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Pinellas County Elite 8 Coaches Poll - Week 2, 2024

East Lake 2B Karyhs Pierce.

The Elite 8 Coaches Poll is back for another season. We've got plenty of changes, specifically within our Top 3 in Pinellas County as we give the poll its first refresh since the preseason!


Here’s how the coaches saw things after Week 2.


1. East Lake, 6-1 (3 first-place votes) / 2nd last poll


In one of the most highly anticipated games of the last few seasons, the Eagles took down top-ranked Calvary Christian, 9-6, in the Montverde Academy Invitational over the weekend. Unfortunately, they were unable to take home the tournament’s trophy, as host MVA kept the trophy in Lake County. There’s still been a lot to like about what East Lake has done in the early part of the year. It has dominated PCAC opponents and the addition of Karyhs Pierce has provded fruitful. She leads the team with a 10-for-18 start and sophomore Meagan Bostak is right behind her with a 10-for-19 start and 12 runs scored. Lucy Mondok has struck out 35 in 32 innings to pace the Eagles in the circle. The marquee game for this group this week is Windermere on Thursday at home.


2. Osceola, 5-0 (1 first-place vote) / 3rd last poll


Similar to East Lake, the Warriors have been dominant against Pinellas County competition and has outscored opponents 68-5 to start the season. They have two players with double digit RBI in Addison Futch and Theresa Diez and six starters hitting .500 or better. As a team, Osceola’s hitting .485, which is more than enough run support for junior pitcher Aliyah Lai. The Warriors’ biggest tests come this week in some heavy hitters between Berkeley Prep and Calvary Christian, both home games.


3. Calvary Christian, 4-3 / 1st last poll


Frankly, you can’t help but wonder how the East Lake – Calvary matchup would’ve gone if it was ace Morgen Talley who entered in relief in a 6-6 game in the sixth inning. Instead, Calvary called upon infielder Alexis Camilleri to throw for the first time in her varsity career. It was a strange weekend for the Warriors, who lost 1-0 in extras to an Oviedo team that had lost 12-1 to Montverde Academy the night before. Their response to the 1-2 weekend will be important – the weekend had a vibe similar to last year’s Leopard Slam which was the turning point of their season on the way to a second straight state title. Thursday’s game at Osceola will be telling in their final game before Spring Break.


4. Palm Harbor University, 4-1 / 4th last poll


The Hurricanes have continued their stride after turning in a strong preseason performance and grabbed a quality win over Pasco County foe Mitchell on Tuesday, 3-0. The only blemish on their early-season schedule is a 3-1 loss to Harmony on Saturday. East Lake transfer Emily Boylan has settled in nicely with her new team and leads PHU in just about every offensive category except for runs scored. She also twirled a complete game against Mitchell. Behind her, sophomore Mylie Stout leads the team with eight runs scored and she’s paired that with eight RBI. The ‘Canes finish their pre-Spring Break slate with Berkeley Prep.


5. Clearwater, 6-1 / 6th last poll


Another step down for Clearwater came last week in avenging last season’s loss to Seminole, 9-5. This squad has been dominant at times, with already three run-rule victories under its belt, thanks to an offense that has slashed at a .403 clip to start the campaign. Juleah Patterson was on another planet last week, posting 12 hits. She’s crossed home 16 times in seven games. The combo of Morgan Maske and Jadah Nicholls has driven in 28 runs so far. A rematch of last year’s district final awaits on Tuesday when Dunedin heads into town before a matchup with Hollins.


6. St. Petersburg, 3-1 / 5th last poll


In a rematch of last year’s PCAC South deciding game, the Green Devils fell 11-1 to a hot Osceola team, but outside of that, they’ve taken care of business in the games they’ve needed to, even if it hasn’t been pretty (see opening night vs. Largo). Tegan Grizzard is off to a great start at the plate – and on the basepaths with five stolen bases – as is freshman Victoria Wirth. Sophomore Nova Rollins rounds out the three Green Devils hitting .450 or better to start the year. The Green Devils face Lakewood and Boca Ciega this week.


7. Dunedin, 4-2 / NR last poll


Dunedin’s power-hitting freshman duo of Aliyah Roseman and Abby McLemore have catapulted the Falcons into the Elite 8 for the first time this season. McLemore has an area leading four home runs, good for fourth in the state as of Monday. She had round-trippers in back-to-back-to-back games to lead Dunedin to a 4-0 start. They did suffer setbacks against Hollins and Wiregrass Ranch that put a damper on an otherwise successful opening two weeks. The Falcons look to bounce back with road trips to Clearwater and Gulf.


8. Northeast, 4-1 / 7th last poll


After a season-opening loss to Calvary Christian, the Vikings have been doing their thing on the northeast side of St. Petersburg. They’ve rattled off four straight including wins over Pinellas Park and Hollins, effectively knocking the Royals out of the Elite 8. Dani Brunner is back from injury and has struck out 29 in the junior’s first 26 innings thrown, while classmates Lauren Fernald, Victoria Frye and Mikayla Simon have been getting it done at the dish with freshman Ana Davis. Northeast has one final tuneup – a home date with Boca Ciega – before Spring Break.


Also receiving votes:


Hollins, 2-2: Notched a win over Dunedin to finish the week and the bats have been good, striking for six runs per game in Hollins’ first four. The Royals face East Lake on Tuesday, a team they went toe-to-toe with and fell 1-0 to last year.


Boca Ciega, 5-1: Perhaps the Pirates are back on the rise in Pinellas County? They’re off to their best start since 2017, a year they finished 15-4 and made a regional tournament in Class 6A.


Largo, 2-4: The Packers hold wins over Indian Rocks Christian and Gulf and nearly picked off Northeast on Friday before falling victim to a seventh inning rally.


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