Five area softball teams in regional top 20

four softballs on infield
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The Baldwin softball team lost its first game of the season on Tuesday night.

However, the top-ranked Indians did plenty to hold on to the No. 1 ranking in The Prep Zone Power Poll, which ranks the top 20 teams across 26 counties in Florida.

Baldwin went 6-1 since the last regional all-classification rankings, including a 4-2 loss to No. 15 Oakleaf (Orange Park) two nights ago which snapped a 19-game winning streak to open the season.

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The Indians (19-1), who dropped to No. 11 overall in the state and No. 3 in 3A in the latest FHSAA rankings, also defeated previous No. 6 University Christian (Jacksonville), 9-6, and RV Paxon (Jacksonville), 10-0, to remain on top.

They received seven of the nine first-place votes.

Eustis, which is ranked 13th overall in the FHSAA rankings, remained second after suffering its first loss this year.

The Class 4A Panthers (16-1), who received one first-place vote, defeated current No. 6 Spruce Creek (Port Orange), 6-2, as part of a 4-1 record since the last poll.

Last Friday, they lost at Lake Mary, 2-1, which snapped a 15-game winning streak to open the season.

Class 3A Episcopal (Jacksonville) (19-1), which went 6-0, picked up the other first-place vote and is still third.

However, Middleburg and Montverde Academy flip-flopped, with 5A Middleburg (18-2) moving up one spot to fourth and 3A Montverde Academy (19-4) dropping to fifth.

Spruce Creek is followed by Creekside (St. Johns), Trenton and University Christian (Jacksonville), which are tied for eighth, and Gainesville High in the top 10.

Trenton (16-2), which moved up two spots in the poll, and GHS (17-3), which dropped two places, are two of five teams in the Mainstreet coverage area who are ranked in the top 20.

The Tigers and Hurricanes have faced each other twice this season, with Trenton winning the last meeting at home, 2-0, on April 5, while the ‘Canes won at home, 2-0, on March 7.

Joining the duo are No. 13 Santa Fe (Alachua) (15-3), which travels to GHS on Monday in a game that will be broadcast on Mainstreet Daily News, No. 14 Fort White (10-4), and No. 19 Branford (17-6), last year’s 1A state runner-up.

Newberry (15-3) and Suwannee (Live Oak) (11-9), which shut out Buchholz, 10-0, this past Tuesday, are receiving votes.

Class 1A Williston (12-10), which went 3-3, and 7A Flagler Palm Coast (8-8), which dropped its fourth straight, fell out of the rankings.

Nease (Ponte Vedra) is new to the rankings at No. 20.

The Class 6A Panthers (13-5) went 6-1, with their only loss in nine innings, 1-0, against No. 3 Episcopal (Jacksonville).

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball, baseball & softball teams (regardless of FHSAA classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.

THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2024 SOFTBALL POLL #4

(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 4/16, and total voting points)

Teams in bold are inside the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area

1. Baldwin (3A) (7) (19-1) – 176

2. Eustis (4A) (1) (16-1) – 168

3. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (1) (19-1) – 166

4. Middleburg (5A) (18-2) – 147

5. Montverde Academy (3A) (19-4) – 136

6. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (15-3) – 120

7. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (16-4) – 111

8T. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (12-6) – 109

8T. Trenton (1A) (16-2) – 109

10. Gainesville (6A) (17-3) – 96

T11. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (4A) (13-5) – 85

T11. Deltona (5A) (13-4) – 85

13. Santa Fe (Alachua) (3A) (15-3) – 74

14. Fort White (1A) (10-4) – 65

15. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (14-7) – 63

16. West Nassau (Callahan) (3A) (11-7) – 51

17. East Ridge (Clermont) (7A) (15-6) – 43

18. Crystal River (3A) (15-5) – 25

19. Branford (1A) (17-6) – 23

20. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (6A) (13-5) – 10

Also receiving votes: Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (16-6) – 7; Vanguard (Ocala) (4A) (14-5) – 7; Springstead (Spring Hill) (5A) (12-4) – 7; Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (11-7) – 3; Newberry (1A) (15-3) – 2; Hernando Christian Academy (2A) (14-2) – 1; Suwannee (Live Oak) (3A) (11-9) – 1.

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