By Matt Turer — @MattTurer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Each week, OzarksSportsZone.com will release local softball power rankings brought to you by CoxHealth. Like our other power rankings, these rankings will be based on dominance by Class, not head-to-head.
Recent success and strength of schedule are also factored into the rankings. These rankings are through games played on Sept. 13.
Overall record and Class are listed in parenthesis.
1. Willow Springs (8-4, C2, LW: 1)
The Bears dropped two of three at the Ozark Fall Festival tournament over the weekend and lost 5-2 Tuesday to Class 1 Dora. You must wonder if pitching five games in 24 hours caught up to Sydney Miller, who shut down Ozark in a 1-0 win to open the tournament but struggled against East Newton, Kickapoo and Rogersville. Thing is, those three are Class 3 and 4 teams and the Bears won’t face that type of packed schedule the rest of the season. They stay at the top for now.
2. West Plains (9-1, C3, LW: 2)
The Zizzers outscored Rolla, Glendale and Van Buren 38-5 to complete a 3-0 week. The Rolla and Glendale wins were shutouts with Karsyn Smith (1-0) pitching five scoreless against Glendale in place of Abbey Gann. Smith stayed hot at the plate as well and is now batting .714 with 10 doubles, 20 RBIs and 17 runs. In all, six regular Zizzers starters are batting over .400, including Alaina Vick (.455), who has hit safely in all nine of her starts.
3. Webb City (14-3, C4, LW: 4)
No other area Class 4 team has shown the potential to win against Kansas City/St. Louis area schools this fall like Webb City has. The Cardinals fell to Staley (16-2) this week but beat the Falcons earlier in the season. They did, however, beat Park Hill South (10-5) this week, 8-5. They continue to hit over .400 as a team (.429) and Mareika Turpen (.608 avg., 13 XBH, 27 R, 29 RBI) and Addie Darby (.520 avg., 11 XBH, 26 RBI) continue to put up massive numbers. Quincy Capron (part of essentially a four-girl rotation) has yet to allow an earned run in 16 innings.
4. Monett (7-6, C3, LW: 3)
Two more one-run losses—coming against Class 3 Platte County and Class 4 Nixa—give four such losses for the Cubs this season. It was nearly a fifth before Monett scored twice in the bottom of the 7th to beat Class 2 Seneca. The Cubs also beat Richmond and Rolla this week. Josie Allcock and Katie Kurima continue to bat over .500, and Kaesha George (.472 avg.) has been great out of what’s usually the 9-hole.
5. Dixon (11-0, C2, LW: 9)
Dixon makes a big jump after a 5-0 week that included a Cuba Tournament championship. Tressa Hughes is now up to 130 strikeouts in 63 innings and the Bulldogs are hitting .340 as a group. Thursday’s game against Iberia (10-2) is interesting with the Bulldogs having beaten the Rangers 9-8 in extras earlier this season—the only time they’ve allowed more than two runs in a game.
6. Kickapoo (13-3, C4, LW: 5)
Tough losses to Carthage and Richmond in the Ozark Tournament last weekend for Kickapoo, but the Chiefs responded with nice wins over Willow Springs and Grain Valley, and then beat Carthage 12-7 on Wednesday. It’s not fair to put too much stock into a busy tournament like that, so we won’t. Games at Branson, Republic and West Plains this week will tell us a lot more about the Chiefs.
7. Weaubleau (11-1, C1, LW: 12)
The Tigers now stand at 2-1 against Hermitage after winning the last two matchups, including a 7-4 win in extras last Saturday in a game they trailed 4-2 in the 7th. Their only loss of the season was a loss to the Hornets back in August in a game they led 2-1 in the 6th. Weaubleau is now hitting .375 as a team with Jenna Daggett (.528), Jerika Vanderford (.439) and McKenna Arthurs (.475) all well over the .400 mark. Daggett (5-1, 1.15 ERA) and Megan Flagg (6-0, 1.88 ERA) continue to pitch well.
8. Hermitage (10-2, C1, LW: 10)
The Hornets dropped a tough game to Weaubleau on Saturday after trailing 4-2 entering the 7th. The loss was their second against the Tigers this season, which means they’re 9-0 against the rest of their schedule. Hermitage and Weaubleau will continue to stalk each other in these rankings up through district play.
9. Bolivar (8-1, C3, LW: 11)
Start paying attention to the Liberators. Bolivar followed up a statement win over Reeds Spring two weeks back with another one this past week against Rogersville, 13-3. The Liberators rocked LogRog’s two starters for 11 runs over four innings behind two homers by Katie Brooks and another by Taylor Dial. Bolivar did drop a game against Clinton, 3-2, however. A Thursday matchup at Monett is the Liberators’ next test.
10. Reeds Spring (11-1, C3, LW: 12)
It wasn’t a tough 3-0 week for the Wolves, who beat Glendale, Norwood and Aurora by a combined 23-3. Izzy Erickson posted double-digit strikeouts in all of those wins and now has 117 strikeouts in 70 innings to go with a 1.00 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Erickson (.605 AVG., 1.692 OPS), Brooke Davis (.500 AVG.) and Maddison Cantrell (.432 AVG.) continue to lead a lineup that’s batting .393 as a team.
11. Ozark (8-5, C4, LW: 6)
Ozark let a 5-1 5th-inning lead slip away against Republic on Tuesday in a week that saw them play seven games in six days. The Tigers were 2-3 at their own tournament, dropping games to Class 2 Willow Springs, Class 3 Oak Grove (7-9) and Class 4 Lee’s Summit West (15-2). Home matchups with Webb City and West Plains next week are a pair to watch.
12. Logan-Rogersville (9-6, C3, LW: 7)
Bolivar really put it on the Wildcats on Tuesday in a 13-3 game, but LogRog bounced back with an important 6-3 win over Hillcrest that will likely have seeding impact come district play. Julia Marshall was strong in that win and managed to hold Haley Frillman and her .727 average hitless in three ABs.The Wildcats also looked good in wins over Class 2 Ava, 20-5, and Willow Springs, 6-1.
13. Camdenton (11-5, C4, LW: 14)
The Lakers were 2-2 against out-of-area programs this week, beating Class 4 Fox (6-9) and Class 3 DeSoto (10-6) and losing to Class 2 Centralia (7-0) and Class 4 Oakville (12-4). All four games were pretty close so nothing to get too excited or concerned over. Camdenton beat Lebanon 8-2 in an Ozark Conference matchup.
14. Republic (9-5, C4, LW: NR)
A 10-6 win over Ozark brings the orange and black Tigers into the rankings for the first time in 2017. Republic lost a lot of talent last year but this is a program and team you knew would only get better as the season went on. They can struggle defensively (32 of 89 runs allowed are unearned) but have a lineup that can make up for that. Ally Stolte (.457 AVG., 11 XBH, 4 HR) and Liv Collier (.471 AVG., 13 XBH, 5 HR) have been big power threats. Julia Higgins (.438 AVG.) and Kaitlin Ragsdale (.449 AVG., 19 SB) continue to hit well, and A.J. Fenske (.423 AVG.) has been strong in a more limited role.
15. Cassville (6-2, C3, LW: 8)
The Wildcats are battling right now. The offense has been in a bit of a slump the past two weeks, but this group managed to lean on pitching for 6-2 and 1-0 wins over East Newton last week. They’re still hitting over .400 as a team and Josie Lone can still take control of any Class 3 team on any given day. Let’s see if they can regain some dominance.
Keep An Eye On: Warsaw (12-2, C2), Hillcrest (7-4, C3) Pleasant Hope (7-5, C2, LW: 15), Walnut Grove (9-3, C1), Dora (9-6, C1), Branson (7-6, C4), Crocker (6-4, C1), McDonald County (7-6, C4), Ava (6-3, C2), Salem (9-4, C3)