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Coaches talk rankings, expectations as the second softball poll is released

Story By Griffin Pritchard | Publisher 

CENTRAL ALABAMA SCOREBOARD OFFICE — Earlier last week, the Alabama SportsWriters dropped their second state softball and baseball polls. While continuing the trend of usual suspects – there were some new faces in the mix; some teams saw their stock rise, while others saw it fall. Regardless of the way it shakes out, the coaches had reactions. 

Starting with the Alabama Independent School Association’s softball poll – Hooper Academy jumped Edgewood as Macon-East remained at No. 2, behind Pike Liberal.. 

The move has Lady Colts coach Elyse McIntyre excited about the way her team is playing right now.

McIntyre: “I am happy we moved up in the polls because it shows that hard work pays off. But the hard work isn’t over yet. We were playing well in the days before spring break. Hopefully we can continue the progress and good play when we return from the break.” 

1. Pike Liberal Arts (17-7)

2. Macon East (22-9)

3. Clarke Prep (18-5)

4. Bessemer Academy (12-3)

5. Glenwood (17-11)

6. Hooper Academy (15-8)

7. Edgewood (13-13)

8. Southern Academy (13-3)

9. Lakeside (11-12)

10. Abbeville Christian (10-10)

Speaking of big moves – Brew Tech moved to No. 3 in the 5A poll, jumping Elmore County. Hayden also moved up a spot to now be a part of the log jam behind No. 1 Faith.

Brain Pittman – Coach of the Brew Tech Rams: “We are playing well right now. I know we will face some big challenges in the next few weeks. Those challenges will be the benchmark on where we stand.:

Mark Segrest at Elmore County – like Pittman – know the true test comes when the Panthers fully cross over into area play. 

Segrest: “Again, I’m always happy to see the girls get recognition. I’ve been really pleased with our pitching and we’ve played good enough defense most of the time. We are definitely going to have to start scoring more runs and be more consistent offensively to advance to the postseason.” 

CLASS 5A

1. Faith Academy (14-1-1)

2. Tallassee (14-6-2)

3. Brewbaker Tech (19-2)

4. Elmore County (21-5)

5. Hayden (16-5-1)

6. Ardmore (12-8)

7. Alexandria (14-8)

8. Lawrence County (17-8)

9. Satsuma (17-4)

10. Corner (10-4)

Others nominated: East Limestone (11-5-1), John Carroll (11-5), Rehobeth (9-9), Sylacauga (11-3-1).

Over in 6A – things are getting testy. Spanish Fort moved up a spot, which is something that coach Lauren Stewart is happy to see, but her Toros have several teams circling and looking to take their spot. 

Stewart: “This week has been pretty messed up with all the rain we’ve gotten so our real test will be this weekend against quality opponents. We have to play good ball this weekend to continue our uphill climb to the postseason. We are at a point in the year where you have to decide to grind it out or get lazy and we cannot get complacent. Spring Break (week after Easter) will be a week off for us, we just have to grind this weekend and next week then enjoy our break. After that, it’s time to hit the ground running.” 

Wetumpka – who finished the week with wins over a handful of ranked teams at the Gulf Coast Classic – saw the Indians move closer to the Top 10. 

The series of wins let’s Daryl Otwell know that this team is beginning to form into a competitor.

Otwell: “I’m very happy with the way my bunch is competing. They are showing up and competing at a high level and having fun doing it. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Doesn’t matter where we are ranked, we will continue to improve and try to be the last one standing at the end. 

CLASS 6A

1. Athens (19-5)

2. Helena (20-4)

3. Buckhorn (15-2)

4. Spanish Fort (18-3)

5. Hazel Green (15-7)

6. Pell City (14-2)

7. Fort Payne (17-2)

8. Springville (13-5)

9. Cullman (11-7)

10. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (19-4)

Others nominated: Baldwin County (5-4), Chelsea (13-7), Chilton County (15-10), Gardendale (13-10-1), Hartselle (9-8), Oxford (9-8), Saraland (13-7), Scottsboro (10-10), Wetumpka (18-10).

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, managing editor, currently working for the City of Tallassee as a Public Information Specialist and grant writer.

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