Softball State Rankings By Divisions

Hughson softball players are about to collect championship gear after their team won CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title. Photo: Paul Muyskens.

Hughson softball players are about to collect championship gear after their team won CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title. Photo: Paul Muyskens.

Corona Santiago replaces Pacifica needing one win to be No. 1 in the state. James Logan moves up to No. 2. Other new No. 1 teams are Aquinas of San Bernardino (D4) and Port of Los Angeles (D5).

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With Wednesday games from this week in the CIF North Coast Section included, the race to be No. 1 in the state for the 2013 softball season in both Division I and overall is boiling down to Santiago of Corona, James Logan of Union City and then a twosome of Napa Vintage and Norco.

Pacifica of Garden Grove, which was No. 1 in the state overall heading into the week, was upset in extra-innings 3-2 on Tuesday by Norco in the CIF Southern Section Division I semifinals. Norco, the defending champion in the division and No. 1 in the state and nation last year, will play league rival Santiago in Saturday’s final at Barber Park in Irvine.

One team rooting for Norco is James Logan. If Santiago were to win, the Sharks would end 30-5 and their strength of schedule would trump the Colts. Norco, however, has seven losses and while its strength of schedule would still be superior to Logan’s it’s not enough in our system to trump a squad that potentially could end 26-1 for the second straight season. If both Santiago and Logan lose, the case between Vintage and Norco looks two close to call.

In addition to Santiago moving up to No. 1 in Division I, this week’s rankings show two new teams on top in Division IV and Division V. New Division IV No. 1 Aquinas of San Bernardino still has one game to play to win its title in the CIF Southern Section. New Division V No. 1 Port of Los Angeles of San Pedro, however, is finished for the season.

Please note that the Cal-Hi Sports five-divisions will not match the same divisions in some CIF sections because some of those sections have more than five divisions in its playoffs. In the CIF Southern Section, for example, Division I is Division I and Division II is Division II for our state rankings. The CIFSS Division III and Division IV teams, however, are combined for our format. This means that Division V for the CIFSS is the same as Division IV for us and that Division VI is the same as Division V.

Here are this week’s rankings (after games of Wednesday, May 29; previous rank in parentheses; could be a few scores from early this week still unaccounted for):

1. (4) Santiago (Corona) 29-5
2. (5) James Logan (Union City) 25-1
3. (6) Vintage (Napa) 34-1
4. (9) Norco 27-7
5. (1) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 28-6
6. (2) Yorba Linda 24-4
7. (8) San Benito (Hollister) 25-3
8. (7) California (San Ramon) 21-5
9. (3) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 22-3
10. (10) Lutheran (Orange) 24-8
11. (11) M.L. King (Riverside) 24-7
12. (12) Etiwanda 19-9
13. (NR) Marina (Huntington Beach) 25-4
14. (NR) Esperanza (Anaheim) 24-4
15. (NR) Great Oak (Temecula) 17-4
Dropped Out: Previous No. 13 Carlmont (Belmont); No. 14 Leland (San Jose); No. 15 Rosary (Fullerton).
Bubble Teams: See list on new softball message board. CLICK HERE.
Notes & Highlights: RaeAnn Garza pitched a three-hit shutout with five striktouts and one walk and collected the game’s only RBI on a double to lead James Logan past California of San Ramon 1-0 in Wednesday’s CIFNCS D1 semifinals. The Colts will meet Freedom of Oakley (a bubble team) in Saturday’s championship. Three years ago as a freshman, Garza beat Freedom 4-3, and then two years ago she lost 2-0 to Amador Valley of Pleasanton. Last year she was a winner in a 1-0 victory over Amador Valley. In that game, just like in Wednesday’s win over California, the Colts senior doubled home the game’s only run. “For a little one, she comes up big in big games. Not only is RaeAnn so hot pitching right now, she’s got one of the best sticks on the club,” said Logan Coach Teri Johnson, who recorded career win No. 557 with the victory. “Coach Johnson kept telling us to shorten our swing and study the pitcher, and watch what she throws in certain situations,” Garza told Cal-Hi Sports about facing junior California ace Lindsey Chalmers. Norco knocked off Pacifica in the 10th inning when Abby Lockman smoked a gapper that scored Kylie Reed with the winning run. Pacifica just could not get the big hit since Norco freshman pitcher Kerisa Viramontes walked nine batters. Santiago, meanwhile, blanked Yorba Linda 6-0 in its semifinal. Sharks’ pitcher Erica Romero will be in the circle for the third straight season for the CIFSS finals.

1. (1) Chino 25-2
2. (4) Lakewood 26-6
3. (2) Mission Viejo 26-2
4. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 27-1
5. (NR) Casa Roble (Orangevale) 24-5
6. (NR) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 25-8
7. (5) Chino Hills 25-8
8. (NR) Clayton Valley (Concord) 22-3
9. (6) Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 23-5-1
10. (NR) Concord 21-4
Dropped Out: Previous No. 7 Petaluma; No. 8 Alhambra (Martinez); No. 9 Ayala (Chino Hills); No. 10 Millikan (Long Beach).
Bubble Teams: See list on new softball message board. CLICK HERE.
Notes & Highlights: The final No. 1 ranking in the state for this division will be settled on the field on Saturday in Irvine in a prequel to the Corona Santiago-Norco CIFSS D1 final. It will be No. 1 Chino vs. No. 2 Lakewood. Although both Mission Viejo and Archbishop Mitty have been ranked higher than Lakewood all season, we very rarely give No. 1 rankings to teams that don’t win a section title. Chino continued its strong play Tuesday with a 2-1 triumph over Oaks Christian of Westlake Village. Lakewood advanced with an 8-1 win over league rival Millikan and hasn’t lost since April in an extra-inning affair to D1-ranked Amador Valley. Clearly, if Lakewood were to beat Chino, that’s enough to be No. 1. The other big game in this division will be Friday at St. Mary’s College in Moraga when league rivals Clayton Valley and Concord will play for the NCS D2 crown. Both No. 5 Casa Roble and No. 6 Rancho Bernardo are done and have wrapped up section titles.

1. (1) Sierra (Manteca) 25-2
2. (2) Santana (Santee) 26-5
3. (7) Righetti (Santa Maria) 26-7
4. (3) California (Whittier) 26-5
5. (NR) Sunny Hills (Fullerton) 21-8
6. (9) Bishop Amat (La Puente) 22-5
7. (NR) Hemet 27-5
8. (NR) Kimball (Tracy) 25-8
9. (NR) Terra Linda (San Rafael) 23-4
10. (NR) Santa Monica 19-10
Dropped Out: Previous No. 4 Dos Pueblos (Goleta); No. 5 Soquel; No. 6 La Quinta; No. 8 La Serna (Whittier); No. 10 Buena (Ventura).
Bubble Teams: See list on new softball message board. CLICK HERE.
Notes & Highlights: It’s a wrap for the top two teams in this division. Sierra of Manteca won its crown in the Sac-Joaquin Section on Saturday, May 18, which was followed with Santana winning top honors in its division in San Diego last weekend. The Sultans beat Cathedral Catholic 4-2 in the final. The most significant of the two CIFSS title games this weekend is the one between No. 3 Righetti and No. 5 Sunny Hills. There’s no place higher to go for the final rankings, however, than No. 3 for whichever team that wins.

1. (2) Aquinas (San Bernardino) 25-2
2. (4) Hughson 24-4-1
3. (6) Notre Dame (Salinas) 18-6
4. (9) Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 25-7
5. (1) Francis Parker (San Diego) 21-4
6. (2) Calvary Chapel (Downey) 22-5
7. (NR) Taft 26-6
8. (7) Wheatland 31-3-1
9. (10) Salesian (Richmond) 19-2
10. (8) Santa Catalina (Monterey) 25-3
Dropped Out: Previous No. 3 Liberty (Madera Ranchos).
Bubble Teams: See list on new softball message board. CLICK HERE.
Notes & Highlights: After toppling previous No. 2 Calvary Chapel of Downey in the CIFSS Division V quarterfinals, Aquinas mauled Northview of Covina 9-1 in Tuesday’s semifinals. The Saints actually trailed 1-0 after the first inning, but had no trouble afterward. If the girls win in Saturday’s final against Montebello, they would be No. 1 in the state for this division. Montebello, by the way, is much too large of a school enrollment-wise to be considered D4 for our state rankings. We list the Oilers as “on the bubble” for D3. Francis Parker saw its hopes to be No. 1 dashed with losses in the San Diego Section double-elimination playoffs to both Mater Dei Catholic and Valley Center. Mater Dei Catholic went on to win the title. If Aquinas were to lose to Montebello this weekend, then Hughson would move up to No. 1. Hughson ironically was in the same spot last year, needing La Canada to lose in its final game.

1. (5) Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) 28-8
2. (4) Sierra Pacific (Hanford) 24-3
3. (7) Waterford 20-5-1
4. (8) Bellarmine-Jefferson (Burbank) 22-10
5. (NR) Mary Star (San Pedro) 20-8
6. (NR) Ferndale 18-6
7. (1) Redwood Christian (San Lorenzo) 22-1
8. (2) Pomona Catholic (Pomona) 20-10
9. (9) Woodland Christian 17-2
10. (3) Rosamond 26-4
Dropped Out: Previous No. 6 Kern Valley (Lake Isabella); No. 10 Santa Paula.
Bubble Teams: See list on new softball message board. CLICK HERE.
Notes & Highlights: Previous No. 1 Redwood Christian saw its unbeaten season go crash with a loss to St. Bernard’s of Eureka in the CIFNCS D5 playoffs. Previous No. 2 Pomona Catholic also lost in the CIFSS D6 playoffs to Mary Star of San Pedro while No. 3 Rosamond then fell to the same team earlier this week. Mary Star is the same team that had actually lost on the field to Shadow Hills earlier in the playoffs, but moved on when Shadow Hills was removed from the bracket because of an illegal batting practice. All of that forced us to closely evaluate Port of Los Angeles, Sierra Pacific, Waterford, Bell-Jeff and Mary Star for this week’s No. 1 ranking. When it was over, Port of L.A. got the nod and because the team’s season is over it won’t be dropped for next week’s final rankings. Port of L.A. crushed previously unbeaten Northridge Academy 16-3 in the L.A. City small schools final, but what stands out about the Polar Bears is their non-league schedule. One loss was 3-0 to M.L. King of Riverside while two others were to the top two teams overall in Nevada. The girls also beat 26-5 Banning of Wilmington, 30-5 Empire of Tucson (the second-best Arizona D3 team) and 26-7 Verando of Buckeye, Ariz.

Harold Abend & Paul Muyskens contributed to this report.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @CalHiSports

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  1. […] softball divisional rankings, James Logan is #2, Vintage is #3, San Benito is #7, California is #8, and Amador Valley is #9 in […]

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