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Prep Zone Power Poll – 2014 Softball Poll – Week 8

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Columbia TigersGainesville – The top-ranked team in the softball Prep Zone Power Poll inched its way closer to a repeat.

Defending state champion Columbia (Lake City) opened the Class 6A playoffs with a convincing 10-0 win over Escambia (Pensacola) in six innings in the regional quarterfinals.  The Tigers (27-1) picked up another first place vote and were almost a unanimous selection as the top overall team after collecting six of the seven first-place votes.

Unbeaten Ponte Vedra received the other first-place vote.  The Sharks (25-0) shut out Paxon (Jacksonville), 8-0, in the 5A regional quarterfinals, but they will be tested at No. 6 Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (23-3) in the regional semifinals.

P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) actually moved up one spot to third in the rankings following an 11-1 win at The Villages.  The Blue Wave (21-3) get No. 19 South Sumter (Bushnell) next, but they’ll have to keep winning on the road to get to the 4A state semifinals.

Forest (Ocala) dropped one spot from third to fourth despite a 12-1 win over Seabreeze (Daytona Beach).  The 6A Wildcats (25-2) will also have to win on the road in the second round as they travel to No. 13 Deltona, which edged South Lake (Groveland), 6-5, in the regional quarterfinals.

Hernando (Brooksville) remained fifth.  The Leopards (26-2) advanced with a 3-1 win over Dunedin.

Baker County is followed by Creekside (St. Johns) (19-5), Belleview (23-5), East Ridge (Clermont) (21-4) and West Nassau (Callahan) (22-5) in the top 10.

The only teams in the top 10 to fall out were previous No. 8 Nature Coast (Brooksville) and No. 10 Bradford (Starke).

The Sharks (22-5) dropped seven spots to 15th following a season-ending 4-1 loss to River Ridge (New Port Richey), the second-ranked team in the state in 5A behind Ponte Vedra.  The Tornadoes (18-8) were upset at home by South Sumter, 2-1, and dropped eight spots to No. 18.

Clay (Green Cove Springs), Citrus (Inverness) and Englewood (Jacksonville) fell out of the rankings following first-round losses, while St. Augustine (17-9), Bolles (Jacksonville) (17-9) and Mount Dora Bible (18-8) and South Sumter climbed into the poll.

This is the last poll until the FHSAA Softball Finals are completed.

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 #8
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, record through 4/28 and total voting points)

1.  Columbia (6) (6A) (27-1) – 139
2.  Ponte Vedra (1) (5A) (25-0) – 134
3.  PK Yonge (Gainesville) (4A) (21-3) – 122
4.  Forest (Ocala) (6A) (25-2)– 121
5.  Hernando (Brooksville) (5A) (26-2) – 112
6.  Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (23-3) – 107
7.  Creekside (St. Johns) (6A) (19-5) – 94
8.  Belleview (5A) (23-5) – 93
9.  East Ridge (Clermont) (7A) (21-4) – 84
10. West Nassau (Callahan) (4A) (22-5) – 76
11. Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (21-0) – 68
12. Montverde Academy (4A) (21-4) – 65
13. Deltona (6A) (20-4) – 51
14. Aucilla Christian (Monticello) (2A) (16-3) – 48
15. Nature Coast (Brooksville) (5A) (22-5)– 29
16.St. Augustine (6A) (17-9) – 27
17.Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (17-9)– 22
18. Bradford (Starke) (4A) (18-8) – 18
19.South Sumter (Bushnell) (4A) (16-8) – 16
20T Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (6A) (20-6)– 9
20TMount Dora Bible (3A) (18-8) – 9

Also receiving votes:  Eustis (5A) (15-8) – 7;Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (18-9) – 6; Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (18-8)– 5; Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (17-11) – 5; Citrus (Inverness) (5A) (19-6) – 2; Englewood (Jacksonville) (6A) (12-8) –1.

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