Posted: 10:43 am Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Softball: Inside the Top 10, plus this week’s top matchups 

By Jodie Wagner

Palm Beach Gardens dropped its first game of the season last week after opening at 8-0, falling 5-4 to Wellington on a seventh-inning double Feb. 25. The Gators hung on to the top spot in our poll despite the loss, though Park Vista, Jupiter, Spanish River and the Wolverines all could challenge for the No. 1 ranking in the coming weeks.

The Cobras welcomed back basketball standout/shortstop Emily Lochten to the lineup, and went on to score 35 runs in two games last week. The Sharks moved up a spot after beating cross-town rival Boca Raton, while the Wolverines jumped to No. 4.

Entering the poll for the first time this week are Trinity Christian and Boca Raton Christian, both at 6-1. Dwyer fell out of the poll after a tough week, but the Panthers could be back soon.

Here is a look at our top 10 this week:

  1. Palm Beach Gardens (8-1): Gators hold on to top spot
  2. Jupiter (10-1): Warriors have won five straight
  3. Park Vista (8-1): Emily Lochten back in lineup for Cobras
  4. Wellington (5-1): Big win at Palm Beach Gardens
  5. Spanish River (8-1): Sharks continue to roll
  6. Boca Raton (6-2): Loss to Spanish River drops Bobcats
  7. American Heritage (6-3): Stallions move up a spot
  8. Trinity Christian (6-1): Warriors off to strong start
  9. West Boca Raton (6-2): Offense powering Bulls
  10. Boca Raton Christian (6-1): Blazers’ only loss out of county

Games to watch this week:

No. 6 Boca Raton at No. 3 Park Vista, Tuesday, 7 p.m.: The Cobras welcomed shortstop Emily Lochten back into the lineup and are on a roll. Boca Raton will have to shut down Park Vista’s prolific lineup of hitters, which includes pitcher/utility player Jamie Scher, who is third in the county in hitting at .588, outfielder Marni Greenstein, who is fourth at .579 and third baseman Jaynee Kendall (.545). On the mound Scher is 2-1 with a 1.34 ERA. Junior Abby Pac has pitched well for the Bobcats.

No. 5 Spanish River at Dwyer, Wednesday, 7 p.m.: The Sharks have won five straight after sustaining their lone loss to Wellington nearly three weeks ago. Spanish River hopes to continue that streak against the Panthers, who have four hitters batting over .500, led by Kaitlyn McEvoy at .563.

No. 4 Wellington at No. 2 Jupiter, Thursday, 7 p.m.: The Wolverines handed Palm Beach Gardens its first loss of the season last Tuesday, scoring the winning run on a double in the seventh. The Wolverines are deep in pitching and batting, but will face an equally talented team in Jupiter. The Warriors’ lone loss comes to the Gators.