HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
P.K. Yonge softball team ranked No. 1 in the country
Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 11:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 12:07 a.m.
P.K. Yonge softball isn’t just getting state recognition these days, but national as well.
On Monday, MaxPreps released its first computer rankings in softball for the season and at No. 1 in the nation was .... you guessed it, P.K. Yonge.
Just four days ago, the Blue Wave (11-0) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat District 5-4A rival Bradford, 3-2. It is those quality wins (two against the 4A No. 4 Tornadoes) that may have impressed the MaxPreps’ computers.
“It is a cycle of many calculations,” said Kelsey Wagner, baseball and softball coordinator at MaxPreps. “It calculates strength of schedule, wins and losses and ranks every team’s schedule. If you beat a team with a great strength schedule, you go up, if you lose to a team with a weak strength schedule, you go down. We can’t tweak it.”
Wagner said 1,700 teams across the country were in the first rankings and all teams had to play at least four games. She said the rankings would likely change in a few weeks with schools in California get into their season.
“We are not the No. 1 in the nation,” said P.K. Yonge coach Paul Silverman, whose team is ranked No. 23 in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25. “We are a very good team. We appreciate the recognition. It is so hard to judge teams within the state, doing it across the country is extremely difficult.
“It is fun to talk about, but it doesn’t win you a game.”
It has been 11 years since P.K. Yonge has played in the state tournament and the Blue Wave haven’t won a state title in softball. That’s not to say it hasn’t been successful in softball, losing to Jacksonville Bishop Snyder in the 3A regional finals the last two years.
P.K. Yonge, 25-3 a year ago and currently ranked No. 2 in 4A by Miracle Sports, has a dominating pitcher in South Alabama signee Kalen McGill, is batting .428 as a team and has outscored its opponents 91-9. On Monday, McGill displayed her dominance by throwing a no-hitter in P.K. Yonge’s 10-0 win over Fort White.
The Blue Wave are also ranked No. 1 in Florida by MaxPreps with Bradford at No. 8 and Columbia at No. 12.
Last year the Blue Wave finished No. 432 in the nation with Niceville at No. 24 as the highest ranked team from Florida. Niceville didn’t win the 6A state title, that ended up being Columbia, its first.
P.K. Yonge looks to end its season as state champions.
“It is the first rankings of the year and will likely change in a few weeks,” Wagner said. “But it’s a pretty cool honor.”