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Prep Zone Power Poll – 2014 Softball Poll – Week 7

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Columbia TigersGainesville – Last year’s top-ranked team in the softball Prep Zone Power Poll is again No. 1 heading into the FHSAA regional quarterfinals.

Columbia (Lake City), which went 27-4 last year and won its first state title in school history, won the Class 6A-District 2 last week and is set to defend its Class 6A state title.  The Tigers (25-1), who received five of seven first-place votes, open up the state playoffs at home on Wednesday against Escambia (Pensacola).

Ponte Vedra, which received the other two first-place votes, remained second.  The Sharks defeated No. 17 Clay (Green Cove Springs) in the 5A-4 championship game and remained unbeaten at 24-0.  They will host Paxon (Jacksonville) on Thursday.

However, P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) lost to Bradford (Starke), 2-1, in the 4A-5 title game and dropped one spot to fourth, while the Tornadoes (18-7) moved up three spots to 10th.  The Blue Wave (20-3) will have to travel to The Villages on Wednesday, and likely to Bradford on Tuesday, April 29, for the regional semifinals.

Forest (Ocala) moved up one spot to third.  The Wildcats (24-2) won the 6A-6 title and will host Seabreeze (Daytona Beach) on Wednesday.

Rounding out the top five is Hernando (Brooksville), which moved up one spot from sixth.  The Leopards won the 5A-7 championship and will host Dunedin this week.

Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (22-3) is ranked sixth, followed by Creekside (St. Johns) (18-5), Nature Coast (Brooksville) (22-4), Belleview (22-5) and Bradford in the top 10.

The only teams in the top 20 that did not qualify for the state playoffs are Bartram Trail (St. Johns) and Citrus (Inverness) (19-6), which dropped seven spots from 12th to 19th following a 12-6 loss to Lecanto in the 5A-6 district semifinals.

The Bears (20-6) fell eight spots from 10th to 18th following a 5-4 loss to St. Augustine in the 6A-4 semifinals.  Bartram Trail’s loss ended the Jacksonville area’s longest postseason streak.  They had reached the playoffs all 13 seasons they had been eligible.

Deltona (19-4) and Englewood (Jacksonville) (12-7) are in the poll for the first time at Nos. 16 and 19, respectively, following district titles.

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.

Prep Zone Power Poll – 2014 Softball Poll #7
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, record through 4/20 and total voting points)

1.  Columbia (5) (6A) (25-1) – 138
2.  Ponte Vedra (2) (5A) (24-0) – 135
3.  Forest (Ocala) (6A) (24-2)– 123
4.  PK Yonge (Gainesville) (4A) (20-3) – 117
5.  Hernando (Brooksville) (5A) (25-2) – 116
6.  Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (22-3) – 106
7.  Creekside (St. Johns) (6A) (18-5) – 93
8.  Nature Coast (Brooksville) (5A) (22-4)– 84
9.  Belleview (5A) (22-5) – 83
10. Bradford (Starke) (4A) (18-7) – 77
11. East Ridge (Clermont) (7A) (20-4) – 70
12. West Nassau (Callahan) (4A) (21-5) – 68
13. Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (21-0) – 54
14. Montverde Academy (4A) (20-4) – 50
15. Aucilla Christian (Monticello) (2A) (15-3) – 36
16. Deltona (7A) (19-4) – 34
17. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (18-7)– 24
18. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (6A) (20-6) – 20
19T Citrus (Inverness) (5A) (19-6) – 6
19T Englewood (Jacksonville) (6A) (12-7) – 6

Also receiving votes:  Buchholz (Gainesville) (7A) (16-8) – 12; The Villages (4A)(19-5)– 5; St. Augustine (6A) (16-9) – 4; Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto) (2A) (15-5) – 4; Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (16-9) – 3; Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (18-9) – 2.

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