Posting an unbeaten record is second to none in softball, but it's not far behind when a team hasn't lost with its ace pitcher in the circle.
Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) is a great example of that and this week has returned to the No. 1 ranking in the POWERADE FAB 50. Counting a 2-0 win on Tuesday night in a showdown against FAB 50 No. 10 Poland Seminary (Ohio), the Gators are 23-1 with their only loss coming when ace pitcher Shelby Turnier wasn't in the circle.
With previous No. 1 Norco (Calif.) suffering its first loss of the season at the Michelle Carew Classic in Anaheim Hills, Calif., Palm Beach Gardens was an easy choice to move up from No. 2.
The Gators not only got the win over Poland Seminary -- although Poland's ace, Erin Gabriel, didn't pitch -- but they also are coming off a 4-0 showing at the prestigious Kissimmee Klassic. They routed Gulliver Prep (Pinecrest, Fla.) 16-0 in the championship game.
Norco dropped to No. 6 this week and fell to No. 3 in California. One team to watch from California is unbeaten Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.), which won the Livermore Stampede tournament and beat previous No. 6 Archbishop Mitty en route to the title game.