HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay
1. Newsome (9-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Wharton; Thursday vs. Alonso
Scoop: The Wolves have an explosive offense, scoring 95 runs in the first nine games to remain undefeated. But they also have outstanding pitching. That was on display last week. Claire Feldman pitched a perfect game against Palm Harbor University, striking out 18 of the 21 batters she faced. Newsome’s other ace, Cassidy Davis, threw a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts in the rematch with the Hurricanes. In all, the Wolves have allowed just seven runs this season.
2. Chamberlain (7-0)
This week: Tuesday at Leto; Thursday vs. King
Scoop: The Chiefs remained undefeated by beating Gaither 2-1 to take over sole possession of first place in Class 7A, District 8. Maddie Lewis had two of Chamberlain’s five hits against the Cowboys, including the winning, two-run single in the sixth inning. Gabby Vallee, a transfer from Gaither, went the distance, striking out eight.
3. Land O’Lakes (9-1-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Pasco; Wednesday vs. Academy at the Lakes; Thursday at Anclote
Scoop: The Gators have not lost since dropping the season opener in extra innings to rival Springstead. Last week, Land O’Lakes won all three games by a combined 25-4, including an 8-1 victory over Class 6A, District 7 rival River Ridge and a 7-3 win over previously undefeated Nature Coast. Shannon Saile is 7-1 with a 0.82 ERA and 95 strikeouts.
4. Nature Coast (10-1)
This week: Tuesday at Gulf; Friday at Fivay
Scoop: The.Sharks fell from the unbeaten ranks with a 7-3 loss to Land O’Lakes. It was the only time Nature Coast had failed to reach double digits in runs in its past five games. Cerina Brooks and Abbey Primavera are each hitting .467 with 14 RBIs.
5. Springstead (8-1)
This week: Tuesday at Citrus; Thursday at Hernando
Scoop: Since losing to rival Nature Coast three weeks ago, the Eagles have won four straight by a combined 36-3. Paige Pfent is hitting .533 with five home runs and 22 RBIs. Teammate Abby Oliver is putting up good numbers, too, with a .552 average to go along with three homers and 10 RBIs.
6. Seminole (5-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. East Lake; Thursday at St. Petersburg; Friday at Clearwater
Scoop: The Warhawks’ pitching depth is a big reason they are one of three area teams still undefeated. Jordan Day (0.86 ERA) and Savannah Farkas (0.62 ERA) give Seminole a pair of aces. On Tuesday, the Warhawks have a key game against Class 8A, District 7 rival East Lake.
7. Sickles (7-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Freedom; Thursday at Steinbrenner
Scoop: After scoring just six runs in a three-game span, including one in a loss to Newsome, the Gryphons exploded for a season-high 11 against Hillsborough. Leadoff hitter Morgan Noah is hitting .483 with three triples and six RBIs. This is a tough week with games against Freedom and a rematch against Steinbrenner for first place in Class 8A, District 5.
8. Gaither (6-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Hillsborough; Thursday at Plant
Scoop: The loss to Chamberlain dropped the Cowboys out of first place in Class 7A, District 8. Four of the five runs Gaither has allowed have come in its two losses. Elizabeth Mason has been a terror on the basepaths with 18 stolen bases, third-best in the nation.
9. Durant (6-1)
This week: Tuesday at Plant City; Thursday vs. Riverview; Friday vs. Lafayette (at Raider Invitational); Friday vs. Alachua Santa Fe (at Raider Invitational); Saturday vs. Gainesville Bucholz (at Raider Invitational)
Scoop: The Cougars have won three straight, beating Bloomingdale, East Bay and Armwood by a combined 13-3. The lineup packs a punch with four players who already have hit two homers. This week is challenging with a game against Class 8A, District 6 rival Plant City, followed by a series of games this weekend in the Raider Invitational.
10. Plant City (8-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Durant; Thursday vs. Lennard
Scoop: The offense continues to put up big numbers, outscoring Bloomingdale and East Bay 15-1 last week to extend the Raiders’ win streak to five. Plant City has five players who are hitting .424 or better. On Tuesday, the Raiders can avenge their only loss of the season with a rematch against Class 8A, District 6 rival Durant.
11. Steinbrenner (7-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Alonso; Thursday vs. Sickles; Friday vs. Blake
Scoop: After dropping two straight the previous week, the Warriors bounced back with impressive victories over Freedom and Plant. The win against the Panthers moved Steinbrenner into first place in Class 8A, District 5. Another tough district game comes Thursday against Sickles.
12. Countryside (7-1)
This week: Tuesday at Palm Harbor University; Thursday vs. East Lake
Scoop: Since losing 1-0 to Seminole in 11 innings two weeks ago, the Cougars have won three straight, outscoring Pinellas Park, Largo and Lake Brantley 27-1. Countryside has allowed just six runs all season. Stella Preston is 4-1 with a 0.79 ERA.
13. Academy of the Holy Names (8-2)
This week: Monday vs. Tampa Prep; Wednesday vs. Brooks DeBartolo; Friday vs. Bradenton Bayshore
Scoop: The Jaguars have turned things around in their annual series against rival Tampa Catholic. Since lost two straight to the Crusaders last season, Holy Names has won three straight in this grudge match, including last week to move into sole possession of first place in Class 4A, District 4. Haley Morrell has five home runs and 17 RBIs.
14. Plant (4-3)
This week: Tuesday at Strawberry Crest; Thursday vs. Gaither
Scoop: After starting 3-0, the Panthers have dropped three of their past four. Pitching and defense has been stellar. It is the offense that has been struggling with only nine runs combined in the past four games.
15. Tampa Catholic (7-2-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Tampa Prep; Wednesday vs. CC Catholic; Friday at Berkeley Prep
Scoop: The undefeated start came to an end with two straight losses to close out last week. The most disheartening one was against rival Holy Names that dropped the Crusaders out of first place in Class 4A, District 4. Tampa Catholic gave up nine runs against the Jaguars, the most it has allowed this season.
16. River Ridge (6-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Anclote; Thursday at Zephyrhills
Scoop: It has been a rough two weeks for the Royal Knights, who have lost three of five. The recent funk has dropped River Ridge into second place in Class 6A, District 7, two games behind Land O’Lakes. In the last three games, the Royal Knights have given up a combined 27 runs.
17. Alonso (6-3)
This week: Tuesday at Steinbrenner; Thursday at Newsome
Scoop: A two-game losing streak was followed by three straight wins over Palm Harbor University, Leto and Robinson to get back on track. Caila Wiseman is hitting .414 with 10 RBIs.
18. Palm Harbor University (7-4)
This week: Tuesday vs. Countryside; Thursday vs. Largo; Friday vs. Sarasota Riverview
Scoop: The Hurricanes have lost three straight to Class 9A, District 8 foes, including two straight to frontrunner Newsome. PHU’s struggles are due in large part to an offense that failed to score in both losses to the Wolves and struck out a combined 32 times in those games.
19. Freedom (5-2)
This week: Tuesday at Sickles; Thursday at Strawberry Crest
Scoop: The season so far has been all about streaks. The Patriots started 4-0 before losing to Wharton and Steinbrenner. That was followed by a 7-1 win over Wiregrass Ranch in a Class 7A, District 4 game. Lauren Hall has a team-leading .571 average.
20. Riverview (5-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. East Bay; Thursday at Durant
Scoop: Last week’s 5-0 win over Strawberry Crest was the Sharks’ first shutout of the season. Riverview is one of three teams in Class 8A, District 6 with one loss. This week will help shape the district standings with 8A-6 foes East Bay and Durant.
21. Mitchell (8-3)
This week: Monday at Clearwater; Wednesday at Anclote; Friday at Osceola
Scoop: The Mustangs have won five of six and are still undefeated in Class 7A, District 10. Ashley Autuori and Kelsea Vanderveer are each hitting .500. On Friday, Mitchell plays Osceola in a battle for first place in the district.
22. Osceola (8-3)
This week: Thursday at Tarpon Springs; Friday vs. Mitchell
Scoop: Hannah Ciatto hit a walk-off, two-run single against Dixie Hollins that extended the Warrior’ win streak to five. The wins have mostly come against south county schools, putting Osceola in good position to defend its PCAC title.
23. East Lake (5-3)
This week: Tuesday at Seminole; Thursday at Countryside
Scoop: After scoring a combined 50 runs in three straight wins, the Eagles’ bats were silent in a 2-1 loss to Pinellas Park that leaves East Lake with a 1-2 record in Class 8A, District 7 games. This is an important week with games against district frontrunners Seminole and Countryside.
24. Wharton (5-4)
This week: Tuesday at Newsome; Friday vs. Wiregrass Ranch
Scoop: The Wildcats have lost three of four to fall to 5-4. But they are 2-0 in Class 8A, District 4. Wharton tends to get into slugfests with an average score of 7-5 in their first nine games.
25. Berkeley Prep (7-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Brooks DeBartolo; Friday vs. Tampa Catholic
Scoop: Two of the Buccaneers’ three losses have come against Class 4A, District 4 frontrunners Holy Names and Tampa Catholic. Last week, Berkeley Prep won three straight, beating Tampa Prep, CCC and First Academy by a combined 37-14.