Softball: Divisional State Ranks

Last year’s team at East Nicolaus had what was described as “greatest season in school history.” This year, the Spartans have been even more impressive. Photo: Spartan Softball /

After getting out all of the boys and girls all-state basketball teams, we have the final few weeks of the softball season to add divisional state rankings into the mix. Go inside to see which teams have the best chances to earn a mythical state title in five-division format that we’ve had for many years.

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(After games of Tuesday, May 7)
*Indicates season complete.
(Teams placed in divisions based on section playoff divisions and also on previous years in which we’ve been doing state divisional rankings.)

1. Norco 28-1
2. Foothill (Pleasanton) 23-0
3. Lutheran (Orange) 23-6-1
4. Great Oak (Temecula) 24-3-1
5. Santiago (Corona) 19-5-1
6. Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 26-4
7. Chino Hills 28-4
8. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 25-3
9. Heritage (Brentwood) 21-2
10. Gahr (Cerritos) 21-5
11. Buchanan (Clovis) 23-3
12. Huntington Beach 17-8
13. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 22-5-1*
14. Whitney (Rocklin) 20-5
15. Clovis North (Fresno) 20-5-1
Bubble Teams: See same teams listed on the bubble for the State Top 25 overall rankings.
Notes/Comments: Thursday’s CIF Southern Section Division I quarterfinals will be Norco vs. Orange Lutheran, Chino Hills vs. Huntington Beach, Santiago vs. Gahr and Great Oak vs. Santa Margarita. It is certainly bizarre this season that the CIFSS playoffs will be down to the semifinals this week when some sections in the state have not even had seeding meetings yet.

These are the four senior captains for the Rio Mesa of Oxnard softball team, which has been in the Top 25 state rankings this season. Photo: @RioSoftball2019 /

1. Notre Dame (Salinas) 22-3
2. Roosevelt (Eastvale) 19-7
3. Ayala (Chino Hills) 27-4-1
4. Rio Mesa (Oxnard) 20-5
5. Chatsworth 24-4-1
6. Santa Teresa (San Jose) 21-6
7. Cypress 21-8-1
8. Del Campo (Fair Oaks) 18-3
9. Hanford 21-6
10. Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta) 24-5-1
Bubble Teams: Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 15-4, Brawley 25-5, Chico 23-4-1, Golden Valley (Merced) 23-3, Independence (Bakersfield) 22-4, Kingsburg 21-5-1, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 19-3, San Fernando 23-5-1, Watsonville 19-4.
Notes/Comments: After Santa Teresa, which was No. 20 in this week’s State Top 25, lost on Monday to Silver Creek (San Jose), the next D2 team in line in those rankings was Notre Dame of Salinas (also from the CIF Central Coast Section). The Spirits won a big game last week over Watsonville. We don’t know which teams from the CCS are going to be Open Division or not yet, but for our own divisional rankings and with no state playoffs to worry about we can put teams in divisions we think they should be in. And for both Notre Dame and Santa Teresa, that’s not D1. The D1 teams from the CCS would be all of those from the West Catholic Athletic League.
Roosevelt of Eastvale is from the same league as state No. 1 Norco and looks like one of the teams to watch from the CIFSS D2 playoffs. Ayala, Rio Mesa and Cypress are other top contenders from that bracket.
In previous years, we have placed L.A. City Section Open Division teams into D1 (same as the top division from the CIFSS). We’re finally going against that and are putting the best L.A. City Section teams down in D2 (call it a competitive equity move if you wish). Chatsworth is the defending L.A. City Section Open Division champion.
No. 10 Crescenta Valley is not in the CIFSS D2 playoffs, but is the top seed in the CIFSS D3 bracket. One of the moves we’ve had to make in order to fit seven divisions of the CIFSS playoffs is to place both of its D2 and D3 playoff teams into our D2 classification.

1. Oakdale 23-0-1
2. Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 20-1
3. Maranatha (Pasadena) 20-4
4. Godinez (Santa Ana) 23-4
5. El Segundo 23-6
6. Dinuba 20-6
7. Aquinas (San Bernardino) 24-1*
8. Coronado 20-0-1
9. Torrance 21-9
10. San Marin (Novato) 16-4
Bubble Teams: Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 17-12, Acalanes (Lafayette) 17-2, Ceres 19-5, Gunn (Palo Alto) 16-2, Las Plumas (Oroville) 19-7, Rialto 21-10, Sultana (Hesperia) 16-7, Templeton 13-5.
Notes/Comments: Oakdale is still looking like it will be D3 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs and therefore is still D3 for these state rankings. The Mustangs would be the No. 1 team overall in that section and are getting close to being in the top 10 in our State Top 25.
Aquinas would have been No. 2 right behind Oakdale, but the previously unbeaten Saints were upset in Tuesday’s CIFSS D4 playoffs by Rialto. Maranatha and Godinez are both in those D4 playoffs while Torrance is the top seed in D5.

Cloverdale standout Tehya Bird will play next at the University of Oregon. Photo:

1. Whittier Christian (La Habra) 21-3
2. Grace Brethren (Simi Valley) 21-4-1
3. Dos Palos 26-2
4. Cloverdale 23-0
5. Santiago (Garden Grove) 25-1
6. Ripon 20-2
7. Nordhoff (Ojai) 15-10
8. Notre Dame (Riverside) 24-5*
9. Sutter 20-5
10. Flintridge Sacred Heart (La Canada) 18-5
Bubble Teams: Calaveras (San Andreas) 18-3, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 18-4, Carmel 14-3, Chowchilla 18-5-3, Exeter 15-9, Foothills Christian (El Cajon) 12-4, Highland (Bakersfield) 18-5, Legacy (South Gate) 17-6, Linden 22-4, Marysville 20-2-1, McKinleyville 18-3, Shafter 18-4, Southwest (San Diego) 15-5.
Notes/Comments: This division was the most difficult to do at the top with Whittier Christian and Grace Brethren both looking good so far in the CIFSS D5 playoffs and both with higher computer rankings than any of the other teams we placed in our D4. Dos Palos has been dominant in the CIF Central Section and is a big favorite in that section’s D4 playoffs. And then we have unbeaten Cloverdale from the NCS. The Eagles were D5 last year and have been moved up by their section (and not by us). Any of the four could have conceivably been put No. 1 for different reasons. It’s just that Whittier Christian and Grace Brethren may play each othr.
Santiago of Garden Grove, not to be confused with Santiago of Corona, is the top seeded team in the CIFSS D6 playoffs. That school is too large, however, to be considered D5 in these rankings.
Notre Dame of Riverside probably would have been higher than No. 8, but lost on Tuesday to Nordhoff in the CIFSS D6 playoffs. That’s the school where legendary head coach John Perez landed after the school he was at last season, Carnegie of Riverside, closed.

1. East Nicolaus (Nicolaus) 27-2-2
2. Woodland Christian 19-3
3. Ripon Christian 20-3
4. Woodcrest Christian (Riverside) 16-5
5. Poly (Pasadena) 15-4
6. Biggs 23-2
7. Western Christian (Upland) 19-7
8. Mountain Empire (Pine Valley) 12-1
9. St. Vincent de Paul (Petaluma) 12-6
10. Whitney (Cerritos) 19-7
Bubble Teams: Clear Lake (Lakeport) 17-4, Fresno Christian 15-1, Kern Valley (Lake Isabella) 15-6-1, Mayfield (Pasadena) 12-8, Ocean View Christian (San Diego) 13-1, University (San Francisco) 14-3.
Notes/Comments: Head coach Neil Stinson’s girls at East Nicolaus were No. 1 in this division last season and actually would be the No. 1 team overall in the CIF Northern Section. The Spartans have played a number of bigger schools and have more than held their own. Woodland Christian actually was No. 2 in last year’s final rankings as well, but No. 3 Cloverdale was moved up to D4 in the CIF North Coast Section.
Woodcrest Christian and Pasadena Poly are in the CIFSS D6 semifinals. Western Christian is the top seed in D7. We do a mix of D6 and D7 being D5 for our rankings because we like to keep D5 strictly for legit small schools. None of these large enrollment schools playing in lower divisions based on competitive equity are allowed. They can be in D4 but no lower. Of course, East Nicolaus is on the other side of competitive equity. Hard to understand why the Spartans haven’t been moved up in the Northern Section when they’ve actually beaten the top teams in the section’s higher divisions.

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

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One Comment

  1. Tommy Hintz
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    NSCIF doesn’t have competitive equity divisions, strictly by enrollment.

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