Posted: 1:59 pm Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Still the one: Palm Beach Gardens softball carries nation’s top ranking into postseason 

By Jeff Greer

After finishing a historic regular season, Palm Beach Gardens softball carries a significant burden into the playoffs.

Not only are the Gators (25-1) on an unprecedented run this spring, they’re also the top-ranked team in the nation as they advance to next week’s regional tournament. Gardens, which edged Palm Beach Central in the District 9-8A semifinals on Tuesday night to qualify for Class 8A regional quarterfinals, maintained the No. 1 spot in both the ESPN and MaxPreps national high school softball rankings this week. The Gators host Jupiter in the district championship game at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Gardens has won 11 consecutive games since losing its only contest of the season. In the process, the Gators outscored opponents 84-9. Ace pitcher Shelby Turnier, who has 23 wins, hasn’t lost a game this season.