1. Land O'Lakes (3-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. River Ridge; Wednesday vs. Mitchell; Thursday vs. Pasco; Friday at Sunlake
Scoop: The Gators picked up a forfeit win against Anclote in their only game last week. After an 11-day layoff, Land O'Lakes will return with a busy schedule that includes four games in as many days, highlighted by Tuesday's matchup against River Ridge in a key Class 6A, District 7 contest.
2. Plant City (4-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Strawberry Crest; Friday at Riverview
Scoop: Defense and pitching have been key in keeping the Raiders undefeated. Plant City has yet to allow a run, outscoring opponents by a combined 41-0 in the first four games. Edmilly Molina was 2-for-3 and drove in both runs in a 2-0 victory over Durant. Ashley Blessin has won all four and has 33 strikeouts on the season.
3. Chamberlain (4-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. King; Thursday vs. Alonso
Scoop: The Chiefs remain perfect after beating Strawberry Crest 6-4 and Leto 16-0 last week. Shannon Maloney threw a shutout against the Falcons. A big early test comes Thursday against defending Class 9A state semifinalist Alonso in a matchup of undefeated teams.
4. Academy of the Holy Names (3-0)
This week: Monday vs. Springstead; Wednesday vs. Tampa Prep; Saturday vs. Academy at the Lakes
Scoop: As expected, the offense has delivered, scoring a combined 35 runs in the first three games. The pitching and defense have been equally impressive with three straight shutouts. This week the Jaguars face a pair of pitchers who are Division I-A recruits in Springstead's Kama Woodall (N.C. State) and Academy at the Lakes Alexis Kilfoyl (Alabama).
5. Steinbrenner (4-0)
This week: Thursday at Freedom
Scoop: The Warriors are finding ways to win close, low-scoring games, beating Robinson 2-1 and Class 8A, District 5 rival Sickles 3-2. Defense and pitching have been key with Steinbrenner allowing just three runs so far this season.
6. Springstead (3-1)
This week: Monday at Academy of the Holy Names; Tuesday at Weeki Wachee; Thursday at Crystal River
Scoop: Paige Pfent returned after being sidelined the first week of the season with a concussion. The junior catcher had a home run and five RBIs in two games. Abby Oliver also is hitting well with a .615 average. Kama Woodall (2-1), and Kayla Cruz (1-0) have a combined 42 strikeouts in the first four games.
7. East Bay (3-0)
This week: Tuesday vs. Bloomingdale; Thursday vs. Newsome
Scoop: Haley Murphy threw a three-hit shutout and recorded nine strikeouts against her former team in a 1-0 win over Riverview. The Indians have not allowed a run this season. The offense is balanced with six players hitting .500 or better.
8. Nature Coast (4-0)
This week: Tuesday at Hudson; Friday vs. Central
Scoop: Alanis Berrios had the winning single in a 7-4 win over rival Hernando. That has been the only close call in the Sharks' perfect start. The other wins against Fivay, Ridgewood and Gulf have been by a combined 34-0.
9. Palm Harbor University (6-1)
This week: Tuesday vs. East Lake; Thursday vs. Canterbury; Friday vs. Boca Ciega
Scoop: In their only game last week, the Hurricanes beat Sarasota Riverview 8-3. Taylor Scott pitched a complete game and Mia Buffano had two hits, including a homer. This week, Palm Harbor University hosts East Lake, Canterbury and Boca Ciega, all playoff teams from a year ago.
10. Alonso (4-0)
This week: Tuesday at Sickles; Thursday at Chamberlain
Scoop: In a wild back-and-forth game, the Ravens scored twice in the top of the seventh to beat Newsome 5-4 in a key Class 9A, District. Alonso has five playing hitting .400 or better, led by Andrea Kopp (.667) and Caila Weisman (.600).
11. River Ridge (3-0)
This week: Tuesday at Land O'Lakes; Thursday vs. Wesley Chapel
Scoop: The Royal Knights were dominant in their only game last week, beating Pasco 12-0 in a game that was called after five innings because of the mercy rule. Madisen Vozdecky was 2-for-2 with five RBIs, and Melanie Rogers pitched a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts.
12. Canterbury (4-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Carrollwood Day; Thursday at Palm Harbor University
Scoop: The losses against St. Cloud and Miami Gulliver Prep were each decided by a run. Danielle Romanello is leading the team in hitting (.591 average) and RBIs (12). The Crusaders have another tough game Thursday at Palm Harbor University.
13. Durant (1-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Riverview; Friday at Bloomingdale; Saturday at Lennard
Scoop: Both losses came against undefeated teams (Chamberlain and Plant City) and were decided by a combined three runs. Sloan Hammons and Kelly Swank are each hitting .500 for the season.
14. Sickles (5-3)
This week: Tuesday vs. Alonso; Thursday vs. Plant
Scoop: After starting 5-0, the Gryphons have lost three straight, including games last week against Bloomingdale (5-3) and Steinbrenner (3-2). Morgan Noah, an FSU commit, is batting .600 with seven RBIs.
15. Countryside (3-2)
This week: Tuesday vs. Pinellas Park; Thursday at East Lake
Scoop: In their only game last week, the Cougars beat St. Petersburg 7-0. Jordan Lewis threw a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts, and Makenzie Griffin was 3-for-4 with a double and a homer. Countryside's first game at its on-campus field is Tuesday against Pinellas Park.
16. Academy at the Lakes (5-0)
This week: Thursday vs. Lakeside Christian; Saturday at Academy of the Holy Names
Scoop: The Wildcats won the Seffner Christian tournament last week, beating previously undefeated Bloomingdale 10-1 in the semifinals and Venice 4-1 in the championship game. Alexis Kilfoyl has been dominant with a 0.52 ERA to go along with 47 strikeouts.
17. East Lake (2-0)
This week: Monday at St. Petersburg; Tuesday at Palm Harbor University; Thursday vs. Countryside
Scoop: The Eagles are off to strong start, beating Osceola and Lakewood by a combined 31-1. Kendyl Crean has been a force on offense with an. 833 average to go along with two homers, a double and six RBIs. The schedule becomes more challenging this week with games against PHU on Tuesday and Countryside on Thursday.
18. Mitchell (5-0)
This week: Monday vs. Wiregrass Ranch; Tuesday at Sunlake; Wednesday at Land O'Lakes
Scoop: The Mustangs are doing what they are supposed to do. They have pounded their first five opponents in what has been a light schedule. So far, Mitchell is averaging 13 runs per game. The competition is more intense this week with games against Wiregrass Ranch, Sunlake and Land O'Lakes.
19. Gaither (4-0)
This week: Tuesday at Freedom; Thursday at Leto
Scoop: The Cowboys, despite graduating several starters, are off to perfect start. The biggest win came last week against Wharton. Down 1-0, Gaither score twice in the bottom of the fifth to win 2-1. Freshman Makayla Johnson has been a nice addition and is hitting .455 with four RBIs.
20. Wharton (3-1)
This week: Tuesday at Steinbrenner; Thursday vs. Tampa Bay Tech
Scoop: It was a wild week for the Wildcats, who beat Wiregrass Ranch 6-5 in eight innings and lost to Gaither 2-1. Mackenzie Allen, a University of Tampa signee, is hitting .636 and has yet to allow an earned run on the mound.
21. Bloomingdale (5-1)
This week: Tuesday at East Bay; Friday vs. Durant
Scoop: The Bulls went 4-1 last week, the lone loss coming against Academy at the Lakes in the semifinals of the Seffner Christian tournament. Alexys Lawson is 3-0 this season with a 0.61 ERA and 51 strikeouts.
22. Tampa Catholic (3-1)
This week: Monday at Clearwater Central Catholic; Thursday vs. Bishop McLaughlin
Scoop: The offense, which is averaging 13 runs in the three wins, did not put up the big numbers in a 6-4 loss to Calvary Christian. Alexa Russo is batting .667 with eight RBIs. The Crusaders will try to rebound this week with games against CCC and Bishop McLaughlin.
23. Robinson (3-1)
This week: Tuesday at Spoto; Thursday vs. Middleton; Saturday vs. King
Scoop: After beating Hillsborough and Newsome by a combined 16-0 to start the season, the Knights had their perfect start end with a 2-1 loss to Steinbrenner. Robinson came back to beat Jefferson 10-3 in the other game last week. This week should be romp with games Spoto, Middleton and King , which are a combined 1-9.
24. Newsome (1-2)
This week: Tuesday at Plant; Thursday at East Bay; Friday at Strawberry Crest
Scoop: The Wolves are a young team still learning how to win close games. They lost to Robinson 2-0 in the season opener and 5-4 to rival Alonso last week. One of the veterans, senior pitcher/infielder Allyson Jameston, is leading the offense with a .500 average.
25. Strawberry Crest (2-2)
This week: Tuesday at Plant City; Friday at Blake; Saturday at Strawberry Crest
Scoop: After giving up a combined 15 runs in losses to Chamberlain and Durant, the pitching and defense came through with a 2-0 win over previously undefeated Kacey Fultz, a sophomore, threw a three-hit shutout with four strikeouts against the Patriots.
On the bubble: Freedom (2-2), Pinellas Park (3-1), Boca Ciega (4-1), Dunedin (4-1), Osceola (4-1), Sunlake (4-1).