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Baseball: No. 1 up for grabs at Elite 8
Two top-ranked Bay Area squads fell short in prestigious tournaments last week, which didn’t cause too many changes in this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 but set it up for the No. 1 ranking to perhaps get decided this week.
No. 7 Valley Christian, meanwhile, earned its way to the final game of the Hard 9 National Classic in Fullerton where it lost in a similar game 3-2 to Huntington Beach.
In this week’s rankings, St. Francis stayed put since its loss was to another state-ranked team and a section champion from last season as well. It also didn’t make sense to move up No. 2 Clayton Valley even though the Eagles remained unbeaten because they haven’t played as difficult a schedule and will be playing in this week’s Elite 8 Tournament at St. Francis.
If Clayton Valley were to win this tournament, moving up to No. 1 in the Bay Area would then become a no-brainer. At the same time, if St. Francis continues to do well, keeping the Lancers at No. 1 would be equally easy.
Here is this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 (compiled by Mark Tennis; after games of Saturday, April 19 ; previous ranking in parentheses):
1. (1) St. Francis (Mountain View) 16-3
2. (2) Clayton Valley (Concord) 17-0
3. (4) Bellarmine Prep (San Jose) 15-4
4. (6) California (San Ramon) 14-2
5. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 16-5
6. (9) Campolindo (Moraga) 13-3
7. (7) Valley Christian (San Jose) 14-6
8. (11) Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 14-2
9. (12) College Park (Pleasant Hill) 14-2
10. (10) San Benito (Hollister) 14-3
11. (17) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 10-4
12. (5) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 11-4
13. (8) De La Salle (Concord) 12-5*
14. (16) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 11-8
15. (13) Los Gatos 18-4
16. (19) Leigh (San Jose) 13-4-1
17. (NR) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 16-5
18. (NR) Livermore 8-7
19. (14) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 12-5
20. (18) Northgate (Walnut Creek) 11-5
Previous No. 15 Serra (San Mateo); No. 20 Monte Vista (Danville).
Teams On The Bubble:
Granada (Livermore) 10-6, Heritage (Brentwood) 11-5, Justin-Siena (Napa) 14-2, Monterey 13-6, Pinole Valley (Pinole) 12-6, Saratoga 13-6, Serra (San Mateo) 11-10, Tamalpais (Mill Valley) 13-3, Willow Glen (San Jose) 15-5.
Softball: Calm week but Grauer finally gives up earned run
(Writeup by Harold Abend)
Three CIF Central Coast Section teams in the Top 10 were idle and other than a few switches here and there, the only real significant change in this week’s rankings was the entry of newcomer Salesian of Richmond with Kentfield Marin Catholic knocking on the door to represent the Redwood Empire.The bigger news this past week was the consecutive innings streak of not allowing an earned run by top-ranked Pleasanton Amador Valley ace Johanna Grauer coming to an end in a 12-3 road win at crosstown arch-rival Foothill.
Grauer, a member of the Swedish National Team and an early Ms. Softball hot candidate, started the season by not allowing an earned run for her first 107.1 innings pitched.
The streak included wins at two tournaments, the local and tough Queen of the Mountain and the prestigious Michelle Carew Classic in Anaheim. It also included the first five games and one inning of East Bay Athletic League action, in arguably one of the top five leagues in the state.
After a bunt single in the second inning, Grauer hung a riseball and the ensuing home run by Foothill senior Kennidi DeRossett brought the streak to an end.
Lost in the frenzy was the fifth-inning, game-winning grand slam bomb hit by Ashley Lotosynski. Her home run made it 6-2 and broke the game open after it was 2-2 through four innings. The long tater was good news to Dons fans since the UC Davis-commit had been struggling at the plate.
If the Dons keep up the hitting at around the current near .300 average and Grauer doesn’t step in any holes shagging fly balls in the outfield like she did last year just before the playoffs to end her season on a sprained ankle, Amador Valley is going to be tough to beat.
“We don’t let her run in the outfield any more,” head coach Teresa Borchard said with a smile two weeks ago at the Monte Vista game.
In the one tournament with ranked teams in action, No. 2 Archbishop Mitty won its first two pool play games in the two weekend Santa Teresa tournament in San Jose.
Neither of the games were easy, though, as the Monarchs beat Soquel 1-0 and then pinned a 3-0 shutout on San Mateo Hillsdale.
Here is this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 for softball (compiled by Harold Abend & Mark Tennis; previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, April 19):
1. (1) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 16-0
2. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 18-0
3. (3) Alhambra (Martinez) 14-2
4. (4) James Logan (Union City) 15-2
5. (5) Granada (Livermore) 12-2
6. (6) Leland (San Jose) 12-3
7. (7) Pioneer (San Jose) 15-3
8. (8) Carlmont (Belmont) 16-3
9. (9) Notre Dame (Salinas) 18-2
10. (11) Valley Christian (San Jose) 13-4
11. (10) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 11-4
12. (12) St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 18-2
13. (13) Livermore 9-8
14. (14) Foothill (Pleasanton) 10-6
15. (16) San Benito (Hollister) 10-2
16. (17) Presentation (San Jose) 16-5
17. (15) Newark Memorial (Newark) 14-3
18. (19) Heritage (Brentwood) 10-4
19. (20) Carondelet (Concord) 9-7
20. (NR) Salesian (Richmond) 10-1
Previous No. 18 Soquel.
Team On The Bubble:
California (San Ramon) 5-10, Castro Valley 9-5, Hillsdale (San Mateo) 13-4, Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 11-1, Monte Vista (Danville) 5-10, Notre Dame (Belmont) 14-6, Petaluma 13-6, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 12-2-1, Soquel 12-6.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend