 1
Notable win: Fletcher, Middleburg.
Glance: An easy start for the Knights, who have put up a combined 45 runs and allowed just four in their perfect start. The've got First Coast on Friday and Fletcher on March 5 before what should be the next somewhat good challenge on the schedule iMarch 7 against Atlantic Coast. Then on March 12 is a Clay County matchup against Ridgeview, which is a cool story. Christina Thompson and her father, Rob, Oakleaf's coach and assistant, respectively, face a Panthers team led by first-year coach, Casey, who happens to be the youngest member of the Thompson family. Among the Knights three pitchers — ace Madisyn Davis, No. 2 Cambria Arturo and Madi McDaniel — check out these totals. They’ve combined to log 23 innings, given up four hits, two earned runs and whiffed 32. We haven’t even mentioned the big bats, of which there are plenty.
2. Trinity Christian (3-0), Class 4A, 2
Notable wins: Providence, Suwannee.
Glance: A very good start for the Conquerors, who dispatched Providence 4-0 on Tuesday night, as well as Suwannee (9-4) last week. Morgan McMillian threw a four-inning no-hitter against Interlachen. And Amaya Ross is hitting the daylights out of the ball, with homers in Trinity’s first three games. She’s got seven RBI this season. It’s early and hot starts often level off over a long season, but Trinity played for a crown last year and I’d be surprised if this lineup didn’t get the Conquerors right back in that title game.
3. Bartram Trail (3-0), Class 7A, 3
Notable win: Episcopal.
Glance: Katelyn Meyer’s single in the bottom of the eighth inning delivered a walk-off 4-3 win over the Maddie Latta-powered Episcopal on Tuesday night. Nicole Masanko and Cassidy McKee have kept opposing bats in check, scattering 11 hits, striking out 15 and allowing no earned runs thus far. Emma Morris is hitting .667 and Maegan O’Brien continues to be one of the area’s best at the plate (.600).
4. Clay (2-0), Class 6A, 4
Notable wins: Ponte Vedra, Union County.
Glance: Morgan Holder had an excellent game in the circle on Tuesday in a 1-0 district win over Ponte Vedra, whiffing 12 and scattering three hits across the way. I don’t think it’s out of line to say that the bulk of the top arms on the First Coast are based in Clay County this season. Big game on Friday for the Blue Devils against unbeaten Ridgeview, and another on March 5 against Baker County.
5. Mandarin (3-0), Class 9A, 5
Notable wins: Fletcher, Paxon.
Glance: Pitcher Ashley Wiebenga was as good as it gets in a 1-0 win over Paxon on Tuesday night, striking out 11 and allowing two hits to outduel Golden Eagles ace Ashley Connor. Anastasia Suhetskis fired a one-hitter last week in an 8-0 win over Orange Park. This lineup is experienced and very good.
6. Baker County (4-0), Class 5A, NR
Notable wins: Hilliard, Paxon.
Glance: This spot could go a few different ways, with consideration for Atlantic Coast, Creekside and Ridgeview here. But the Wildcats get the edge this week for No. 6 and have a big date with No. 2 Trinity on Thursday and West Nassau on Friday on the horizon. Pitcher Madison Lagle (11 IP, 24 Ks) one of three different pitchers with victories. Emily Griffin (.500), Caitlin Harvin (.375) and Mikayla Mulkey (.364) leading the bats.
Dropped out: Columbia.
Others: Atlantic Coast (3-1, 8A), Columbia (0-2, Class 7A), Creekside (3-1, Class 7A), Episcopal (1-1, Class 4A), Fleming Island (1-1, Class 8A), Keystone Heights (3-0, Class 5A), Ridgeview (2-0, Class 6A), St. Johns Country Day (1-0, Class 3A), University Christian (2-0, Class 3A), West Nassau (0-0, Class 5A).