One swing of the bat reverses the No. 1 and No. 2 order at the top of this week’s rankings with Orange Lutheran and Mission Viejo trading places. Previous No. 3 Huntington Beach was the only other top 10 team to lose last week. There were three others further down that lost and had to drop out, clearing the way for Pioneer of San Jose, Valley View of Moreno Valley and Rocklin to go in as newcomers.
(After games of Saturday, April 30)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Paul Muyskens contributed writeups to this post)
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1. (2) LUTHERAN (ORANGE) 22-3
It’s been a steady rise in the rankings by the Lancers, but there was a bit more drama involved when they beat Mission Viejo 6-2 last Friday in a semifinal game of the rain-plagued Michelle Carew Classic played at Anaheim Canyon. With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, junior catcher Lauren Espalin connected for a grand slam, walk-off home run. OLu will now play state No. 6 Huntington Beach in the title game of the tournament this Saturday. It may have been another No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup of the state rankings, but the Oilers dropped a game last week to Marina. Espalin had an RBI single earlier in the game in the first inning while the second run was accounted for on a homer by Dani Dawson. Head coach Steve Miklos’ team upped its current win streak to 10 games with the win, which has included other big wins against Mater Dei of Santa Ana and Amador Valley of Pleasanton. The Lancers earlier in the season handed current state No. 3 La Habra its only loss.