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Tuesday, April 17, 2012
New Cal-Hi Sports Softball Top 20

By Mark Tennis

Many teams were off for spring break last week, but there were enough that lost so that three newcomers are able to break into this week’s rankings.

The wild scrambling that had to be done in the aftermath of the Michelle Carew Classic and the Livermore Stampede was replaced by more orderly results so that this week’s state top 20 softball rankings didn’t see too many changes.

After the top 10, however, there was some movement due to previously unbeaten San Benito of Hollister losing its first game to Valley Christian of San Jose, previous No. 15 Marina of Huntington Beach dropping a game to unranked La Canada and previous No. 17 Newark Memorial of Newark losing twice at a tournament in Sparks, Nev.

This week’s highest newcomer is new No. 16 Redlands while the other two getting nods are St. Lucy’s of Glendora and Central of Fresno.

(Through games played Monday, April 16)
(Writeups also by Paul Muyskens & Harold Abend)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)


1.  (1)  Pacifica (Garden Grove) 20-1
With just one game last week, the Mariners extended their winning streak to 14 games with an 11-1 Empire League victory over Western of Anaheim. Nicole DeWitt had three doubles and Faith Canfield and Libby Pederson each homered in the road win.

2.  (2)  Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 12-0
Coach Julie Marshall and her young team rested on its laurels of the Queen of the Mountain and Livermore Stampede titles with no games last week but now it’s time to get busy for a run at another CIF North Coast Section Division I title. This week they return to East Bay Athletic League action with games against Danville San Ramon Valley, California of San Ramon and the same Livermore team they defeated in the Stampede’s title game.

3.  (3)  Norco 18-1
Since the Cougars lost their only game, they’ve won four in a row. Last week was capped by a 6-0 win over Riverside Poly as Emily Lockman threw a three-hitter and struck out eight.

4.  (4)  Royal (Simi Valley) 12-1
After capturing the championship at the Arroyo Grande Tournament, the Highlanders didn't play a game last week. Nancy Bowling has been in the circle for 76.1 of their 83 innings and has 0.18 ERA with 127 strikeouts.

5.  (5)  Lutheran (Orange) 20-4
Like many teams, the Lancers had last week off after going 4-1 at the Michelle Carew Classic the week before. Senior Madison Osias has led the offensive attack with a team-high eight home runs and 30 runs batted in.

6.  (6)  Los Alamitos 14-5
With more than a week to think about their last loss, which came to No. 1 Pacifica at the Michelle Carew Classic, the Griffins got back on the field on Tuesday for a Sunset League game against Newport Harbor of Newport Beach.

7.  (7)  Woodcreek (Roseville) 14-1
Nicole Miller and Frankie Orlando each drove in a run during the first inning and it was enough as the Timberwolves defeated Granite Bay 2-0 in their lone game of the week. Amanda Horbash allowed just three hits in the complete game shutout while striking out seven.

8.  (8)  Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 16-2
A non-league game with Gilroy was washed out so the Monarchs were inactive last week after the third-place finish at the Livermore Stampede two weeks ago. This week, it’s back to West Catholic Athletic League action versus host Valley Christian, visiting Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco, and visiting crosstown Presentation.

9.  (9)  Chino Hills 16-3
Winners of 10 straight games, the Huskies hosted Claremont on Tuesday after having two weeks off. Senior Nikki Girard has a team-best 19 runs batted in while freshman Tannon Snow has driven in 18 and has hit a team-best six home runs.

10.  (10)  El Diamante (Visalia) 21-1
In their only game last week, coach Travis Roebuck and his girls rebounded from their first loss with a six-inning 12-2 win over nearby Lemoore. Freshman third-sacker Rylee Pierce had a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. Junior Sierra Hyland pitched a five-hitter with eight strikeouts, and also had a triple, double, two RBIs and two runs scored.

11.  (13)  Edison (Huntington Beach) 17-2
Most teams had last week off, but not the Chargers as they picked up two wins and move up two spots in this week’s rankings. Samantha Cordova tossed eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over El Toro and then Ali Wester hit a three-run double in the seventh inning for walkoff 4-3 win over state-ranked Mission Viejo tin the title game of the Woodbridge Softball Classic.

12.  (12)  Torrey Pines (San Diego) 19-2
Following the disappointing loss in their Falcon Fiesta to West Hills, the girls had a week off last week to start a new run beginning Palomar League play this week. They have road games at crosstown Rancho Bernardo and Mt. Carmel, and a home game with Poway.

13.  (16)  James Logan (Union City) 10-1
Not only did the Colts avoid the snow in Nevada last week, they validated their bump in the rankings by winning the Reed Spring Break Tournament in Sparks with five solid victories. Coach Terri Johnson’s girls opened with a 6-3 win over Carson City (Nevada) Carson, then took a 4-2 decision from Carmel (Calif.), next was a 10-0 win over Sacramento Inderkum, followed by a 3-1 win over Mission Valley League arch-rival Newark Memorial. In the title game against highly regarded Spanish Springs of Sparks, the Colts overcame a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 behind a two-hitter by Raeann Garza that was backed up by sparkling defense. Logan’s only loss is still the 2-0 no-hitter suffered against Amador Valley.

14.  (20)  West Hills (Santee) 16-3
The Wolf Pack picked up from where they left off in winning the Falcon Fiesta two weeks ago with a win in the Grossmont Conference Tournament last week 7-0 over Lakeside El Capitan. They also had an 8-2 Grossmont Hills League win over host Helix of La Mesa. Another reason for the team’s rise in the rankings is that they are higher than Torrey Pines in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s section rankings.

15.  (14)  Mission Viejo 21-4
The Diablos made it all the way to the championship game of the Gold Bracket of the Woodbridge (Irvine) Softball Classic, and even broke out to 2-0 first-inning and 3-0 third-inning leads before giving up three runs in the seventh to fall 4-3 to No. 11 Edison. The result is only a one spot drop going into a Wednesday South Coast League game with Laguna Hills.

16.  (NR)  Redlands 11-0
Amanda Weis smacked two homers and a double as the Terriers began this week with a 15-2 romp past Fontana. They haven’t played too tough of a schedule, but they are ranked high in the CIF Southern Section Division I coaches’ poll.

17.  (18)  Esperanza (Anaheim) 15-6
Despite not playing last week, the Aztecs move up a spot in this week’s top 20 after going 4-1 the week before at the Michelle Carew Classic. On the year, they are averaging 4.9 runs per game.

18.  (19)  Lakewood 14-4
The Lancers continue to benefit by owning two wins over new No. 20 Central of Fresno. The team, which did not play last week, resumes Moore League play on Thursday with a game against Jordan of Long Beach.

19.  (NR)  St. Lucy’s (Glendora) 15-3
This team gets into the top 20 mostly for being ranked ahead of No. 9 Chino Hills in the CIF Southern Section Division III coaches’ poll. While that doesn’t look right to us due to strength of schedule, St. Lucy’s does have a split with Upland (team that beat Etiwanda last week), owns a win over Clovis West (team that has wins over Mitty and Valley Christian) and swept two from always-tough La Mirada.

20.  (NR)  Central (Fresno) 18-4
Rachel Rodriguez, Robin Alvara and Selena Ruiz all hit home runs in a 5-1 win over Clovis West of Fresno. It was Central’s second win of the week over the Golden Eagles, a quality team that has wins over San Jose Mitty and San Jose Valley Christian. The sweep also comes on the heels of a 4-0 run at the Clovis Easter Classic that included handing unbeaten El Diamante of Visalia its first loss of the season.

Dropped Out:
Previous No. 11 San Benito (Hollister); No. 15 Marina (Huntington Beach Beach); No. 17 Newark Memorial (Newark).

Teams on the Bubble:
Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 15-6-1, Clovis West (Fresno) 18-6, Heritage (Brentwood) 11-1, La Canada 11-2-1, Marina (Huntington Beach) 12-4, Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 9-4, Petaluma 11-1, San Benito (Hollister) 10-1, Simi Valley 14-3-1, Valley Christian (San Jose) 15-3, Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 10-2, Westview (San Diego) 13-3.

Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.