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Here are this week’s rankings (after games of Saturday, May 11; previous ranking in parentheses; Monday games of this week not included):
1. (1) Mission Viejo 24-1
Alyssa Palomino hit another home run to take the state lead in an 8-3 win over San Clemente. As expected, the Diablos snagged the No. 1 seed in the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs.
2. (2) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 24-5
The Mariner girls made a statement heading into the CIFSS Division I playoffs after a 5-0 win over Cypress was followed by a third straight win over Yorba Linda.
3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 27-0
The Monarchs won the West Catholic Athletic League playoffs to go with the regular season title, after a 6-1 victory over San Francisco St. Ignatius in the title game. They will now go for an eighth CIF Central Coast Section Division II title in nine years, where head coach Brian Yocke’s girls will be heavy favorites.
4. (4) Yorba Linda 21-3
Because the resume is still better than Great Oak’s and they still own a head-to-head win over Amador Valley, a third loss to Pacifica last week does not drop Yorba Linda in this week’s rankings.
5. (5) Great Oak (Temecula) 17-3
After 12-2 and 10-0 wins over Murrieta Vista of Murrieta, the top team from the Inland Empire holds tight entering the CIFSS Division I playoffs.
6. (6) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 22-2
Despite the big 10-inning 2-0 win over California of San Ramon, there’s no room for the Dons to move up entering the final week of East Bay Athletic League play.
7. (7) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 23-4
There was only one game last week for Mater Dei and it was a 7-6 victory at Fullerton Rosary. The Monarchs overcame a 5-0 first inning deficit with three runs in the sixth inning courtesy of a three-run home run by sophomore Morganne Flores.
8. (9) Esperanza (Anaheim) 24-3
The Aztecs sewed up the Century League with a 7-6 win over Santa Ana Foothill and a 4-0 victory over Villa Park. The big news on Monday, though, was the awarding of the top seed in the CIFSS Division I playoffs.
9. (10) Vintage (Napa) 27-0
The Crushers didn’t have any games last week heading into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. We haven’t moved Vintage past some teams due to strength of schedule, but at this stage of the season and with head coach Rick Robben’s girls unbeaten, they can start to move past teams with stinker losses.
10. (11) James Logan (Union City) 21-1
With the lone loss to arch-rival Newark Memorial of Newark getting avenged last week, the Colts can move up this week as well.
11. (12) El Diamante (Visalia) 28-1-1
Another team that can move up that’s also a top seed in its playoffs is the top team from the CIF Central Section. The Miners are the No. 1 seed in the Division I playoffs and draw a first round bye before meeting the Bakersfield Centennial at Clovis matchup.
12. (8) Santiago (Corona) 25-5
It was not the kind of week head coach John Perez was hoping for heading into the CIFSS D1 playoffs. The Sharks lost 4-0 to new No. 17 Riverside M.L. King, which has some very good wins under its belt and in fact took the Big VIII League crown.
13. (14) Moorpark 19-3
The Musketeers will pay for their 11-0 loss to previous No. 13 Norco by staying behind the Santiago team that owns two wins over Norco.
14. (15) Chino 19-2
After a 3-0 win over Ontario Chaffey, we’re anxious to see what the No. 3 seed does in the CIFSS Division II playoffs.
15. (17) Marina (Huntington Beach) 24-3
Two wins last week, 6-3 over visiting Huntington Beach and a 2-1 squeaker at cross-town Edison, wrapped up successful run for the Vikings in the Sunset League.
16. (16) California (San Ramon) 18-4
Due to a win over an Amador Valley team that owns a win over Lakewood, and the fact three of the four losses are to Amador Valley in two close games, plus a 2-0 loss to Mitty, the Grizzlies get to hold their spot pending the final week of the EBAL.
17. (NR) M.L. King (Riverside) 23-6
They have a lot of losses, but the surprise winner of the Big VIII League pulls out the title in the final week with two huge wins at Santiago and Norco. Plus, with a similar body of work and a head-to-head win over Lakewood, they naturally move into this week’s rankings ahead of the Lancers.
18. (18) Lakewood 21-6
It’s now nine straight wins for Lakewood heading into the CIFSS Division II playoffs.
19. (19) Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 20-4-1
The Barons took two from crosstown Hilltop, 11-0 and 8-3, and without much surprise grabbed the top seed in the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs.
20. (20) San Benito (Hollister) 22-3
University of San Diego-bound pitcher Megan Sabatini continues to dominate entering the CIF Central Coast Section Division I playoffs.
Team That Dropped Out:
Previous No. 13 Norco.
Teams on the Bubble
There are 64 teams listed, which is a lot more than usual but it is the start of section playoffs for most of the state. They can be seen as a new post on the new CalHiSports.com softball message board. CLICK HERE.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend