Hayen's softball team has been on a roller-coaster ride in the first three weeks of the Alabama Sports Writers Association state rankings, and this week the Wildcats are near the crest of the big hill.
The latest rankings, released Thursday morning, have Hayden ranked fifth statewide in Class 5A. They jumped over Mortimer Jordan, their area rival, whom the Wildcats defeated 7-1 last week. The Blue Devils fell from fourth to seventh.
It's the first time the Wildcats have ever been ranked as high as fifth, and also the first time they have been ranked ahead of Jordan. Hayden was ranked tenth in the opening rankings of the season, then dropped into the "others nominated" category.
However, neither team is even the highest-ranked team within Area 12. That honoe falls to Curry, which moved up to the fourth spot, which means that three of the top seven teams in 5A area in that one area.
Hayden and Curry were scheduled to meet each other on Monday, but that game was postponed by the storm system that moved through central Alabama. The Wildcats did defeat Cordova, ranked seventh in Class 3A, in an 11-inning affair Tuesday.
Jordan also split a doubleheader at Albertville the day after their loss to Hayden. They've been off this week for spring break, but resume action in a round-robin event Saturday at Gardendale.
No other local teams were ranked in any class; Corner was an also-nominated selection in 4A.
In baseball, no local teams were ranked; Jordan, which was ranked in the first week, has dropped out.
The complete rankings:
ASWA Softball Rankings
1. Sparkman (15-3)
2. Pelham (16-2)
3. Hueytown (16-3)
4. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (12-5)
5. Vestavia Hills (11-5-1)
6. Dothan (17-7)
7. Baker (15-2-1)
8. Bob Jones (11-7-1)
9. Central-Phenix City (17-5)
10. Hewitt-Trussville (16-4)
Others nominated: Enterprise (9-6), Fairhope (10-6), Mountain Brook (13-7), Oak Mountain (13-6), Spain Park (14-9), Thompson (12-6), Wetumpka (10-5).