Posted: 11:27 am Monday, April 7th, 2014

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

By Jodie Wagner

It’s hard to believe, but just one week remains in the regular season for area softball teams. After another busy week on the diamond, Jupiter held on to the top spot while Wellington and Park Vista switched places at Nos. 2 and 3. Palm Beach Gardens and Trinity Christian round out the top five.

Jupiter continues to surge, defeating No. 4 Palm Beach Gardens 4-1 last week before losing 3-2 in nine innings to state-ranked Plantation-American Heritage. The Wolverines went 3-0 last week, while the Cobras beat Palm Beach Central before dropping a pair of 4-3 games to Seminole Ridge and Palm Beach Gardens. The Gators won two games following their loss to the Warriors, while Trinity Christian rolled to its 12th straight win. The Warriors haven’t lost in two months.

This week’s schedule is fairly light, with Park Vista’s game against Wellington on Tuesday the highlight of the week.

Here is a look at our top 10 this week:

  1. Jupiter (18-3): Warriors maintain top spot
  2. Wellington (17-4): Wolverines on a roll
  3. Park Vista (17-6): Cobras drop 2-of-3
  4. Palm Beach Gardens (17-6): Two quality wins for Gators
  5. Trinity Christian (14-1): Warriors unbeaten in 12 games
  6. Spanish River (13-4): Sharks No. 2 seed in district
  7. Dwyer (16-6): Panthers win three straight
  8. West Boca Raton (13-4): Pitching key for Bulls
  9. Boca Raton Christian (15-4): Offense powering Blazers
  10. Palm Beach Central (14-8): Broncos struggling to score

Games to watch this week:

No. 2 Wellington at No. 3 Park Vista, Tuesday, 7 p.m.: An intriguing late-season contest between two teams with high hopes for the post-season. The Cobras and Wolverines met earlier this season, with the Cobras winning 10-4 at the Jupiter Spring Break Tournament. Both teams have solid starting pitching and offenses capable of scoring runs in bunches.

No. 4 Palm Beach Gardens at No. 7 Dwyer, Tuesday, 7 p.m.: The cross-town rivals meet for the first time this season in a non-district contest. The Gators have played a difficult schedule in preparation for the post-season, and the Panthers could be another tough opponent. Bailey Whalen has pitched well for Palm Beach Gardens, while Dwyer has a balanced offense led by shortstop Kelsey Huff.

South Fork at No. 1 Jupiter, Friday, 7:30 p.m.: The top-ranked Warriors close their regular season with a game against the Bulldogs, who have had a nice year at 12-3. Jupiter is solid on the mound and at the plate, with junior starter Meghan Jeffrey among the area’s leaders in wins and ERA and the Warriors’ offense coming up big in clutch situations.