HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay
1. Plant City (17-2)
This week: Tuesday at Wharton; Thursday vs. Spoto
Scoop: Last week, the offense got back on track, scoring a combined 26 runs in wins over Bloomingdale, East Bay and Brandon. The victory over the Bulls clinched the No. 1 seed in the Class 8A, District 6 tournament, which starts next week. Morgan Slater is on a 14-game hitting streak and has boosted her average to .429.
2. Newsome (18-2)
This week: Tuesday at Chamberlain; Thursday at Durant
Scoop: In a rematch of last year’s state semifinal game, the Wolves lost to Hagerty in the opening round of the Kissimmee Klassic. Newsome came back to beat Marist from Chicago and Winter Springs before the tournament was rained out. Maggie Trgo is hitting .500 with 10 RBIs and Brooke Leistl has scored 27 runs with 13 stolen bases.
3. Springstead (21-1)
This week: Thursday vs. Central; Friday vs. Hernando
Scoop: The Eagles extended their bay area-best win streak to 17 games with victories over Lecanto and Dunnellon. Against the Panthers, Kama Woodall pitched a complete game with 13 strikeouts and was 1-for-2 at the plate with a home run and two RBIs.
4. Land O’Lakes (20-2-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. Fivay; Wednesday at Ridgewood
Scoop: Last week’s 8-0 victory over rival Sunlake kept the Gators’ 11-game win streak intact. Shannon Saile threw a no-hitter against the Seahawks and had 14 strikeouts. It was the second straight no-hitter for the Florida International signee, who has not allowed a run in 15 consecutive innings.
5. Steinbrenner (15-4)
This week: Tuesday vs. Leto; Thursday vs. Strawberry Crest
Scoop: Unlike the previous week, the Warriors did not need any major rallies to win. Steinbrenner cruised to victories over Hillsborough and Gaither to push the win streak to four. The Warriors have hit 11 home runs this season, led by Daniela Bautista with four.
6. Gaither (16-4)
This week: Friday vs. Bloomingdale; Saturday vs. Riverview
Scoop: After losing twice to Chamberlain, the Cowboys broke through with a win against their fierce rival this past week to move into a tie for first place in Class 7A, District 8. Gaither followed that up by committing an uncharacteristic six errors in a loss to Steinbrenner. Elizabeth Mason and Bethany Kursch each have four home runs and more than 20 RBIs.
7. Nature Coast (20-3)
This week: Tuesday at South Sumter; Wednesday vs. Wesley Chapel
Scoop: Sharks ace Abbey Primavera returns from an ankle injury this week and will start against South Sumter. In her absence, Nature Coast showed off its pitching depth with Alyssa Gonzalez and Celine Kordon each picking up wins. The Sharks have recorded 15 shutouts this season.
8. Countryside (17-3)
This week: Monday at Dunedin; Wednesday vs. Oldham County; Thursday vs. Osceola (PCAC title game).
Scoop: The Cougars beat Tarpon Springs to clinch the North Division of the Pinellas County Athletic Conference and will play Osceola in Thursday’s championship game. Countryside also won its first two games at the Doc4Life tournament before the rest of the schedule was canceled because of rain.
9. Chamberlain (17-5)
This week: Tuesday vs. Newsome; Thursday vs. Plant
Scoop: A win against Jefferson snapped a four-game losing streak for the Chiefs. The biggest loss came vs. Gaither, which forced Chamberlain into a tie with its rival for first place in the Class 7A, District 8 standings. The offense, which is averaging nearly eight runs per game, scored a combined nine when the Chiefs dropped four straight.
10. Sickles (15-5)
This week: Tuesday at Jefferson; Thursday vs. Wharton
Scoop: The offense has scored at least six runs in seven straight games, including a combined 19 in wins over Alonso and King last week. That has helped the Gryphons get on a roll with victories in six of the past seven games. Sickles also has solid pitching with four players (two freshmen, two sophomores) with ERAs of 1.75 or better.
11. Academy of the Holy Names (14-3)
This week: Wednesday at Canterbury; Friday vs. Zephyrhills
Scoop: The Jaguars end a 14-day layoff with a game against Canterbury on Wednesday. Discarding a forfeit win over Clearwater Central Catholic, AHN will have only played six games in the past month as it wraps up its regular-season schedule.
12. East Lake (13-6-1)
This week: Monday vs. Osceola; Tuesday vs. Oldham County (Ken.)
Scoop: The Eagles have won five straight, including a victory over Seminole that vaulted them into second place in the Class 8A, District 7 standings. Five of East Lake’s six losses this season have come by one run.
13. Seminole (11-4)
This week: Tuesday vs. Lakewood; Friday at Boca Ciega
Scoop: The Warhawks split their two games last week, beating Palm Harbor University and losing to East Lake. That loss to the Eagles drops Seminole to the No. 3 seed in the Class 8A, District 7 tournament, which starts next week. Savannah Farkas needs 12 more strikeouts to reach 100 on the season.
14. Tampa Catholic (15-6-1)
This week: Wednesday at River Ridge
Scoop: Much like their rival Holy Names, the Crusaders have taken it easy this month. With last week’s game against Bishop McLaughlin rained out, Tampa Catholic has gone nearly two weeks without playing. Wednesday’s game against River Ridge is the regular-season finale.
15. Plant (13-10)
This week: Tuesday vs. Durant; Thursday at Chamberlain.
Scoop: In the past week, the Panthers have won four of five, the lone loss coming by a run to Newsome. Kayla McGory has been on a tear, going a combined 11-of-18 during the past five games. Her best performance came against Durant when she was 5-for-5 with three RBIs.
16. Mitchell (15-4)
This week: Tuesday at River Ridge; Wednesday vs. Gulf
Scoop: The Mustangs had their nine-game win streak and their chance to go undefeated in Class 7A, District 10 play end with a 5-0 loss to Osceola. It was the first time Mitchell was shut out all season. Kelsea Vanderveer has 22 RBIs and 24 runs scored this season.
17. Strawberry Crest (13-9)
This week: Tuesday at Spoto; Thursday vs. Steinbrenner
Scoop: The Chargers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Wharton 4-3 in 10 innings and clinch the top seed in the Class 8A, District 4 tournament. Strawberry Crest split its other two games last week, beating East Bay and losing to Durant.
18. Riverview (11-8)
This week: Tuesday vs. Brandon; Thursday at Lennard; Saturday at Gaither
Scoop: At the Kissimmee Klassic, the Sharks dropped two games. The 7-6 loss to Lake City Columbia was Riverview’s fourth this season by a run. Riverview should be able to bounce back with games against Brandon and Lennard to start the last week of the regular season.
19. Sunlake (14-8)
This week: Monday vs. Wesley Chapel; Tuesday vs. Gulf; Thursday vs. River Ridge
Scoop: Last week’s 4-0 win over Dixie Hollins clinched the No. 2 seed in the Class 7A, District 10 tournament. The Seahawks also are guaranteed their second straight winning season and the school’s best record since 2012.
20. Osceola (14-6)
This week: Monday at East Lake; Wednesday vs. Oldham County (Ky.); Thursday vs. Countryside (PCAC title game).
Scoop: The Warriors beat Mitchell 5-0, avenging an loss to their rival. Sarah Huskey pitched a two-hit shutout against the Mustangs. Osceola, the defending PCAC champion, will host Countryside in Thursday’s championship game.
21. Alonso (10-9)
This week: Tuesday at Gaither; Thursday vs. Jefferson
Scoop: A win against Sarasota Riverview to close out the Class 9A, District 8 regular-season schedule ended a five-game losing streak for the Ravens. Jessica Louth continues to lead the team in hitting with a .500 average.
22. Palm Harbor University (13-10)
This week: Tuesday vs. Dunedin
Scoop: After losing four of five, the Hurricanes got a much-needed win, 9-7 in eight innings against River Ridge. Trailing 7-4, PHU scored three runs in the seventh to send the game into extras, then won it with two runs in the eighth.
23. River Ridge (12-8)
This week: Tuesday vs. Mitchell; Wednesday vs. Tampa Catholic; Thursday at Sunlake
Scoop: The Royal Knights went 1-2 last week, giving up a combined 21 runs in losses to Wiregrass Ranch and Palm Harbor University. It is a busy week for River Ridge to close out the regular season with games against ranked foes Mitchell, Tampa Catholic and Sunlake.
24. Durant (11-12)
This week: Tuesday at Plant: Thursday vs. Newsome
Scoop: Last week, the Cougars beat Strawberry Crest 4-2 and lost to Freedom 7-6. It was the fourth one-run loss for Durant this season. Sloan Hammons had an 18-game hitting streak that was snapped last week as well.
25. Leto (9-6)
This week: Tuesday at Steinbrenner; Thursday at Tampa Bay Tech
Scoop: After starting 4-6, the Falcons have won five straight, including a win over Freedom. Marcella Copeland is hitting .548 with two home runs and 21 RBIs.
On the bubble: Armwood (10-5), Leto (9-6), Wharton (9-7), Gulf (14-4), Berkeley Prep (10-7), Cambridge Christian (10-3), Tarpon Springs (9-7), Zephyrhills (9-8), Canterbury (7-10), Admiral Farragut (12-2), Northside Christian (11-6)