News4Jax Softball Super 6: Oakleaf wire-to-wire No. 1; Bartram moves up

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4Jax.com Super 6 high school softball weekly rankings will be published each Wednesday during the season. This is the final Super 6 of the season. Records are through April 24 games. 

No., Team, Record, Class, Previous

1. Oakleaf (19-4), Class 8A, 1

Notable wins: Atlantic Coast, Baker County, Bartow, Clay, Cooper City, Fleming Island, Fletcher (twice), Gainesville (twice), Lake Region, Mandarin, Middleburg, Ridgeview, St. Thomas Aquinas, Trinity Christian, West Nassau. 

Glance: The Knights became just the second team to win the Kissimmee Klassic three consecutive seasons when they topped Bartow 6-1 in the weather-delayed event on April 17. Madisyn Davis took MVP honors in that one, which marks 12 straight Klassic wins. Impressive. Following that, and we don’t say it often, the Knights had a challenging week, dropping back-to-back games for the first time since 2017. The Knights fell 8-3 to Class 1A monster Trenton, and took a 2-0 loss to Ridgeview and the stellar arm of Brittany Michael. Trenton is 20-0 and has taken down the likes of Columbia and Gainesville this season, so I don’t think that’s a bad loss, even if you compare classifications (8A to 1A). Oakleaf’s defeat to Ridgeview was its first loss to a program from Clay County since March 31, 2015 (3-1 to Orange Park). The Knights edged Baker County 2-1 on Tuesday night to break their mini slide. They’ve been wire-to-wire in the Super 6 all season. Not cause for concern or a reason to move the Knights down. This schedule has been brutal. 

2.  Mandarin (21-1), Class 9A, 2

Notable wins: Atlantic Coast, Baldwin, Bartram Trail, Episcopal, First Coast, Fletcher, Marshall County, Paxon, Ridgeview, Sandalwood (twice).

Glance: The Mustangs won their sixth Gateway Conference title since 2010 last week with a 5-1 win over First Coast. They close the regular season with games against Bolles and a red-hot No. 3 Creekside on Thursday and Friday, respectively. They’ve won nine straight since their lone loss of the season, 4-3 in eight innings to No. 1 Oakleaf. Soraya Hernandez (.426) and Hallie Kern (.420) should finish the season hitting over .400. Kern leads the team in both RBI (26) and home runs (three).

3. Creekside (18-3), Class 7A, 3

Notable wins: George Jenkins, LaBelle, Marshall County, Nease, Ponte Vedra, Providence, Trinity Christian, Westminster Christian.

Glance: All they do is win. The Knights remained the area’s hottest team after stretching their winning streak to 13 games. Mallorie Sykes belted a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth on April 18 for a 10-9 win. And they pounded a quality Middleburg team 16-1 on Tuesday night. As I mentioned before when Creekside beat Nease 26-2, the Broncos, like Nease, aren’t a team that is beaten like that. Middleburg hadn’t lost by 10 runs this season.  So I go back to what I said when the Knights beat the Panthers by 24 — Creekside is playing that strong right now. This was a team that was 5-3 after a 2-0 loss to Bartram Trail on March 14. They haven’t lost since. 

4. Bartram Trail (19-4), Class 7A, 5

Notable wins: Creekside, Episcopal, First Coast, Fleming Island, Middleburg (twice), Nease, Providence, Sandalwood, Yulee

Glance: The Bears surged back from a three-game slump to win the St. Johns River Athletic Conference title, beating Fleming Island 10-0 in the championship. They also atoned for a loss to Yulee with an 11-0 win over the Hornets. They close with Clay and Orange Park, and will open the District 4-7A tournament from the top seed spot. Expect a Bartram-Creekside district final. Maegan O’Brien (.592), Haley Provencal (.488) and Emma Morris (.478) lead the Bears at the plate. Nicole Masanko is 17-3 with a 1.24 ERA. 

5. Baker County (17-6), Class 6A, 4

Notable wins: Atlantic Coast, Bradford, Clay, Fleming Island, Hilliard (twice), Marshall County (Ken.), Montverde, Paxon, Trinity Christian, West Nassau.

Glance: The Wildcats had a tight game against No. 1 Oakleaf on Tuesday night, falling in a 2-1 battle. Mikayla Mulkey is tops on the team at the plate (.392), while freshman Madison Lagle has been one of the top underclassmen arms in the area (8-3, 1.47 ERA, 144 Ks in 81 IP). 

6. Trinity Christian (15-6), Class 4A, 6

Notable wins: Baldwin, Clay, Ponte Vedra, Providence, Suwannee (twice), West Nassau (twice).

Glance: The Conquerors had a solid stretch, beating a former ranked Super 6 team in West Nassau (7-5), an 18-6 Belleview (6-2) and a 13-8 Ocala Forest (4-0) over the last week. A very challenging District 2-4A tournament is up ahead, with Trinity, Episcopal, Providence and Baldwin all very much in the conversation as potential playoff contenders.

Others: Atlantic Coast (11-7, Class 8A), Baldwin (10-9, Class 4A), Bradford (14-9, Class 5A), Clay (14-9, Class 6A), Columbia (15-6, Class 7A), Episcopal (9-5, Class 4A), Fleming Island (11-7, Class 8A), Hilliard (11-8, Class 1A), Keystone Heights (16-8, Class 5A), Ponte Vedra (12-10, Class 6A), Providence (12-8, Class 4A), Ridgeview (16-8, Class 6A), St. Johns Country Day (11-5, Class 3A), University Christian (14-2, Class 3A), West Nassau (13-10, Class 5A), Yulee (11-10, Class 5A).

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