Posted: 3:38 pm Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Softball: Gardens still No. 1, District 9-8A toughest in state 

By Jeff Greer

Miracle Sports released its weekly state softball polls, and a familiar face is back in the top spot for large schools teams.

Palm Beach Gardens is once again ranked atop the Class 4A-8A poll after a week at No. 2. American Heritage is second in the 1A-4A poll, and Jupiter ranked seventh in the large-schools poll. Lincoln Park is ranked eighth in the small-schools poll.

In the same release, Miracle Sports also announced its strength index for Florida high school districts. District 9-8A, which features Gardens, Jupiter, Wellington, Palm Beach Central and Dwyer, is considered the toughest in the state.

The rankings will almost certainly change after Tuesday’s results. Gardens hammered Jupiter, which mysteriously started freshman pitcher Meghan Jeffrey over ace junior Kylee Hanson and lost 14-1. Hanson struck out 16 batters and narrowly lost a 1-0 decision to Gardens three weeks ago. The Warriors play American Heritage on Friday.

Here are the class-by-class rankings and all-class polls:

ALL CLASSES (5A-8A)
1. Palm Beach Gardens (8A)
2. Niceville (6A)
3. Plantation-American Heritage (5A)
4. Bartow (7A)
5. Eau Gallie (6A)
6. Braden River (7A)
7. Jupiter (8A)
8. Winter Spring (7A)
9. Bartram Trail (5A)
10. Durant (8A)

ALL CLASSES (1A-4A)
1. Gulliver Prep (4A)
2. American Heritage (3A)
3. Bradford (4A)
4. Space Coast (4A)
5. Pine Castle (2A)
6. Bishop Snyder (3A)
7. Liberty County (1A)
8. Lincoln Park (4A)
9. Westminster Christian (3A)
10. Trinity Prep (3A)

CLASS 1A
1. Liberty County (Bristol) 9-2
2. Lafayette (Mayo) 10-1
3. Baldwin 8-3
4. Union County 7-4
5. Hilliard 7-3
6. The Villages 7-3
7. Chipley 6-2
8. Holmes County 8-1
9. Sneads 2-2
10. Port St. Joe 5-2

CLASS 2A
1. Pine Castle Christian 10-3
2. Canterbury (St. Petersburg) 2-2
3. Grandview Prep (Boca Raton) 4-2
4. Boca Christian 6-2
5. Southwest Florida Christian 7-2
6. Hernando Christian (Brooksville) 6-1
7. Munroe (Quincy) 6-2
8. Sarasota Christian 3-2
9. Foundation 7-3
10. Trinity (Deltona) 6-1
Also receiving votes: Wellington Christian 5-2, Covenant Christian (Palm Bay) 5-2, Lake Worth Christian 1-0, Geneva 5-2, Sheridan Hills 2-2.

CLASS 3A
1. American Heritage 8-1
2. Trinity Prep (Winter Park) 9-4
3. Bishop Snyder 4-2
4. Westminster Christian 5-0
5. North Florida Christian 6-0
6. King’s Academy 8-3
7. Northside Christian 6-0
8. University Christian 6-1
9. Providence (Jacksonville) 7-1
10. Pope John Paul II 9-1
Also receiving votes: Florida Christian (Miami) 2-1, P. K. Yonge (Gainesville) 4-3, Shorecrest Prep 4-1, Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale) 4-3, Jupiter Christian 1-0, Benjamin 4-1, St. John Neumann 4-3, Evangelical Christian 4-2.

CLASS 4A
1. Gulliver Prep (Pine Crest) 6-1
2. Bradford (Starke) 9-0
3. Space Coast 7-1
4. Lincoln Park 7-1
5. Florida High (Tallahassee) 7-2
6. Trinity Catholic 8-1
7. Satellite (Satellite Beach) 8-3
8. Ransom 5-1
9. Desoto County 7-2
10. Coral Springs Charter 8-1
Also receiving votes: Astronaut (Titusville) 5-3, Santa Fe 7-4, Yulee 5-0, South Sumter 6-2, LaBelle 7-1, St. Andrew’s 6-1, University School (Ft. Lauderdale) 6-2, Mulberry 6-2, Clewiston 6-2.

CLASS 5A
1. American Heritage (Plantation) 9-0
2. Bartram Trail 8-1
3. Ponte Vedra 9-1
4. North Fort Myers 10-1
5. Bellview 6-2
6. North Marion 8-1
7. Arnold 9-2
8. Creekside 9-0
9. Tavares 11-1
10. Lemon Bay (Englewood) 5-2
Also receiving votes: Clay 5-3, Pasco 4-0, Suncoast 8-2, Wakulla (Crawfordville) 4-4, Titusville 4-3, Palatka, Suwanee 6-2, Baker County 0-2.

CLASS 6A
1. Niceville 11-1
2. Eau Gallie 7-0
3. Milton 9-1
4. Sunlake 8-1
5. River Ridge 7-1
6. Barron Collier 6-1
7. Atlantic Coast 7-1
8. Navarre 8-2
9. Columbia 7-2
10. Pembroke Pines 7-1
Also receiving votes: Melbourne 7-3, Mater Academy 8-0, Oakleaf 6-2, Strawberry Crest 7-2, Sickles 6-1, Mosley 9-3, Naples 7-3, Ida Baker 4-0, Escambia 4-3, Lakewood Ranch 7-2, South Lake 6-4, Leon 8-3.

CLASS 7A
1. Bartow 9-0
2. Braden River 7-1
3. Winter Springs 8-1
4. Cooper City 6-0
5. Chiles (Tallahassee) 9-1
6. Harmony 8-1
7. Sarasota 5-2
8. Lake Howell 11-3
9. West Boca 7-1
10. Chamberlain (Tampa) 6-1
Also receiving votes: Okeechobee 7-1, Osceola 8-4, Fletcher 7-2, St. Thomas Aquinas 2-1, East Ridge 10-2, Viera (Melbourne) 5-3.

CLASS 8A
1. Palm Beach Gardens 8-0
2. Jupiter 9-2

3. Durant 7-0
4. Cypress Bay 4-0
5. Alonso 7-2
6. Mandarin 8-3
7. Flagler Palm Coast 8-1
8. Park Vista 9-3
9. West Orange 10-2
10. East River (Orlando) 11-2
Also receiving votes: Hagerty 9-3, Timber Creek 6-1, Taravella 6-2, West Broward 6-0, Olympia 8-2, Apopka 6-1, Western 7-0, Varela 8-2, Centennial 5-1, Dr. Philips 8-2, Treasure Coast 5-3, Boone 7-3, University 7-2, Miami Springs 4-0, Hialeah 4-0, Coral Reef 6-2.