Since we’re doing more than 80 teams now nationally every week for partners at ExtraInningSoftball.com, we’ll ramp it up to 25 for the state with at least 15 on the bubble. The big news this week is that Mater Dei Catholic of San Diego has improved to 10-0 after a win over previous No. 2 Huntington Beach and will now get a crack at No. 1 Norco on Saturday on its home field. Many of the top teams also will be at the Michelle Carew Classic for the following week. Go inside for breakdowns of the top 20 teams in this package that has nearly 40 years of state softball coverage behind it.
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(Previous ranking listed in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Saturday, March 23)
(Results from some games played on Monday, March 25 or later not included)
(Thanks to correspondents Chuck Nan for Orange County, Daniel Poulter for Northern California and Bill Hutton for CIF Central Coast Section for providing writeups and information)
1. (1) Norco 16-0
All of a sudden the Cougars are staring at a possible No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup on Saturday against unbeaten Mater Dei Catholic of San Diego. That scenario unfolded after several results last week. They had no difficulty in a 9-1 triumph last week against Roosevelt of Eastvale. Sarah Willis and Stevie Hansen combined on a three-hitter and struck out 14. Willis also had two hits, including a double, while Paige Smith knocked in three runs. Norco plays Corona on Tuesday to get this week started and faces Mater Dei Catholic on Saturday. For the following week, the games and tests will be fast and furious at the Michelle Carew Classic.