Softball’s final No. 1 state ranking and the one that goes into the state record book is out and it will be going to CIF Southern Section Division II champion Mission Viejo. Go inside or more on the tough call between the Diablos and No. 2 Amador Valley.
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It’s been a tricky situation at the top of the Cal-Hi Sports State Top 20 softball rankings since May 16 when No. 1 Mission Viejo lost a 2-1 game in nine innings to a highly regarded squad from Pacifica of Garden Grove that it had already beaten twice earlier in the season.
It didn’t get solved last weekend. Both the Diablos and unbeaten No. 2 Amador Valley of Pleasanton won CIF section titles.
The difference is that while Mission Viejo had to beat another nationally ranked team in its final game, Amador Valley did not. The end result is that there clearly isn’t enough of a reason to flip the final rankings, meaning that Mission Viejo has now been officially named the Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year for 2014.
The Diablos, who finished 26-1, outlasted state No. 8 Chino 1-0 in nine innings to win the CIFSS Division II title last Friday. Junior standout Taylor McQuillin tossed a one-hitter and had 17 strikeouts for Mission Viejo, which got the 0-0 tie-breaking hit from Kayleen Shafer for the win. Chino, the two-time defending champions in the division, was led by Utah-bound Miranda Viramontes, who also pitched a one-hitter and had 15 strikeouts. Yes, the only hit she allowed was in the ninth to Shafer. The only hit McQuillin allowed was a single in the first inning to the first batter of the game.Mission Viejo’s case to be No. 1 in the state also gained some strength the next night when Pacifica won the CIFSS Division I title with a 1-0 win in 12 innings over M.L. King of Riverside. Brooke Marquez finally broke up the scoreless duel between North Carolina-bound Kaylee Carlson of Pacifica and M.L. King’s Alabama-bound Alexis Osorio with an RBI single.
Amador Valley, meanwhile, did what it had to do on Saturday by beating Granada of Livermore 2-1 to capture the CIF North Coast Section Division I title. UCLA-bound Johanna Grauer gave up a solo homer, but was dominant at times and got two hits herself, including a double in the first inning when the Dons scored their two runs.
Amador Valley completed an unbeaten season, which was highlighted by the tourney title at the Michelle Carew Classic in Southern California, a tournament that Pacifica was in. The Dons also had a head-to-head win over NCS Division II champion Alhambra of Martinez at the Queen of the Mountain tourney.
Pacifica’s two losses to Mission Viejo came in the title game of the Arizona Tournament of Champions and in the title game of the Best of the West tourney. Mission Viejo also had a 5-0 win over Los Alamitos, which was the only common opponent between the top two teams. Against Amador Valley, Los Al lost 2-1 in the title game of the Carew Classic.
In the end, both teams really are deserving of claiming a mythical national title and it looks like both will be able to do so since Amador Valley was moved up to No. 1 by MaxPreps after May 16. It’s just that Mission Viejo’s will be it for Cal-Hi Sports and will be the team going into the state record book.
Surprisingly, it’s been 10 years since an Orange County team has finished at No. 1 in the state in softball. The last one ironically was Pacifica when it went 31-2 in 2004 to match the record and final No. 1 ranking from its 2003 squad.
ALL-TIME CAL-HI SPORTS
SOFTBALL STATE TEAMS OF THE YEAR
(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)
2014 – Mission Viejo (26-1)
2013 – Corona Santiago (31-5)
2012 – Norco (31-2)
2011 – Corona Santiago (28-5)
2010 – Chino Hills Ayala (29-5)
2009 – San Jose Archbishop Mitty (32-0)
2008 – Sacramento Sheldon (32-2)
2007 – Valencia (32-1)
2006 – Oakley Freedom (25-0)
2005 – Simi Valley Royal (29-2)
2004 – Garden Grove Pacifica (31-2)
2003 – Garden Grove Pacifica (31-2)
2002 – San Diego Mira Mesa (31-1)
2001 – Fresno Bullard (36-1)
2000 – Tustin Foothill (33-2)
1999 – Fresno Bullard (38-1-1)
1998 – Clovis Buchanan (35-2)
1997 – Garden Grove Pacifica (31-1-1)
1996 – Santa Ana Mater Dei (30-1)
1995 – Huntington Beach Marina (24-5)
1994 – Clovis (31-3) (plus 2 wins by default)
1993 – Covina Charter Oak (29-0-1)
1992 – Stockton Lincoln (35-3)
1991 – Stockton Lincoln (29-3)
1990 – Roseville (37-2)
1989 – Lakewood St. Joseph (26-1)
1988 – Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (21-6)
1987 – Stockton Lincoln (30-0)
1986 – Woodland Hills El Camino Real (19-0)
1985 – Huntington Beach Ocean View (32-0)
1984 – Stockton Lincoln (37-1)
1983 – Lodi (27-2)
1982 – San Diego Madison (20-0)
1981 – Santa Maria Righetti (25-1)
1980 – Santa Maria Righetti (29-0)
1979 – Santa Rosa Montgomery (26-1)
1978 – Fairfield Armijo (23-0)
1977 – Huntington Beach Marina (17-0)
1976 – Chula Vista Hilltop (17-0)
1975 – Downey Warren (18-1)
1974 – El Segundo (undefeated)
Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports