Five teams from Shelby County ranked in latest poll

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sarah Cespedes and the Chelsea Lady Hornets are currently ranked as the No. 2 softball team in 6A. The Lady Hornets had a 14-4 record as of March 31. (File)

Sarah Cespedes and the Chelsea Lady Hornets are currently ranked as the No. 2 softball team in 6A. The Lady Hornets had a 14-4 record as of March 31. (File)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

In the most recent installment of the ASWA baseball and softball rankings, there were five Shelby County teams ranked in top 10 of their respective classes. The softball teams from Spain Park and Oak Mountain as well as the softball team from Chelsea all found a spot in their respective polls, while the baseball teams from Oak Mountain and Helena have been ranked as well.

The highest-ranked team in the state is the softball team from Chelsea. The Lady Hornets, with a 14-4 record as of March 31, are the No. 2 team in class 6A, behind only Southside-Gadsden, and are scoring more than six runs per game while giving up approximately two runs per game. Sarah Cespedes and Camryn Smith have led Chelsea from the mound all season, and have Chelsea set to make a push into the postseason.

Spain Park (20-6) is ranked sixth in 7A while Oak Mountain (12-6) is ranked eighth. The Lady Jaguars had won 10 of their last 12 games as of March 31 and have been led for most of the season by Mary Katherine Tedder and Kynadi Tipler from the plate while being led by Caroline Kendrick and Kate Campbell from the mound. Oak Mountain, at 12-6, had won six of its last eight as of March 31, and has been led by Abby Jones and Clara Fuller from the mound all season. Both Oak Mountain and Spain Park were ranked in identical spots in the previous week’s poll as well.

The boys from Oak Mountain are also ranked in the top 10 for the first time since 2007. The Eagles, at 17-8 as of March 31, were just one win shy of matching the win total from last season. Derek Irons in his first year as the head coach of Oak Mountain has turned the Eagles into a winner, just like most expected he would when he took the job. Oak Mountain has been a pitch-by-committee team this season, with Ethen Holsembeck, Michael Flack, Will Driskill, Joseph Hartsfield, Gene Hurst, Spencer Hughes and Caleb Floyd all taking the mound for Oak Mountain this season, just to name a few.

Helena, at 21-12 as of March 31 is ranked third in class 5A, staying even with its ranking from a week ago. Winners of seven of their last 10, the Huskies have been one of the most consistent teams across 5A this season. The Huskies, like Oak Mountain, have seen a number of pitchers take the mound this season. Bryant Garrett, Brett Walton, Jameson Ling, Robbie Lively, Richard Fitts, Troy Cordrey, Brooks Freeman and Riley Davis are a few of the names that have seen time on the mound this season.

The baseball teams from Spain Park and Vincent, as well as the softball team from Thompson also received nominations as well.