Posted: 9:35 am Monday, March 10th, 2014

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

By Jodie Wagner

Rain and darkness impacted dozens of games last week, with a handful of teams losing one or two games to Mother Nature. Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton were among those teams that were able to complete just one game.

The lighter schedule had just a slight effect on our poll. The top three remained unchanged, with Palm Beach Gardens maintaining the top spot followed by Jupiter and Park Vista. Spanish River and Wellington switched places, with the Sharks moving up to No. 4 and the Wolverines dropping to No. 5 after falling 5-0 to Jupiter on Friday.

Trinity Christian and American Heritage also moved up, while Dwyer re-entered the poll at No. 10.

There are a handful of big games to keep an eye on this week, with Palm Beach Gardens traveling to Wellington on Wednesday and Park Vista hosting Spanish River on Thursday.

Here is a look at our top 10 this week:

  1. Palm Beach Gardens (9-1): Gators keep top spot
  2. Jupiter (11-1): Warriors have won six straight
  3. Park Vista (13-1): Unbeaten at Broward tournament
  4. Spanish River (9-1): Big game at Park Vista Thurs.
  5. Wellington (7-2): Hosts No. 1 Gardens Wed.
  6. American Heritage (8-3): Stallions move up a spot
  7. Trinity Christian (8-1): Fast start for Warriors
  8. Boca Raton (6-3): Bobcats have lost two straight
  9. West Boca Raton (7-3): Bulls score 20 runs in Tues. win
  10. Dwyer (7-3): Panthers back in top 10

Games to watch this week:

No. 9 West Boca Raton at No. 10 Dwyer, Tuesday, 7 p.m.: The Panthers moved back into the top 10  last week following a 9-0 shutout of Olympic Heights. Dwyer has four hitters batting over. 500. The Bulls went 1-1 last week and hope to get the road win. Pitcher Brittany Urie is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA.

No. 1 Palm Beach Gardens at No. 5 Wellington, Wednesday, 7 p.m.: This is a big game for both teams. The Wolverines handed the Gators their only loss of the season Feb. 25, scoring on a double in the seventh inning for a 5-4 victory. Gardens will be looking to even the season series on the road. Expect another tight contest.

No. 3 Park Vista at No. 4 Spanish River, Thursday, 7 p.m.: The Sharks and Cobras are two of the area’s hottest teams, with Spanish River having won six straight games and Park Vista 10 straight. The Sharks will have their hands full containing the Cobras’ powerful lineup of hitters. Outfielder Marni Greenstein is third in the area in hitting at .680, while three other hitters are batting over .500. Pitchers Gabby Decker and Chelsea Malcolm both are unbeaten.