The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Strive Fitness – 2018 Softball Poll #2

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Despite first loss, Gainesville remains on top of the all-classification regional rankings

GAINESVILLE – The No. 1 team in The Prep Zone Power Poll is still the same.

Class 7A Gainesville High School suffered its first defeat of the season, a 4-3 loss in eight innings to current Class 1A No. 1 ranked Trenton, but they also defeated previously RV Santa Fe (Alachua) and No. 4 Keystone Heights to stay on top.

Despite receiving two less first-place votes, the Hurricanes (13-1), who received two first-place votes and four second-place votes, remained No. 1 in the all-classification regional rankings.

Oakleaf (Orange Park) is just behind GHS at No. 2.

The Knights (9-2) also had an extra-inning loss, falling to Class 8A No. 2 Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton), 7-6 (9), in a 1-2 classification showdown. Oakleaf, which defeated previous No. 11 West Nassau (Callahan) as part of a 2-1 weekend at the Tournament of Champions, tumbled to fourth in the state rankings but stayed put in the regional rankings.

They received two of the six first-place votes.

The Hurricanes and Knights have big games this week, including an opportunity to settle the debate over which team should be #1.Gainesville Hurricanes

Oakleaf is at Keystone Heights on Thursday and then will host Gainesville on Friday. GHS hosts No. 14 Columbia (Lake City) on Thursday.

But that could also open the door for third-ranked Bartram Trail (St. Johns), which defeated Oakleaf, 8-4, on March 2, and is only five total voting points behind both teams. The Class 7A Bears went 3-0 and remained third. They received one first-place vote.

In fact, the top four teams are unchanged.

Keystone Heights, which moved up to No. 2 in the Class 5A state poll, is fourth.

The only change in the top five is Eustis.

Previous No. 5 Union County (Lake Butler) dropped from fifth to seventh following a 4-2 loss at Wewahitchka. It was the second loss of the season for the defending 1A state champions, as the Tigers (7-2) lost at home to Gainesville, 2-1, on Feb. 20.

That allowed Eustis to move up one spot. The fifth-ranked Panthers are third in the 5A state rankings.

Trenton, which received one first-place vote, moved up six spots from 12th to sixth.

In addition to the upset win at top-ranked Gainesville, the Tigers (11-1) also defeated 1A #3 Sneads, 8-2. Their only loss was at Keystone Heights, 4-2, on March 2.

Union County, Springstead (Spring Hill), Aucilla Christian (Monticello), and Deltona round out the top 10.

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 and it is powered by Strive Fitness.

The Prep Zone Power Poll – 2018 Softball Poll #2
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 3/17, and total voting points)
1. Gainesville (7A) (2) (13-1) – 116
2. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (8A) (2) (9-2) – 112
3. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (1) (10-1) – 111
4. Keystone Heights (5A) (11-2) – 98
5. Eustis (5A) (9-2) – 88
6. Trenton (1A) (1) (11-1) – 85
7. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (7-2) – 84
8. Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (11-1) – 80
9. Aucilla Christian (Monticello) (2A) (4-1) – 61
10. Deltona (7A) (8-1) – 60
11. Providence (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-1) – 56
12. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (4A) (11-4) – 49
13. East Ridge (Clermont) (8A) (13-1) – 43
14. Columbia (Lake City) (7A) (10-3) – 42
15. West Nassau (Callahan) (5A) (9-3) – 35
16. Taylor (Pierson) (5A) (9-0) – 32
17. Hernando (Brooksville) (5A) (10-2) – 24
18. Dunnellon (6A) (8-2) – 18
19. Crystal River (6A) (7-1) – 12
20. Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (9-5) – 11
Also receiving votes: DeLand (9A) (6-1) – 9, Mandarin (Jacksonville) (9A) (10-2) – 9, St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) (3A) (7-1) – 6, University (Orange City) (9A) (7-2) – 5, Chiefland (1A) (11-2) – 4, Ridgeview (Orange Park) (6A) (7-2) – 4, Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (9A) (3-4) – 3, Belleview (6A) (7-3) – 2, Eagle’s View (Jacksonville) (2A) (11-1) – 1.