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New Cal-Hi Sports Softball Top 20

3/9/2012

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.

3. (6) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 2-0

Sophomore right-hander Kaylee Carlson has yet to allow a run in two games and neither has the rest of their pitching staff as the Mariners opened the year with a 2-0 win over Foothill of Tustin and an 8-0 win over El Toro of Lake Forest.

4. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 3-1

Starting the season with a bunch of road games, the Monarchs defeated Clovis West of Fresno 7-5 before losing hours later to the same squad. They have since won road games against Pioneer of San Jose and Westmont of Campbell.

5. (4) Santiago (Corona) 4-1

An 8-1 loss to Chino Hills stopped any early-season momentum, but it didn’t drop the Sharks far in the rankings. Being the defending CIF Southern Section Division I champions does have residual effect into the next season, at least the way we do rankings.

6. (10) Marina (Huntington Beach) 3-0

The Vikings picked up a pair of wins on Monday at the Foothill tournament as they defeated Beckman of Irvine 7-3 and Santa Margarita 9-0.

7. (11) El Diamante (Visalia) 7-0

Coach Travis Roebuck's Miners have moved up the rankings after defeating Buchanan of Clovis and capturing the Bears' tournament championship. Junior Sierra Hyland has earned all seven wins in the circle as she has allowed just three earned runs in 33 innings while striking out 57.

8. (8) Norco 0-0

The Cougars, who’ve yet to have a result reported, should have one of the state’s top teams, especially with Nebraska-bound hurler Emily Lockman in the circle.

9. (9) Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 0-0

Opening their season at the Cougar Classic, the Barons faced Poway on Wednesday night before facing University City of San Diego on Thursday.

10. (NR) Woodcreek (Roseville) 6-0

Led by juniors Amanda Horbasch and Lexi Wilkerson, the Timberwolves’ pitching has been outstanding so far as they have allowed just one run all year. In the finals of the Yoneda Tournament, they knocked off previously undefeated St. Mary's of Stockton 1-0 and then they defeated Sheldon of Sacramento 10-1.

11. (5) Sheldon (Sacramento) 2-1

A pair of shutout wins is no suprise to see for the Huskies to open the year, but they were handed a lopsided loss by Woodcreek of Roseville earlier this week.

12. (NR) M.L. King (Riverside) 6-1

Alexis Osorio tossed a no-hitter and the Wolves captured the Corona Tournament championship with a 4-0 win over previously undefeated Poly of Riverside. They suffered their first loss of the year on Tuesday 3-2 against Citrus Valley of Redlands. The Wolves also have a win over Valencia.

13. (13) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 0-0

Coach Julie Marshall's Dons will play their first game of the season next week against Logan of Union City. It will be a matchup between the top two teams in the CIF North Coast Section. Amador could then run into Sheldon and others at the Queen of the Mountain tourney.

14. (NR) Riverside Poly (Riverside) 4-1

Winning in a football-like score of 14-10 over undefeated Valencia, the Bears started the season with four wins before losing to league rival M.L. King of Riverside in the championship game of the Corona tournament.

15. (17) Valencia 4-1

Opening the season with three straight shutout wins, the Vikings won the Stu Penter Classic with a 3-0 triumph over Roosevelt of Corona. With their lone loss coming against Riverside Poly, they will be one of many teams from California headed to Arizona this week for the Tournament of Champions.

16. (15) Simi Valley 2-0

Despite wins over Dos Pueblos of Goleta and Rio Mesa of Oxnard at the Suzanne Manlet tournament, the Pioneers had to drop a spot in these first regular-season rankings for new teams that just worked their way higher.

17. (16) Carson 3-0

Wins over Garden Grove and Santa Monica at the Downey Tournament got the Colts’ season underway. They also went on the road Monday and picked up an 11-6 win over Palos Verdes Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates.

18. (7) Chino Hills 3-2

Wins over Chaparral of Temecula and Santiago of Corona were part of an impressive 3-0 start for the Huskies at the Corona tourney. Back-to-back losses, though, to M.L. King and Valencia has set them back.

19. (18) Sierra (Manteca) 1-0

Sophomore Allie Walljasper helped the Timberwolves open the season with a 7-0 win over Ceres as she struck out 11 and allowed just two hits in the circle while scoring twice.

20. (20) San Benito (Hollister) 0-0

Still waiting to hear the words “play ball” this season, the Haybalers open up Saturday against St. Ignatius of San Francisco.

Dropped Out:

Previous No. 12 Camarillo; No. 14 Johansen (Modesto); No. 20 Canyon (Anaheim).

Bubble Teams:

Camarillo 2-1; Clovis West (Fresno) 4-2; Edison (Huntington Beach) 2-0; El Modena (Orange) 0-0; James Logan (Union City) 2-0; Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 1-0; Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 6-0-1; Rodriguez (Fairfield) 0-1; South Hills (Covina) 1-0.

Note: Harold Abend contributed to this report.

Corrections or comments? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.