Posted: 9:36 am Monday, March 17th, 2014

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

By Jodie Wagner

There’s a new No. 1 this week following losses by the top five teams in our poll. Palm Beach Gardens dropped out of the top spot after losing 2-1 in eight innings to Wellington on Wednesday. The Wolverines have beaten the Gators twice this season, and moved up two spots to No. 3. Palm Beach Gardens also lost to nationally ranked Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas last week and fell to No. 4.

Jupiter also lost Wednesday, falling 9-6 to Dwyer, but went unbeaten in four games at its Spring Break tournament to take over the top spot. Park Vista went 2-2 at the Jupiter tournament, but vaulted to No. 2 after a rout of Spanish River on Thursday and wins over Venice and Wellington.

Dwyer moved up two spots after its win against Jupiter, while American Heritage and Trinity Christian held their spots at Nos. 6 and 7, respectively. Palm Beach Central moved back into the top 10 at No. 9 after sweeping four games at the Jupiter tournament.

This week’s schedule of games will be light, as Palm Beach County schools are on spring break. American Heritage plays state-ranked Fort Pierce-Lincoln Park Academy tonight, while Palm Beach Gardens takes on nationally ranked Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday and state-ranked and 2013 state semifinalist Plantation-American Heritage on Saturday.

Here is a look at our top 10 this week:

  1. Jupiter (15-2): Warriors sweep home tournament
  2. Park Vista (16-3): 2-2 at Jupiter tournament
  3. Wellington (12-3): Beats Gardens for the second time
  4. Palm Beach Gardens (12-3): Gators lose two to ranked teams
  5. Spanish River (9-2): Loss to Park Vista drops Sharks
  6. American Heritage (9-3): Stallions score 26 against King’s
  7. Trinity Christian (9-1): P/IB Llewellyn leading Warriors
  8. Dwyer (8-3): Big win against Jupiter
  9. Palm Beach Central (12-4): Unbeaten at Jupiter tournament
  10. West Boca Raton (8-3): Offense powering Bulls

Games to watch this week:

No. 6 American Heritage at Lincoln Park Academy, Monday, 6 p.m.: The Stallions have rebounded from a slow start, winning nine of 10 games after opening the season at 0-2. Those losses, though, were to No. 4 Palm Beach Gardens and No. 2 Park Vista. The Greyhounds (13-1) are ranked eighth in the Class 4A state poll.

No. 4 Palm Beach Gardens at Plantation-American Heritage, Saturday, 7 p.m.: The Patriots will be a huge test for the Gators, who are 12-3 after dropping two games last week, though both losses were to state-ranked teams. Plantation-American Heritage is ranked second in the Class 5A state poll and was a state semifinalist last season. The Gators also play nationally ranked Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas in a rematch Friday. The Raiders beat Palm Beach Gardens 8-2 last weekend.