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ESPNBoston.com's softball Top 25

5/1/2015

Top 25 MIAA softball poll, as selected by our panel of staff writers, correspondents and area coaches (updated 5/1/2015):

1. Silver Lake (8-0): The Lakers move into the top spot after dispatching former No. 1 B-R last week on the strength of a Shannon Grindle home run and Maddy Barone's 4-hit shutout.

2. Bridgewater-Raynham (7-1): The Trojans saw their winning streak at 24 games, but got back in the win column putting up 10 runs against Weymouth and Brockton this week.

3. Agawam (8-0): The Brownies have separated themselves from the pack in Western Mass. with back-to-back wins against ranked opponents Longmeadow and Hampshire last week.

4. St. Peter-Marian (4-0): Ace Erin Gallo struck out 17 to keep the Guardians unbeaten in a win over Northbridge.

5. Methuen (9-0): The Rangers kept rolling in MVC play, earning wins over previously-ranked opponents Central Catholic and Tewksbury last week

6. Bishop Stang (5-0): The Spartans exploded for 27 runs in two wins last week against EAC foes Somerset-Berkley and Martha's Vineyard.

7. Taunton (7-0): The Tigers make the biggest move of the week, moving up 10 spots from last week after taking a win over former No. 3 King Philip.

8. Longmeadow (8-1): With their first loss of the year, the Lancers move back a couple of spots, but no further than here. The bigger cause for concern has been the health of UConn-bound ace Jill Stockley.

9. Newton North (3-2): The Tigers lost two out of the gate, but combined with the fact that those losses came against the two top-ranked teams in our poll - and along with a three-game winning streak - they remain in the Top 10.

10. Wachusett (8-0): The Mountaineers make a strong debut showing in this week's poll, having dominated their Mid-Wach schedule to date.

11. Minnechaug (8-1): The Falcons fell just shy of upsetting Longmeadow in a 9-8 defeat on Thursday, and move up in this week's poll despite their first loss.

12. Case (8-1): The Cardinals were dealt their first loss of the season by an upset-minded New Bedford team, thus pushing them out of the Top 10 this week.

13. Hampshire (6-2): The fourth Western Mass. offering in the poll, the Red Raiders remain just outside the Top 10, with tough but close losses to Minnechaug and Agawam last week.

14. Bishop Feehan (8-2): The Shamrocks team is going to be a force in the postseason, just ask King Philip after their loss last week.

15. Burlington (8-1): The Red Devils were dealt their first loss by a tough Melrose squad this week.

16. King Philip (5-2): The Warriors fall 13 spots following losses to Feehan and Taunton in the last week, but this team isn't going to fall much further any time soon.

17. Norton (7-0): After a couple of down years, look who's back leading the Tri-Valley League. This Lancers team is for real and could have a nice little run through the postseason this year.

18. Lowell (8-1): The Raiders could have moved much higher, but will have to settle for a jump of three spots this week after taking their first loss of the season against Andover this week.

19. Turners Falls (6-0): Congratulations to Gary Mullins who earned his 600th career win last week. And, judging by the way the Indians have been mashing the ball this year, the 36-year head coach won't want to retire any time soon.

20. Revere (6-1): The Patriots suffered a tough loss against Medford last week but notched a quality 3-2 win over a tough Danvers team this week

21. Milford (8-1): Woe to the team that draws the Scarlet Hawks in this year's tournament. This team can flat out mash, and don't forget the name Emily Piergustavo - you'll be hearing it plenty in the next four years, as she leads the Hockomock League in RBI presently.

22. Apponequet (4-2): Tough one for the Lakers in a 10-5 loss to Old Rochester, but the good news is they followed that up with a sound 3-1 win over No. 25 D-R.

23. Grafton (5-0): Yes, Kendal Roy may be gone, but don't for a moment believe they're not going to be a contender in Division 2 again.

24. Dennis-Yarmouth (7-0): The Dolphins make the program's debut in the Top 25 poll, and we'll see how long the hot start lasts. But with so many programs taking head-scratching losses in the first month of the season, there's something to be said about preserving the goose egg in the loss column at this point of the season as well.

25. Dighton-Rehoboth (8-3): The Falcons make their first poll appearance of the season and could have moved higher had they been able to nip Apponequet on Wednesday.

Last 10 Out: Arlington (6-3), Central Catholic (1-3), Chelmsford (4-1), Danvers (4-2), Marshfield (9-1), Marlborough (5-2), Melrose (5-2), St. Mary's of Lynn (5-1), Tewksbury (4-3), Weymouth (5-2).