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The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – 2023 Softball Poll #5

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New number one yet again as U.C.S. takes over

GAINESVILLE — Baldwin’s hold of the top spot in The Prep Zone Power Poll was short-lived.

The Eagles, who had just moved up to No. 1 in the previous rankings, suffered back-to-back losses at 6A Oakleaf (Orange Park), 3-2 (9), and at previous No. 2 University Christian (Jacksonville), 10-3, and dropped four spots to No. 5.

Following a 4-0 record since the previous rankings, the Class 2A No. 1 Christians (16-2) moved into the top spot of the all-classification regional rankings.

University Christian received eight of the nine first-place votes. They are the No. 20 overall team in Florida according to MaxPreps.

UCS, which was 2A state runners-up last season, swept previous No. 10 West Nassau (Callahan) in two games as part of their current 9-game winning streak heading into the 2A-District 3 tournament.

Defending 4A state champion Deltona moved up one spot from third to second. The Wolves (15-4) received the other first-place vote following a 3-0 record since April 16.

Eustis, a Class 4A regional finalist last year, moved up three spots from sixth to third following a 2-0 mark. The Panthers (16-5) are ranked 2nd in 4A & 21st overall in Florida by MaxPreps.

Hernando (Brooksville), last year’s 3A runners-up, moved up one spot to fourth.

The Leopards (20-4), winners of eight in a row, have a tough 3A-District 6 Semifinal on Tuesday against Crystal River, which was receiving votes in the previous poll. They would face either The Villages or South Sumter (Bushnell), who are receiving votes, in Thursday’s championship game.

Class 3A Providence (Jacksonville) (16-4) is sixth, followed by 1A Williston (23-3), 3A Episcopal (Jacksonville) (19-3), 7A Creekside (St. Johns) (17-6), and 7A East Ridge (Clermont) (16-8) in the top 10.

Baker County (Glen St. Mary) moved into the rankings at No. 20. The 4A Wildcats (16-9) had a win at previous No. 4 Episcopal (Jacksonville), 9-1, and a close 1-0 loss at No. 15 Montverde Academy.

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 – 2023 SOFTBALL POLL #5
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, final regular season record, and total voting points)
1. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (8) (16-2) – 179
2. Deltona (5A) (1) (15-4) – 166
3. Eustis (4A) (16-5) – 149
4. Hernando (Brooksville) (3A) (20-4) – 148
5. Baldwin (3A) (19-4) – 141
6. Providence (Jacksonville) (2A) (16-4) – 137
7. Williston (1A) (23-2) – 131
8. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (19-3) – 125
9. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (17-6) – 107
10. East Ridge (Clermont) (7A) (16-8) – 89
11. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (11-6) – 77
12. Branford (1A) (21-3) – 73
13. Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (17-5) – 66
14. West Nassau (Callahan) (3A) (14-8) – 62
15. Montverde Academy (3A) (18-6) – 49
16. Ridgeview (Orange Park) (5A) (14-6) – 46
17. Ponte Vedra (5A) (15-6) – 30
18. Flagler Palm Coast (7A) (13-3) – 24
19. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (12-9) – 23
20. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (4A) (16-9) – 21
Also receiving votes: Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (15-6) – 18; Middleburg (5A) (13-9) – 11; Citrus (Inverness) (4A) (17-5) – 7; The Villages (3A) (18-4) – 5; Mount Dora Christian (2A) (16-8) – 3; South Sumter (Bushnell) (3A) (14-8) – 1; Vanguard (Ocala) (4A) (16-6) – 1; South Lake (Groveland) (6A) (8-15) – 1.

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