High-SchoolCalifornia: Art Banks

New Cal-Hi Sports Softball Top 20

April, 10, 2012
Pacifica gets the bats sizzling at Michelle Carew Classic and moves up to No. 1 in this week’s state rankings.

After a quiet week of the state top 20 softball rankings, the order at the top had to be re-shuffled after the outcomes of the Michelle Carew Classic in Anaheim Hills and the Livermore Stampede in Livermore.

Previous No. 2 Pacifica of Garden Grove is the new No. 1 after winning the Michelle Carew Classic title. Previous No. 1 Norco lost its first game of the season earlier in the tournament 2-1 to Lutheran of Orange.

Moving up into the No. 2 spot is unbeaten Amador Valley of Pleasanton, which topped previous No. 3 Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in the semifinals and then beat Livermore in the final.

(Through games played Monday, April 9)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Writeups also by Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens)

1. (2) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 19-1
The Mariners didn’t avenge their only loss to Norco at the Michelle Carew Classic, but they battered the field that included Norco and are an easy call to replace the Cougars as the state’s No. 1 team. Pacifica won the title with a 13-4 victory over Los Alamitos behind tourney MVP Rebecca Lee and most valuable pitcher Kaylee Carlson. The semifinal win was 7-2 against host Canyon of Anaheim.

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New Cal-Hi Sports Softball Top 20

March, 8, 2012
Preseason No. 1 Mitty splits a doubleheader and drops behind Los Alamitos, Etiwanda and Pacifica of Garden Grove in this week’s first regular-season pecking order of state’s top teams.

Yes, we know that coaches sometimes don’t go with their No. 1 pitchers in both games of a doubleheader, but the differences between top teams in California is miniscule so a loss in one of those games can still impact the rankings.

Preseason No. 1 Archbishop Mitty of San Jose fell in the second-game of a doubleheader last weekend to Clovis West of Fresno. After winning the first game with ace Vanessa Alvarez in the circle, the Monarchs lost in the nightcap.

Coach Brian Yocke’s team didn’t drop far after that loss, but it was enough to move up preseason No. 2 Los Alamitos, preseason No. 3 Etiwanda and preseason No. 6 Pacifica of Garden Grove. None of those three teams stubbed their toes in early games.

Woodcreek of Roseville, coached by Art Banks, one of the best in the business, makes the biggest move of the first rankings. The Timberwolves have begun 6-0, which includes a win over preseason No. 5 Sheldon. They debut at No. 10 this week and could go higher next week. Woodcreek plays nationally ranked Gulliver Prep (Miami) on Friday as Gulliver Prep is making a journey specifically to play tough Northern California competition.

(Through games played Tuesday, March 8)
(Preseason ranking in parentheses)

1. (2) Los Alamitos 3-0
The Griffins will head to the Tournament of Champions in Arizona this weekend as the state’s top team after an 11-0 win earlier this week over Kennedy of La Palma to remain undefeated. Wins over Rosary of Fullerton and San Clemente kicked off the season.

2. (3) Etiwanda 4-0
Soaring to easy victories in their first four games, the Eagles have outscored their opponents by a combined 67-4. Delaney Spaulding and Jenna Isbel each drove in three runs in their recent 15-0 win over Brea Olinda.

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