Friday night’s CIF Southern Section Division II championship was set up nicely in Tuesday’s semifinals as both state No. 1 Mission Viejo and state No. 2 Yucaipa were victorious.
The top-ranked Diablos (30-0) blanked South Hills of Covina on a one-hitter with 18 strikeouts by Ms. Softball State Player of the Year candidate Taylor McQuillin. The Thunderbirds also got a one-hitter by standout Brooke Bolinger as they blanked Westlake of Westlake Village 3-0.
The possibility of a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the final was set up last week when then-No. 2 Pioneer of San Jose lost its first game of the season 1-0 to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in the CIF Central Coast Section Division II championship.
Yucaipa will enter Saturday’s final at 30-3, but two of those losses were to Mission Viejo in competitive one-run contests.
In the CIFSS Division I final, it will be a matchup between West Ranch of Valencia (26-5) against Norco (26-8). West Ranch was moved up to No. 4 in the state entering its semifinal game against Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga and won 3-1. Norco was No. 8 and knocked off Canyon of Anaheim 3-1.
The other CIFSS team that could finish with a high final state ranking is D3 finalist Grand Terrace. The Titans (26-3) are playing La Serna of Whittier (25-6) in their title game. They won on Tuesday 4-3 over Gahr of Cerritos and also can wrap up a mythical D3 state title with a win over the Lancers. In addition, Grand Terrace has a head-to-head win over West Ranch so if both teams win CIFSS crowns that would be a boost to the Titans’ final ranking.
NCS Softball: Amador vs. Logan yet again
Some of the best high school softball ever seen in the San Francisco Bay Area has come in CIF North Coast Section title games between Amador Valley of Pleasanton and James Logan of Union City.
Both teams won in Tuesday’s semifinals and are playing in a Saturday championship at St. Mary’s College that also will be going on at the same time De La Salle of Concord and College Park of Pleasant Hill will be playing in an NCS baseball final with No. 1 in the state implications.
Amador Valley (24-3), ranked No. 3 overall in the state, defeated Castro Valley 2-1 in the semifinals while James Logan (23-2-1) topped Monte Vista of Danville 5-0. Logan is not ranked overall in the state since it lost twice in Mission Valley Athletic League games to Newark Memorial but would jump up obviously for the final rankings with another NCS title.
Amador Valley, of course, is the defending champion and also was unbeaten last year. When the Dons were in the NCS finals, however, in 2012, they had a 26-0 season spoiled by a 1-0 loss to the Colts. Amador defeated Logan 2-0 in the 2011 championship.
Between 2010 and this season, the two programs will have won every NCS D1 title. Logan also won it in 2013 and 2010.
Note: Brentt Eads from our partners at FloSoftball.com will be at the Mission Viejo-Yucaipa game providing updates and will have post-game report filed for Cal-Hi Sports.