The Prep Zone Power Poll fueled by Anytime Fitness – 2019 Softball Poll #7 (FINAL)
GAINESVILLE — After last week’s FHSAA State Softball Championships at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, only two teams finished unbeaten in the state in 2019.
One of those teams resides in North Central Florida.
And for the Trenton Tigers, a perfect season and first fast-pitch softball state title also landed them the top spot in The Prep Zone Power Poll’s final rankings.
Trenton defeated Sneads 7-3 in the 1A State Championship game in Vero Beach to finish perfect at 27-0 and win the first state fast-pitch softball championship in school history. The Tigers also found revenge in the state semifinals with a 4-0 win over Wewahitchka. The Gators had beaten the Tigers, 2-1, in the state championship game in 2018.
Trenton received six of the seven first-place votes to finish on top. Among their victims this season: #2 Oakleaf (Orange Park), #12 Santa Fe (Alachua), and two wins over #13 Gainesville and RV Columbia (Lake City).
Speaking of Oakleaf, they were the #1 team in the first three polls this season. However, they dropped to 2nd after the 8-3 loss to Trenton on April 18. The Knights, who were 8A state champs in 2017 and runners-up in 2018, advanced again to the state semifinals in Vero Beach.
Oakleaf (25-5) trailed 4-0 going into the sixth inning against nationally-ranked and undefeated Winter Springs but rallied to take a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the 7th. Winter Springs, down to their last out and strike, rallied for three runs to defeat the Knights, 7-6.
Winter Springs won the 8A championship a day later with a 3-0 win over another undefeated team, Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton), which was also ranked #1 nationally according to Max Preps.
Oakleaf picked up the other first-place vote and finishes 2nd in the all-classification regional rankings.
Moving up seven spots from the previous poll to finish 3rd is 7A state runner-up Creekside (St. Johns). The Knights (25-5) finished as runner-up to #14 Bartram Trail (St. Johns) in District 4-7A, but won three regional playoff games to capture Region 1-7A and advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 2014.
Creekside rallied from a 5-0 first-inning deficit in the state semifinal game to beat Fort Myers, 7-6. But the Knights came up short in the 7A state title game against Lake Region (Eagle Lake) and finished as state runners-up for the second time in school history.
Finishing 4th is 4A state champion Trinity Christian (Jacksonville).
The Conquerors (20-6) moved up nine slots from the previous rankings as they rolled to their first fast-pitch softball state championship, outscoring their four playoff opponents by a combined 41-4.
Trinity Christian saved its best for last, pounding out 19 hits in a 10-3 win over Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach) in the state semifinals, and 18 hits in a 4-inning 16-0 rout of two-time defending 4A champ Westminster Christian (Miami) in the title game. That loss avenged Trinity’s 6-1 loss to Westminster in the state championship game in 2018.
Rounding out the top five is another state semifinalist, Hernando (Brooksville).
The Leopards (27-4) won three road playoff games to win Region 2-5A and advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 2001. Hernando saw its season end in that round with a 6-1 loss to Coral Springs Charter, which tied a state record with its fifth consecutive state title.
Spruce Creek (Port Orange) finishes 6th.
The Hawks (25-5) knocked off Sandalwood (Jacksonville) and then-#4 Mandarin (Jacksonville) in the Region 1-9A semifinals, but were eliminated in the region final at nationally-ranked Apopka.
Ridgeview (Orange Park) ends up 7th after its first state semifinal appearance in school history.
The Panthers (22-9) won three games at home to win the Region 1-6A title, and then led Sebring 3-0 early and 4-3 going to the bottom of the 8th in the state semifinals. However, the Blue Streaks rallied for three runs and won 6-4 on a walk-off homer, and clinched their first fast-pitch softball state title with a 3-1 win over #10 Crystal River.
Eustis drops five spots in the final rankings to 8th. The Panthers ended up with a fantastic record of 26-2, but were upset in the Region 2-5A semifinals by #12 Santa Fe (Alachua) 5-1.
Baker County (Glen St. Mary) finishes 9th. The Wildcats (21-7) were knocked out 2-0 in the Region 1-5A final by eventual state runner-up Marianna.
Class 6A state runner-up Crystal River moves up 10 spots and rounds out the top 10.
The Pirates (20-7) allowed only one run in their first four postseason games and advanced to their first state championship game appearance in softball. Crystal River led Sebring 1-0 into the sixth inning of the championship game but Sebring scored three runs in the 6th and won the title 3-1.
Among the second 10 is 2A state runner-up Mount Dora Christian Academy at #16. The Bulldogs (26-5) were beaten by Academy at the Lakes (Land O’Lakes) 11-0 in 6 innings in the 2A title game, but still made their first championship game appearance since winning their only state softball title in 1999.
Also new to the poll at 19th is 3A state semifinalist University Christian (Jacksonville).
The Fighting Christians (18-5) advanced to the state semifinals for the second time in four years, where they were beaten 7-2 by Admiral Farragut (St. Petersburg), which repeated as 3A state champs.
Among those receiving votes are Lafayette (Mayo), which advanced to the 1A state semifinals, and Peniel Baptist (Palatka), which made it to 2A state semifinals.
Dropping out from the previous poll are Columbia (Lake City) and Madison County.
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 weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is fueled by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.
The Prep Zone Power Poll – 2019 Softball Poll #7 (FINAL POLL)
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, final record, and total voting points)
1. Trenton (1A) (6) (27-0) – 138
2. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (8A) (1) (25-5) – 133
3. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (25-5) – 124
4. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (4A) (20-6) – 112
5. Hernando (Brooksville) (5A) (27-4) – 100
6. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (9A) (25-5) – 97
7. Ridgeview (Orange Park) (6A) (22-9) – 87
8. Eustis (5A) (26-2) – 82
9. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (21-7) – 77
10. Crystal River (6A) (20-7) – 75
11. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (9A) (24-3) – 74
12. Santa Fe (Alachua) (5A) (22-7) – 65
13. Gainesville (7A) (19-8) – 60
14. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (22-5) – 57
15. Matanzas (Palm Coast) (7A) (21-5) – 37
16. Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (26-5) – 28
17. East Ridge (Clermont) (8A) (20-8) – 26
18. Belleview (6A) (22-7) – 22
19. University Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (18-5) – 20
20. West Nassau (Callahan) (5A) (17-12) – 12
Also receiving votes: Peniel Baptist Academy (Palatka) (2A) (21-5) – 11; Columbia (Lake City) (7A) (15-9) – 10; Madison County (1A) (19-5) – 10; Middleburg (7A) (11-13) – 10; Bell (1A) (20-6) – 5; St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) (3A) (13-6) – 3; Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (11-13) – 1.