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Wednesday, May 9, 2012
New Cal-Hi Sports Softball Top 20

By Mark Tennis

Pacifica of Garden Grove and Norco still lead the pack as the regular season in many places in the state ends this week.

The first seven positions in this week’s new state softball top 20 remained in place, but there was some scrambling at the bottom.

Tuesday games are not normally taken into account for the weekly rankings, but it was impossible not to check a couple of key scores. That ended up helping Camarillo join the top 20 as a newcomer at No. 19 and also enabled Del Oro of Loomis to stay in at No. 20 despite taking a loss last week to Roseville.

(Through games played Monday, May 7) (Some results from Tuesday, May 8 also included)
(Contributing: Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens) (Previous ranking in parentheses)


1. (1) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 25-1
The Mariners remain the top team in the state (they also are No. 1 in the POWERADE FAB 50) after an 11-1 road win over Tustin and a 7-2 home win over Western of Anaheim. Nicole DeWitt led the way in the first win of the week as she homered and drove in four runs. Pacifica looks to wrap up an undefeated Empire League championship this week.

2. (2) Norco 24-2
Coach Rick Robinson’s club defeated Corona 10-0 on Monday for its fourth straight shutout since the loss to Corona Santiago two weeks ago. The team should beat J.W. North of Riverside on Wednesday to end the regular-season and would then likely get the No. 1 seed for the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs. Owning that head-to-head win over Pacifica probably would be the difference, but in the CIFSS DI bracket the seeds don’t matter that much. Getting hot at the right time and getting some breaks is more important. The teams just aren’t that far apart.

3. (3) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 20-0
Although the Dons and coach Julie Marshall have no where to move in this week’s rankings, the state’s lone unblemished large-school team won two more East Bay Athletic League victories and now own a two-game lead with two weeks of league action remaining. Johanna Grauer had a two-hitter with 12 strikeouts in a 8-0 blanking of visiting Granada of Livermore, and a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts and two RBIs herself in a 4-0 whitewash of host Danville Monte Vista.

4. (4) Lutheran (Orange) 25-4
With a 6-1 win over Mater Dei of Santa Ana, the Lancers clinched the Trinity League championship as Noelle Wagner, Heather Hall and Madison Osias all homered and drove in two runs. Jade Vecvanags homered and drove in four runs while Osias struck out 15, homered and drove in three runs in their 11-0 win over JSerra Catholic of San Juan Capistrano to end the week.

5. (5) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 23-2
The Monarchs won the West Catholic Athletic League regular season title after a 9-0 shellacking of visiting St. Francis of Mountain View, and then a 7-2 win at San Francisco St. Ignatius. The win in the city saw the end of a streak of three straight shutouts and four games without giving up a run by Cal-bound pitcher Vanessa Alvarez. Mitty rested on Tuesday with a first round WCAL playoff bye and will play its first league playoff game on Wednesday.

6. (6) Chino Hills 25-3
Winners of 19 straight games heading into this week, the Huskies were one win away from clinching the Sierra League title after wins over Claremont and St. Lucy's of Glendora last week. Patricia Parks homered and drove in four runs while Nikki Girard homered and drove in three runs as the Huskies scored six runs in the first, second and third inning on the way to a 19-1 win over the Wolfpack.

7. (7) El Diamante (Visalia) 27-1
Since their season-opening 20-game winning streak came to an end, the Miners were up to seven in a row at the start of this week. They defeated Redwood of Visalia 1-0 and Lemoore 8-3 last week. Despite getting just one hit, the Miners found a way to score a run and it was all they needed as Sierra Hyland struck out 14 and didn't allow a run in their win over the Rangers.

8. (10) Royal (Simi Valley) 22-2
It was a huge week for the Highlanders and the Nancy Bowling family. First, Bowling was named the ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Week. Then, with the honor under her belt, the Arizona-bound ace went out and pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts in a 3-2 victory arch-rival Simi Valley. Even with the win, and jumping the Pioneers in the rankings, the only way Royal (10-2) can tie/win the Marmonte League title is with help because it was Simi Valley’s first league loss.

9. (8) Esperanza (Anaheim) 22-6
Freshman Hayley Copeland continued to shine with a two-hitter and nine strikeouts in a 6-1 triumph earlier this week over always-tough Canyon of Anaheim. Stephanie Maciel led the way at the plate with three RBIs. Esperanza’s final regular-season game comes against El Modena of Orange, another program that’s been ranked in the top 20 frequently in recent years.

10. (11) James Logan (Union City) 18-1
A Colt won the Kentucky Derby and whether coach Teri Johnson and her girls are Colts by name, Johnson’s steeds barely broke a sweat in three league blowout wins. The biggest news is they gave up two runs to Fremont American, however they’re still outscoring Mission Valley Athletic League opponents 97-4 in nine games. This week’s schedule includes another matchup against Newark Memorial.

11. (12) Los Alamitos 19-6
Shutting out Huntington Beach and Newport Harbor in wins last week, the Griffins stayed tied for first in the Sunset League with Edison of Huntington Beach, which they will play this week in their regular season finale.

12. (13) Edison (Huntington Beach) 22-3
Doing their part to make sure their final game of the regular season against Los Alamitos will be for the Sunset League championship, the Chargers defeated Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach last week. Samantha Cordova pitched seven shutout innings and Casey Africano homered and drove in three runs in their 7-0 win over the Oilers.

13. (9) Simi Valley 20-4-1
Almost like was said last week, that the Pioneers probably would need more than the two hits they had against Thousand Oaks when facing Royal, that’s pretty much what happened when they were three-hit in the defeat their crosstown rival. The loss evens the score at one win apiece, but despite the setback the Pioneers are still atop the Marmonte League with an 11-1 record.

14. (14) Mission Viejo 21-5
The Diablos avenged a loss from two weeks ago to Tesoro of Rancho Santa Margarita with a 12-0 win earlier this week. Freshman pitcher Taylor McQuillin had 12 strikeouts in a three-hitter while Tayler Ybarra, Sarah Higa and Alyssa Palomino all hit home runs.

15. (16) Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga) 20-4
Wins over Etiwanda and Alta Loma last week clinched the Baseline League championship for the Grizzlies despite two games left to play in the regular season. Los Osos had to rally to beat Etiwanda after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning.

16. (19) Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 19-3-1
After breaking back into the rankings last weekm the CIF San Diego Section top-ranked Barons get a bump this week after three solid Mesa League victories. Two of the wins were over crosstown Olympian, 11-1 and 15-2 sandwiched around a 2-0 victory over Mater Dei of Chula Vista. In that win, Hanna Flippen knocked in both runs with a single in the fourth inning and Jennifer Hartman pitched a four-hitter.

17. (NR) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 18-3-1
Another team to clinch their league title last week was the Broncos as they will finish atop the Southwestern League after defeating Murrieta Valley twice and Great Oak last week. Kylie Datil doubled, homered and drove in three runs while Seilina Ta'amilo allowed just one hit and an unearned run in the week-ending 11-1 win over the Wolfpack. This is the team, though, led by slugging sensation Sierra Romero. We’ll have an updated list of state single-season and career home run leaders later this week.

18. (NR) Newark Memorial (Newark) 17-3
The Cougars claim one of the final spots this week, but unless they do on Thursday what they haven’t been able to do in previous 3-1 and 5-1 losses to MVAL arch-rival and No. 10 James Logan this season, coach Rachel Kahoalii and her girls may have a short stay in the rankings. This past week they rolled to 10-0 and 11-0 league wins over Fremont’s American and Washington, and then they took a hard-fought 4-3 non-league victory over visiting Petaluma Casa Grande. The big win that gets them back into the top 20 is the one against Rancho Cotate of Rohnert Park, which is has won all of its other games.

19. (NR) Camarillo 22-5
We cheated a bit on getting the Scorpions into the top 20 because we know they won a big game Tuesday against Oxnard 7-0. That win, paced by Sarah Shadinger’s 12-strikeout, two-hitter, avenged an earlier loss. Camarillo is the defending CIFSS Division II champion and also won a key game two weeks ago over 23-3 Dos Pueblos of Goleta at the Thousand Oaks tourney.

20. (17) Del Oro (Loomis) 17-4-2
Although the Golden Eagles dropped a 1-0 game to Roseville last week, they stay in the top 20 because we already know they have beaten Woodcreek of Roseville for the third time this season with a 3-2 win on Tuesday of this week. Hanna Miller led the way with a triple and three RBIs.

Dropped Out:
Previous No. 15 Lakewood; No. 18 West Ranch (Valencia); No. 20 Woodcreek (Roseville).

Teams on the Bubble:
Camarillo 18-5, Canyon (Anaheim) 15-8, Carlmont (Belmont) 21-2, Central (Fresno) 23-6, Dos Pueblos (Goleta) 23-3, Heritage (Brentwood) 18-2, Lakewood 23-5, Mira Mesa (San Diego) 21-5-1, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 16-1, Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 27-3-1, San Benito (Hollister) 17-3, Saugus 20-6, St. Lucy’s (Glendora) 19-5, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 21-3, Valley Christian (San Jose) 22-5, West Ranch (Valencia) 19-4-1, Wilson (Long Beach) 20-7, Woodcreek (Roseville) 20-4.

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