NEW Softball State Top 20

Players from defending CIF North Coast Section Division 1 champion Freedom of Oakley looking to have another strong season are (l-r) Bri Ibarra, Marissa Gonzales, Faith Derby and Vanessa Strong. Photo: Phillip Walton/SportStars.

It may only one week into the season, but it’s still a calm before the storm as many of the state’s top teams will be playing each other this weekend at the Dave Kops Tournament of Champions in Arizona. Teams making the biggest upward moves include La Habra, Pacifica of Garden Grove and Carlmont of Belmont.

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(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through results of Tuesday, March 7)

1. (1) Mission Viejo 2-0
Also the No. 1 team in the Flo50 national rankings, the Diablos will be one of many top California teams that will be playing in this weekend’s 21st annual Dave Kops Tournament of Champions in Bullhead City, Arizona. They won their season-opener last week against JSerra of San Juan Capistrano 13-1 after falling behind 1-0 early and then beat Canyon of Anaheim 2-0.

2. (2) Lutheran (Orange) 5-0
The Lancers started off by dominating the Upland tourney, winning 10-0, 4-0, 10-0 and then 10-0 in the championship against Bishop Amat of La Puente. They also blanked Amat 10-0 to start this week. Yes, they may be ready to go at this week’s Dave Kops Tournament of Champions.

Maddie Dwyer has been one of the top players in Orange County since she was a freshman. Photo: Nadia Martinez/

3. (3) Norco 4-0
Senior standout Taylor Dockins won her 79th game by pitching a four-hitter and also collected a two-run single and an RBI double during 9-2 win against Etiwanda in the title game of the Dana Housley Memorial tournament. The Cougars also will be joining Mission Viejo, Orange Lutheran and Los Alamitos in the Arizona TOC.

4. (4) Sheldon (Sacramento) 4-0
After starting off with a 5-3 win vs. Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove, the Huskies were much sharper with three straight shutouts. In a 4-0 victory against Lodi, senior Maci Fines went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in three.

5. (5) Los Alamitos 3-0
Putting the Griffins fifth in the state doesn’t quite match the Flo50 national rankings, which has them sixth in the nation. We just didn’t want to drop Sheldon in the state listings since the Huskies didn’t lose. Needless to say, if Los Al were to win the TOC in Arizona this weekend then it would go to No. 1 here and in the Flo50. Head coach Rob Weil’s squad also is No. 1 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings. SoCal Sidelines has Mission Viejo No. 1 while OC Varsity has Los Al No. 1. It’ll get settled this weekend.

6. (6) Freedom (Oakley) 0-0
It’s too bad the CIF North Coast Section has a more restrictive limit of games than the rest of the state. That hurts a team like Freedom which wants to step up its schedule and is going to this week’s TOC in Arizona because many teams that the Falcons will be playing already will have played several times and at least one Arizona team we know of in that event has already played 10 games.

7. (7) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 0-0
The Dons also are still waiting to start their season. Big-time pitcher Danielle Williams and her teammates will be in the annual Queen of the Mountain tourney this weekend.

8. (8) San Marcos 2-1
The Knights have an early loss, but since it was 3-1 to Los Alamitos and they gave a pretty solid account of themselves we did not drop them at all in this week’s rankings.

9. (10) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 3-0
Two of the three wins to start the season for the Lions came in a doubleheader sweep of Woodland Hills El Camino Real by lopsided margins (7-2 and 13-3). They will be playing this week at the Bishop Gorman tournament in Las Vegas and could run into state-ranked Clovis there.

10. (9) Grand Terrace 0-0
Head coach Bobby Flores’ girls are one CIFSS team that hasn’t yet had any scores reported. The Titans will be playing at the Redlands tourney, which also includes state No. 20 Vista Murrieta plus Riverside Poly, which moved onto the bubble list this week.

11. (12) Clovis 2-0
The top-ranked team in the CIF Central Section has opened with romps past Pacheco of Los Banos (9-0) and Centennial of Bakersfield (10-1). The Cougars will now head to the Bishop Gorman tourney in Las Vegas.

12. (13) Gahr (Cerritos) 5-0
The Gladiators broke out with a bang by going 5-0 at the Cypress tourney. We saw one twitter update, however, that indicated standout catcher Alyssa Kumiyama suffered an injury and “had to be carried off the field.”

Having pitcher Janelle Rodriguez back makes La Habra a legitimate threat in Orange County and beyond. Photo:

13. (22) La Habra 2-0
The Highlanders are higher in other rankings and we wanted to jump them up as well, but this was as high this week as we could go, considering the other teams from the previous rankings that didn’t lose or didn’t play.

14. (16) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 3-0
Maddison Flores went 5-for-6 in two games at the Best of the West tourney as the Monarchs advanced to a semifinal matchup vs. Los Alamitos. They won their second game of the event 8-0 over Murrieta Valley of Murrieta. In the other semi, it will be state No. 1 Mission Viejo playing host Pacifica.

15. (19) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 2-0
We’ll give the Mariners a bump for making the semifinals of their own Best of the West tourney against Mission Viejo. They topped Mira Mesa of San Diego in their first game 13-1 and then nipped Great Oak of Temecula 6-5 in eight inning on a walk off RBI from Hannah Martinez.

16. (23) Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 1-0
In the San Diego Section preseason pecking order, we had Cathedral Catholic at No. 2 behind San Marcos with the Crusaders at No. 3. Now that the Dons have started with two losses, we’ll go with MD Catholic now basically in that spot. The team was playing Rancho Bernardo at the time these rankings were being compiled. The Crusaders won their first game 12-3 against Mira Mesa.

17. (17) Alhambra (Martinez) 0-0
The Bulldogs will debut in this weekend’s Queen of the Mountain tournament where they could run into No. 7 Amador Valley or bubble team Benicia.

168 (NR) Etiwanda 8-1
Head coach David Masucci’s girls may not be in that much of a rebuilding mode after all. The Eagles made it to the finals of last week’s Dana Housley Memorial Tournament where they got beat convincingly by Norco 9-2, but that’s their only loss. Freshman Savannah Serrata could be one to watch as she already has a stretch of hitting four homers in five games.

19. (NR) Carlmont (Belmont) 6-0
In the preseason order for the CIF Central Coast Section, most had D2 champ Mitty of last year at No. 1 or Pioneer of San Jose with UCLA-bound Holly Acevedo. Both of those teams have already lost, and Pioneer has lost twice. Carlmont, which is still getting used to life without all-time winningest head coach Jim Liggett, has one of the wins over Pioneer.

20. (20) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 0-0
Like all of the other 0-0 teams this week, the Broncos didn’t move at all in this week’s rankings. They will get their season really rolling at next week’s Redlands tournament.

Teams That Dropped Out
Previous No. 11 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose); No. 14 Valencia; No. 15 Pioneer (San Jose); No. 18 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego).

Teams On The Bubble
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 2-1
Benicia 0-0
Canyon (Anaheim) 1-1
Casa Roble (Orangevale) 3-0
Foothill (Palo Cedro) 4-0
Murrieta Mesa (Murrieta) 8-1
Notre Dame (Salinas) 5-0
Pioneer (San Jose) 0-2
Poly (Riverside) 4-1
San Benito (Hollister) 1-0
Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 6-1
Stockdale (Bakersfield) 6-0
Vanden (Fairfield) 4-0
Yucaipa 4-1

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

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