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  Today, we release the Week 7 softball rankings and track the movement in each classification. Also, check out this week's prep blogs and an overview of Class AAAA's Week 7 slate.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Lassiter, Northside-Columbus rise to No. 1
Region tournaments are right around the corner. As teams have one last week to jockey for region position, two classifications see a new No. 1 contender. In Class AAAAAAA, Lassiter completes its climb to the No. 1 spot after opening the season unranked. Mill Creek slips to No. 3 after suffering a trio of losses: Archer (7-4), Northside-Columbus (4-1) and Parkview (4-3). Grayson climbs five spots to No. 5. The Rams are now 20-4 with a 9-6 win over River Ridge to their credit.  Both Lowndes and Etowah drop out of the top 10. North Paulding cracks the poll for the first time this year and slots in at No. 7. The Wolfpack has won seven straight games. Archer opened the year at No. 5 but quickly fell out of the rankings by Week 3. The Tigers reemerge at No. 10 and have won four straight.
Class AAAAAA No. 2 Creekview dropped two Region 6 games, but the Grizzlies hold tight to their ranking. They lost at No. 3 Dalton, 4-3 and at No. 6 Harrison, 7-6. The Hoyas have now won eight in a row and seem to be peaking at the right time. The fourth Region 6 team in the polls, River Ridge, clings onto No. 10. No. 5 Houston County got revenge against No. 7 Lee County and jumped them in the process with its 6-2 win. Greenbrier exits the top 10 after a great 4-2 win against Marist was sandwiched between losses to Evans, Heritage-Conyers and the War Eagles. No. 9 Chattahoochee debuts in the poll after beating No. 4 Pope, 4-3.
In Class AAAAA, No. 3 Walnut Grove swaps places with No. 4 Locust Grove after the Warriors took care of North Georgia powers Heritage-Catoosa (13-0) and Ringgold (11-2). At No. 10 Woodland-Stockbridge makes an appearance replacing Kell.
The ongoing tug of war for Class AAAA supremacy shifts back into Northside-Columbus' corner as the Patriots switch places with No. 2 Marist. The No. 1 Patriots get the nod after a strong week against some of the state's best. Northside lost to No. 1 ranked programs Calhoun (5-2) and Buford (10-0), but picked up wins over Northgate (10-2), East Coweta (11-8) and former Class AAAAAAA No. 1 and defending state champion Mill Creek, 4-1. Elsewhere in the top 10, Northwest Whitfield is replaced by Mary Persons at No. 8. The Bulldogs are 16-5 and winners of their last eight games.
Calhoun is still Calhoun in Class AAA and continues to distance themselves from the field, running up a 27-1 record. The bottom of the poll sees some new faces after No. 8 Brantley County, No. 9 East Jackson and No. 10 Southeast Bulloch all bow out. In are No. 8 Jenkins (15-3), No. 9 Sonoraville (15-10) and No. 10 Union County (15-10).
Class AA sees No. 4 Bleckley County tumble all the way to No. 10 after losing four straight games including a 6-2 loss in nine innings to No. 6 Dodge County. Berrien makes its debut at No. 7 with a 16-8 record. No. 4 Heard County continues to sneak up the poll even after a 2-0 loss to Wesleyan. The Braves have a big showdown with AAAA No. 3 Central-Carroll tonight.
No. 1 First Presbyterian Day is on a warpath in A-Private. A 6-0 win against No. 3 Tattnall Square and a 2-0 shutout of No. 5 Stratford Academy continues to pile onto a sturdy resume in Middle Georgia. The bottom of the poll is still a revolving door, this time seeing Brookstone depart and No. 9 Prince Avenue reappear.
Class A-Public No. 1 Gordon Lee stomped Trion out of the poll after a 8-0 win. No. 2 GMC gave Glascock County a 4-1 loss, causing Glascock to slip a spot to No. 4 behind red-hot No. 3 Seminole County, the Indians beating No. 6 Baconton Charter 10-2 and knocking Miller County from the top 10, 11-0. No. 8 Bowdon debuts at 17-5 replacing Trion. Emanuel County Institute joins the fold replacing Miller County. The Bulldogs are 17-3 riding an 11-game winning streak.
1. Lassiter
2. North Gwinnett
3. Mill Creek
4. Lambert
5. Grayson
6. East Coweta 
7. North Paulding
8. Cherokee
9. Parkview
10. Archer
1. Cambridge
2. Creekview
3. Dalton
4. Pope
5. Houston County
6. Harrison
7. Lee County
8. Mundy's Mill
9. Chattahoochee
10. River Ridge
1. Buford
2. Whitewater
3. Walnut Grove
4. Locust Grove
5. South Effingham
6. Wayne County
7. Carrollton
8. Union Grove
9. Harris County
10. Woodland-Stockbridge
1. Northside-Columbus
2. Marist
3. Central-Carroll
4. Jefferson
5. Stephens County
6. Chapel Hill
7. Ridgeland
8. Mary Persons
9. Heritage-Catoosa
10. Columbus
1. Calhoun
2. Lovett
3. Morgan County
4. Pike County
5. Westminster
6. Cook
7. Ringgold
8. Jenkins
9. Sonoraville
10. Union County
1. Vidalia
2. Rockmart
3. Harlem
4. Heard County
5. Bacon County
6. Dodge County
7. Berrien
8. Monticello
9. Social Circle
10. Bleckley County
1. First Presbyterian Day
2. Wesleyan
3. Tattnall Square Academy
4. Mt. Pisgah
5. Stratford Academy
6. Strong Rock Christian
7. Mt. Paran
8. Christian Heritage
9. Prince Avenue Christian
10. Athens Christian
1. Gordon Lee
2. Georgia Military College
3. Seminole County
4. Glascock County
5. Schley County
6. Baconton Charter
7. Wilcox County
8. Bowdon
9. Marion County
10. Emanuel County Institute


Undefeated Madison County faces Jefferson
Before we get into the individual matchups in Thursday's blog, there are big-picture storylines to look at as we set the stage for Week 7. In this 52-team classification, there are just six Friday nights of football left for 20 of the teams. The regular season will end on November 4, and this is the point in the season when that reality really starts to settle in. By late Friday night, temperatures will dip below 60 degrees for the first time this season.  During this subtle reminder that the playoffs are around the corner, there are four non-region matchups, 16 teams taking bye weeks and 16 total region games to take note of.

Region 1 is the only eight-team region in this classification, and once again will be the 'host with the most' when it comes to region matchups. Cairo sits at the top of the region at 2-0, while six teams enter the week log jammed with 1-1 region records. Westover (1-1) and Hardaway (1-1) kickoff the action Thursday night at Kinnett Stadium and are each coming off clutch victories to avoid 0-2 starts. Westover topped Carver-Columbus 23-20 last Thursday, while Hardaway held off Columbus 16-10 Friday night.

In Region 2, Perry takes on Class AAA Dougherty in a non-region filler game, while West Laurens at Howard and Spalding at Mary Persons open up region play. Mary Persons cruised to a perfect regular season record last year and Region 2 title, while Spalding put together a 9-1 regular season record in Region 4. Spalding and Mary Persons haven't occupied the same region since 2009 when Spalding scored a 21-0 victory to snap an 0-5 all-time previous drought against the Bulldogs.

Undefeated Thomson faces Clarkston in Region 3's non-region filler game and it will be the Bulldogs' first game since demolishing Pace Academy 38-10 back on Sept. 9. Burke County and Richmond Academy are off while Cross Creek faces Hephzibah in the region opener.

Region 5 will have more intriguing weeks ahead, while three games headline Friday. Winless Henry County (0-4) lost to Riverdale 50-0 on Sept. 16 before a bye this past Friday and will square off with Woodward Academy, which has outscored its last three opponents 154-6.

In Region 6, Heritage-Catoosa visits Southeast Whitfield with both teams looking to keep their region record unblemished. Ridgeland, which also won its region opener last week is on a bye.

Marist at Class AAAAAA Gainesville and White County at Class AAA Lumpkin County set up two cross classification matchups in the small five-team Region 7. The rest of the region is off this week.

North Oconee, Oconee County, St. Pius and Stephens County are all off in Region 8, but one major game centralizes the excitement. After starting 0-5 last year, Madison County is off to a 5-0 start this year and will put its undefeated record on the line against 4-1 Jefferson.

Friday, Sept. 30
*Region game

Region 1-AAAA
*Americus-Sumter at Cairo
*Shaw at Carver-Columbus (Columbus Memorial)
*Columbus at Northside-Columbus (Kinnett Stadium)
*Westover at Hardaway (Kinnett Stadium) (Thursday)

Region 2-AAAA
*West Laurens at Howard
*Spalding at Mary Persons
Dougherty at Perry

Region 3-AAAA
*Cross Creek at Hephzibah
Clarkston at Thomson
OFF-Burke County, Richmond Academy, Baldwin County

Region 4-AAAA
*Woodward Academy at Henry County
*Luella at Salem
OFF- Druid Hills, Eastside, North Clayton

Region 5-AAAA
*Central-Carroll at Cartersville
*Cedartown at LaGrange
*Troup at Sandy Creek
OFF-Chapel Hill

Region 6-AAAA
*Pickens at Gilmer
*Heritage-Catoosa at Southeast Whitfield
*LaFayette at Northwest Whitfield

Region 7-AAAA
Marist at Gainesville
White County at Lumpkin County
OFF-Blessed Trinity, Chestatee, West Hall

Region 8-AAAA
*Jefferson at Madison County
OFF- North Oconee, Oconee County, St. Pius, Stephens County

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