No. 1 Norco and No. 2 Foothill (Pleasanton) both capture major tourney titles, but there are plenty of changes after that, including Santa Margarita up to No. 3, Grand Terrace up to No. 6 and Oaks Christian up to No. 12. Newcomers into the mix this week are Clovis, Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove, Del Oro of Loomis and Bullard of Fresno. Go inside for writeups and breakdowns of the first 20 teams in these rankings in the best state softball rankings package anywhere.
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(Previous ranking listed in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Saturday, April 6)
(Results from some games played on Monday, April 7 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 23-0
It certainly looked like the Cougars were headed for their first loss in the title game of last week’s Michelle Carew Classic as they trailed No. 5 Orange Lutheran 6-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth inning. Even if they had lost, they still might have held onto the No. 1 state ranking due all of their wins from the season so far. We didn’t have to go through all of that, though, since Norco rallied for a 7-6 win. After two runs scored in that fifth inning on a throwing error, Kinzie Hansen plated another on an RBI single and then two more scored on a single by Hannah Doi. The Cougars went ahead 7-6 in the sixth on a two-run homer by Sarah Willis. Stevie Hansen pitching 5 ⅔ scoreless innings after the Lancers roughed up Willis was another reason for the win. Willis was named the event’s Most Valuable Pitcher. Kinzie Hansen was named Most Valuable Player. Norco, which won earlier in the bracket-style portion of the tourney vs. Pacifica of Garden Grove and Los Alamitos, plays next on Tuesday at M.L. King of Riverside.