The Prep Zone Power Poll fueled by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – Softball Poll #1

anytimefitness_gainesvilleDefending state champion Gainesville on top of first regional softball poll

GAINESVILLE — The 2016 season was a historic one for the Gainesville Purple Hurricanes softball team.

GHS captured the 7A state championship, its first state title in softball, and finished as the unanimous #1 team in The Prep Zone Power Poll final rankings last year.

And despite losing star pitcher Katie Chronister to graduation and the University of Florida, the Purple Hurricanes are the top-ranked team in the first regional poll for the 2017 season.

Gainesville HurricanesGainesville (13-2) received four of the seven first place votes to edge out Union County (Lake Butler) for the top spot. They are ranked 3rd in the latest Miracle Sports state poll for 7A. Gainesville dropped a game at Union County in the opening week 9-5 and also lost to #12 Columbia (Lake City), 7-6.

The Purple Hurricanes avenged their earlier loss to Union County with a 7-4 win in Gainesville last week. They also own wins against #6 Santa Fe (Alachua) and #T-19 Keystone Heights.

The loss at Gainesville is the only setback to this point for Union County (11-1). The Tigers are atop the 1A state softball poll and have wins over #T-9 Trenton and three-time defending 1A state champion #16 Chiefland.

Oakleaf (Orange Park) also received a first place vote and is tied for third with Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville). The Knights (9-2) are ranked 4th in the 8A state poll, while the Sharks (12-1) are #3 in 5A.

Rounding out the top 5 is Belleview (7-1), whose only loss is to Nature Coast Tech.

After Santa Fe in the second five is No. 7 Trinity Christian (Jacksonville).  The Conquerors (8-2) are ranked 3rd for 4A in the state poll.

Coming in 8th is West Nassau (Callahan). The Warriors (9-3) own wins over Columbia and #17 Baker County (Glen St. Mary), and are the only team in this point of the season to have beaten nationally-ranked Coral Springs Charter.

Rounding out the top 10 is Trenton (9-1) and Deltona (8-1) who are tied for ninth. Trenton’s only loss is 5-4 to Columbia, and they are ranked 2nd in the 1A state poll behind Union County.

Four teams received first-place votes in this opening poll with #13 Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville) and #14 Episcopal (Jacksonville) also garnered a vote apiece for the top spot.

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball, baseball & softball teams (regardless of FHSAA classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters.

THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2017 SOFTBALL POLL #1
(school, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 3/18 and total voting points)
1. Gainesville (7A) (4) (13-2) – 135
2. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (11-1) – 123
T-3. Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) (5A) (12-1) – 98
T-3. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (8A) (1) (9-2) – 98
5. Belleview (6A) (7-1) – 79
6. Santa Fe (Alachua) (5A) (14-2) – 76
7. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (4A) (8-2) – 73
8. West Nassau (Callahan) (5A) (9-3) – 70
T-9. Deltona (7A) (8-1) – 63
T-9. Trenton (1A) (9-1) – 63
11. Eustis (5A) (8-1) – 60
12. Columbia (Lake City) (7A) (6-3) – 59
13. Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville) (8A) (1) (10-3) – 57
14. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (4A) (1) (9-1) – 55
15. Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (11-1) – 54
16. Chiefland (1A) (7-2) – 40
17. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (8-5) – 34
18. Aucilla Christian (Monticello) (2A) (4-3) – 32
T-19. First Coast (Jacksonville) (8A) (9-3) – 26
T-19. Keystone Heights (5A) (8-4) – 26
Also receiving votes: University (Orange City) (9A) (8-3) – 22; Flagler Palm Coast (9A) (7-2) – 20; Clay (Green Cove Springs) (6A) (6-2) – 17; Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (9A) (6-3) – 14; Seven Rivers Chrsitian (Lecanto) (2A) (9-1) – 13; Creekside (St. Johns) (8A) (6-2) – 12; Montverde Academy (4A) (6-2-1) – 12; Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (8-2) – 11; Bradford (Starke) (5A) (6-3) – 10; Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (8-4) – 7; St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) (3A) (8-3) – 6; Matanzas (Palm Coast) (7A) (5-2) – 2.