There’s limited movement in this week’s rankings, but that could change after this weekend’s Michelle Carew Classic and the Livermore Stampede.
As rankings compilers, it sure is nice sometimes when just about every team from the week before doesn’t lose. In most weeks, especially in baseball and softball, it’s the opposite.
For this week’s new top 20 for California softball, the only team to lose and drop was previous No. 8 Torrey Pines. The Falcons didn’t drop far after losing to San Marcos on Monday because it was just their first loss of the season.
Previous No. 15 Simi Valley didn’t lose, but had to take a tie when weather forced a halt to a tie game between the Pioneers and El Segundo in the title game of the Savanna tourney in Anaheim.
Next week’s rankings don’t figure to be as calm. Many top teams will be in the brackets of the Michelle Carew Classic in Anaheim Hills and the Livermore Stampede in Livermore.
(Through games played Monday, April 2)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) Norco 14-0
The Cougars, who were idle last week, hope to add the Michelle Carew Classic title to previous tournament crowns they’ve won at Bullhead City, Ariz., and Torrance, Calif.
2. (2) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 13-1
With four wins last week, the Mariners remain in the No. 2 spot. Rebecca Lee homered three times and Kelsi Kloss homered twice as they ended the week with two shutout wins over Northwood of Irvine. They are also going to the Michelle Carew Classic and could get a chance at avenging their only loss, which was to Norco.
3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 12-1
Cal-bound Vanessa Alvarez finished up last week with her eighth straight shutout in a 7-0 blanking of San Francisco St. Ignatius. Freshman Danielle Bowers also hit her second home run this season, a two-run blast. Sophomore phenom Jazmyn Jackson doubled, scored and stole her seventh base. Mitty opens defense of its title at the Livermore Stampede on Thursday with opening-round opponent San Ramon California.
4. (4) Lutheran (Orange) 16-2
We did not drop the Lancers in this week’s rankings for suffering a loss last week to Fountain Valley. There are two reasons for that. First, OLu also beat Fountain Valley last week. Second, the team also still has a head-to-head win over Marina of Huntington Beach (next in the order).
5. (5) Marina (Huntington Beach) 9-1
After a 3-0 win over Woodbridge of Irvine, the Vikings had last week off and remained in the No. 5 spot in the rankings. That will change in next week's rankings as they lost on Tuesday 6-5 to Los Alamitos. We counted the Monday games for this week’s rankings, but not Tuesday.
6. (6) El Diamante (Visalia) 19-0
The Miners continue to pile up the wins in the CIF Central Section. They won last week against Redwood of Visalia, Clovis East of Clovis, Centennial of Bakersfield and Hanford. Then on Monday of this week came a victory over Atwater.
7. (7) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 7-0
So how do you know the Dons are a very good team? They have a catcher named Molina (in their case sophomore Victoria). The highlight of last week’s games was a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts by Johanna Grauer in a 3-0 win over Carondelet of Concord. Amador Valley opens the Livermore Stampede with Johansen of Modesto, which features 2011 State Sophomore of the Year Gabrielle Maurice (an infielder). It could be an Amador-Mitty final.
8. (8) Woodcreek (Roseville) 13-1
After a win over Roseville, the Timberwolves went to the Stephanie LeDoux Tournament and picked up wins over Del Campo of Fair Oaks and Marysville. With a 3-0 win over the Indians, the junior-heavy Timberwolves have allowed just 14 runs on the year. Nine of their 13 players this season are juniors.
9. (10) Sheldon (Sacramento) 8-2
In their lone game last week, the Huskies defeated St. Francis of Sacramento 2-0 as they scored both of their runs in the top of the fifth inning. Alexis Cooper struck out seven in the complete game shutout while also driving in a run. They will now head to the Michelle Carew Classic.
10. (11) Chino Hills 15-3
Driving in runs in bunches, the Huskies have averaged nearly nine runs per game in their last six wins after a pair of victories last week. Brogan Hoenisch and Alyssa Mendez each homered and drove in two runs in a 8-0 win over Wilson of Long Beach. Nikki Girard and Tannon Snow both homered and drove in two runs in a 7-6 win over Sunny Hills of Fullerton.
11. (12) San Benito (Hollister) 7-0
The Haybaler girls continue to roll and show no signs of being anything less than the kind of team that finished No. 2 behind Santiago of Corona last season. Last week in three wins coach Scott Smith’s girls took 5-1, 4-0 and 7-0 victories over arch-rival Gilroy, Valley Christian of San Jose and Soquel, respectively. Junior pitcher Megan Sabbatini was at her best when she tossed a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in the victory over a very formidable Valley Christian team.
12. (9) Torrey Pines (San Diego) 16-1
After posting five wins last week over San Diego Morse, San Dieguito of Encinitas, Chula Vista Otay Ranch, and two victories of nearby Canyon Crest, by a combined score of 48-3, the Falcons cooled off in a Monday loss this week to San Marcos. Star hurler Rachel Nasland didn’t pitch against Canyon Crest, but in a 1-0 victory over Otay Ranch, the junior right-hander improved to 8-0 with a two-hitter.
13. (13) Royal (Simi Valley) 7-1
Bouncing back from a 7-2 loss to Moorpark, the Highlanders ended last week with a 6-0 win over Newbury Park and on Monday they shutout Calabasas for an 8-0 victory. Nancy Bowling allowed just two hits against the Coyotes while striking out 10. She also doubled and drove in a run.
14. (14) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 5-0
With a pair of wins last week, the Broncos remain undefeated and get ready to head to the Michelle Carew Classic. Selina Ta'amilo doubled and drove in three runs while also pitching seven innings in a 7-3 win over Temecula Valley.
15. (16) Edison (Huntington Beach) 10-2
After playing at the Faster 2 First tournament, the Chargers had last week off. Not reflected on their record is an 18-0 win on Tuesday of this week against Newport Harbor of Newport Beach.
16. (17) James Logan (Union City) 5-1
It was two Mission Valley Athletic League blowout wins last week for Coach Terri Johnson’s Colts after 14-0 and 10-0 wins over Fremont’s Mission San Jose and Kennedy, respectively. After returning from the Shadow Mountain Tournament at Sparks, Nevada (April 13-14), Logan will then get ready for an MVAL showdown against Newark Memorial (currently unbeaten).
17. (18) Mission Viejo 12-3
The Diablos broke into the rankings after a key win two weeks ago over Los Alamitos. They added another triumph over El Toro of Lake Forest to their resume last week.
18. (15) Simi Valley 10-1-1
With a 4-0 eight-inning win over Sunny Hills of Fullerton, the Pioneers reached the championship game of the Savanna Tournament but had to share the title with El Segundo after rain forced an end to a 0-0 ballgame. In their semifinal win, Nicole Cheek hit the game-winning grand-slam home run.
19. (20) Atascadero 16-0
It was a total team effort on offense as seven different players drove in a run in a 7-1 win over St. Joseph of Santa Maria. The Greyhounds’ undefeated season came to an end on Tuesday with a 1-0 loss to Righetti of Santa Maria, which may drop them out of the rankings next week.
20. (19) Los Alamitos 8-4
The Griffins split a pair of games last week against North of Torrance. We didn’t want to drop them out of the rankings, though, because of strength of schedule and improving health of the team. We also cheated a little because we knew Los Al was playing No. 5 Marina early this week. The Griffins have won that game 6-5, a result that was not counted in this week’s rankings.
Teams on the Bubble
Alhambra (Martinez) 4-0, Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo) 12-3-1, Carlmont (Belmont) 12-1, Camarillo 9-3, Dublin 8-1, Etiwanda 9-2, Fountain Valley 10-4, Lakewood 11-2, Newark Memorial (Newark) 8-0, Millikan (Long Beach) 13-2, Mira Mesa (San Diego) 12-1-1, Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 20-1-1, St. Lucy’s (Glendora) 14-3, West Hills (San Diego) 10-3, Wilcox (Santa Clara 12-1.
Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.