News4Jax softball Super 6: Clay County teams moving up in rankings

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school softball season is in full swing and so are our News4Jax Super 6 rankings. They will be published every Wednesday during the regular season. Records are through March 2 games.

Softball Super 6 rankings

Rank, (previous) school, record, classification

1. (1) Oakleaf (2-0, Class 7A)

Notable wins: Creekside, Ridgeview.

Glance: The Knights had just one game since our last Super 6, a county showdown with Middleburg that went into nine innings tied at 1-all before the lights went out. The lights on the field literally went out. P Madi McDaniel leads the team at the plate early, going 3 for 5. She’s also 1-0 with a 1.75 ERA and 12 Ks in 12 IP. They’ve got Atlantic Coast up next on Friday. While they Stingrays are off to a slow start, these teams have treated area softball fans to quite the rivalry in recent years.

2. (3) Ridgeview (4-1, Class 4A)

Notable win: Bartram Trail, Fletcher, West Nassau.

Glance: Solid week of work for the Panthers, who beat Fletcher (9-5), previous No. 2 West Nassau (4-3) and drubbed previous No. 4 Bartram Trail (9-0). No doubt the best body of work among area teams. The win over West Nassau was classic, a three-run rally in the top of the seventh. P Brittany Michael remains the team’s best all-around player (4-1, 30.2 IP, 52 Ks, 0.68 ERA), but this team is much deeper than that. Ridgeview has the potential to the be the best team in a very deep Clay County lineup this year.

3. (2) West Nassau (1-1, Class 3A)

Notable wins: None.

Glance: The Warriors suffered their first loss since May 14, 2019 with last week’s 4-3 defeat to Ridgeview. Not a whole lot of room for concerns for West Nassau. They’ve got two good ones left this week with a trip to No. 6 Episcopal, and a home game against Keystone Heights.

4. (5) Trinity Christian (3-0, Class 2A)

Notable win: Providence.

Glance: The Conquerors played just once since our last Super 6, a 15-0 romp over St. Johns Country Day. Trinity won’t start hitting the meat of its schedule until next week when it faces Bartram Trail (Tuesday) and Bradenton Lakewood Ranch (March 13).

5. (NR) Middleburg (2-0, Class 5A)

Notable win: Gainesville.

Glance: The Broncos move in to the Super 6 on the strength of two very impressive outings since our last ranking. I mentioned one at the top in the Broncos’ game against Oakleaf, which ended 1-all in nine innings with that game set to resume at a later date. And how about a 2-1 win over perennial playoff program Gainesville on March 25. P Mallory Forrester whiffed 17 in the win over the Purple Hurricanes and 16 more in the incomplete game against Oakleaf. What a week. They’ve got a Super 6 battle against the big bats of Episcopal on Thursday.

6. (6) Episcopal (2-0, Class 3A)

Notable win: Fleming Island.

Glance: Two games and a combined 17-1 number on opponents Atlantic Coast and Fleming Island. Solid start for the Eagles, who get their first big tests of the season this week. No. 3 West Nassau, No. 5 Middleburg (Thursday), and then Apopka and Lake Brantley on Saturday. C Peyton Namyslowski and P Maddie Latta lead the team in batting at .571. SS Kami Eppley and 2B Blair Baldwin are next at .429.

Dropped out: Bartram Trail (3-1, Class 7A).

Others: Baker County (3-0, Class 4A); Baldwin (5-0, Class 3A); Bartram Trail (3-1, Class 7A); Clay (3-0, Class 4A); Creekside (2-2, Class 6A); Fletcher (3-2, Class 6A); First Coast (3-0, Class 6A); Keystone Heights (2-1, Class 3A); Mandarin (2-1, Class 7A); Paxon (3-1, Class 4A); Providence (0-2, Class 3A), Union County (4-1, Class 1A).

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.