Great Oak of Temecula rejoins the top five while Heritage of Brentwood goes up into the top 10 for the first team this season. This week’s three newcomers, meanwhile, are Whitney of Rocklin, Clovis North of Fresno and Westlake of Westlake Village. Los Alamitos (no stranger to being state-ranked) and Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) also make major moves. Three of those four teams are playing in this week’s first round of the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs.
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(Previous ranking listed in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Saturday, April 27)
(Results from some games played on Monday, April 29 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 27-1
As expected, the defending CIF Southern Section Division I champions were seeded first in this year’s playoffs as the bracket and pairings were announced on Monday. Norco ended its regular season last week with an 8-4 win over Corona. The only loss in a great season so far has been to a league opponent (Santiago) that the Cougars also beat earlier in the year. Norco’s first postseason game won’t be until next week (May 7) due to getting a first-round bye. The Cougars will play either Poly of Riverside or Vista Murrieta of Murrieta in the second round. The playoffs also may decide which Norco girl will be the strongest Ms. Softball State Player of the Year candidate. Senior Oklahoma-bound Kinzie Hansen leads the team with a .467 average, but Washington-bound junior Sarah Willis is batting .354 with four homers, 29 RBI and she has gone 18-1 in the circle with a 1.03 ERA.