One upset loss in extra innings to a team it has beaten before doesn’t cost Norco the No. 1 ranking in the state. Foothill of Pleasanton stays No. 2 but all of the teams beating each other throughout the rest of Southern California may pay off for the Falcons down the road if they finish undefeated. Newcomers this week include Mater Dei of Santa Ana and St. Francis of Mountain View. 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 13)
(Results from some games played on Monday, April 15 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 24-1
Despite suffering a 4-3 loss in eight innings last week to Big VIII League rival Santiago of Corona, the Cougars remain in the state’s No. 1 position. They are still leading the league (beat the Sharks 1-0 earlier this season), still won the Dave Kops TOC, still won the Michelle Carew Classic and would still be State Team of the Year by not losing again and then winning the CIF Southern Section Division I title. The loss also snapped a 32-game win streak and 35-game league streak. Norco had won earlier in the week 3-0 vs. M.L. King of Riverside on a two-hitter by Sarah Willis (13 strikeouts). But against Santiago some of the magic the girls had in their previous week in that come-from-behind win vs. Orange Lutheran just wasn’t there. The team left 13 runners on base. Head coach Rick Robinson’s club will look to bounce back Tuesday at Centennial of Corona.