In addition to overall No. 1 and Division 1 No. 1 St. Francis of Mountain View, others that can say they are mythical state champions for 2022 are Otay Ranch of Chula Vista (Division 2), Sutter (D3), Monterey (D4) and Big Valley Christian of Modesto (D5).
For more on the 2022 State Team of the Year announcement,
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Congratulations to these five softball teams for being added to the list of all-time state teams of the year according to our traditional Cal-Hi Sports five-division format:
St. Francis (Mountain View)
Some might argue that this should be two in a row for the Lancers, but last year’s CIFSS D1 champion, Esperanza of Anaheim, went 22-2 and just had too many wins over other highly ranked opponents. St. Francis will have a record of 57-2 over the last two seasons starting the 2023 season.
Otay Ranch (Chula Vista)
This was the most complicated of the five divisional final No. 1 choices. CIF NorCal D2 champion Lincoln of Stockton was D1 in its section and has had a D1 enrollment designation for many years. The Trojans will be making a big jump in the final overall rankings, but can’t be No. 1 for D2 in this format. Then in the south, SoCal D2 winner Mater Dei Catholic is from the same league as Otay Ranch, which won the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title but opted out of the SoCal regionals.
If Otay Ranch had played last week, it probably would have been in the D1 SoCal bracket but the Mustangs didn’t play on and thus it gives us the option of putting them in D2. The school has been D2 in other sports in many years in these division rankings, plus Otay Ranch going D2 for these rankings also matches the order we like best for teams coming up in our final, expanded TOP 40 overall rankings.
In what ended up being their final game, the Mustangs (23-8) defeated San Marcos, 2-0. Isabel Cintron broke up a 0-0 game with a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning. Maya Loper, who also led Otay Ranch in home runs, then got the final outs to complete the shutout.
It was a move up in these divisions for the Huskies from last year (when they were No. 1) and it didn’t matter. They won the CIF NorCal D3 title with a 2-1 win over Central of Fresno. The Grizzlies were a finalist squad from the CIF Central Section in its top bracket (D1), but for some reason were stuck in D3 despite having an enrollment of more than 4,000. Central did get past East Nicolaus in the D3 semifinals, but Sutter got it done in the final on Saturday with a 2-1 triumph and wrapped up a 30-1 season record.
Cal State Northridge bound Riley Wickum struck out eight and scattered six hits for Sutter in staking her place among the school’s all-time greats. A two-run single in the first by Avery Jolley gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead and Riley made it stand up.
Sutter now adds its No. 1 D3 finish for this year to previous State Team of the Year selections in D4 for last year plus 2008, 2009 and 2018.
The Toreadores made some history of their own in this division with a CIF NorCal D4 title. They entered last week with a 22-8-1 record compared to some great totals from other teams in the bracket, but have been surging of late, including wins over Watsonville, Valley Christian of San Jose and Capuchino of San Bruno en route to the CIF Central Coast Section D2 title.
In the NorCal semis, in what would be one of the nicest road trips ever, Monterey hosted 27-2 Eureka from the North Coast Section and won in a slugfest, 9-8. Kira Morris was a monster at the plate as she ripped three home runs. Then in the final the Toreadores took on No. 1 seed Dixon (which was 24-1-1) and beat the Rams, 5-1. Kat Manuofetoa led the way vs Dixon with three hits and three RBI. Ella Myers also pitched a five-hitter.
This is Monterey’s first-ever No. 1 state finish in D4 for softball. Santa Catalina of Monterey has been No. 1 before.
Big Valley Christian (Modesto)
Once the Lions got past Stone Ridge Christian of Merced in their league and with a 5-3 win in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D7 playoffs, they were off to the races. It also could be argued that they could have been placed ahead of SJS D6 winner Woodland Christian for the NorCal playoffs and if they had then they instead would have had to play D4 top seed Dixon (Woodland Christian lost in that game 12-0).
The pairings are what they are and Big Valley Christian (22-6) took advantage of the opportunity. The Lions rolled over Lowell of San Francisco in the NorCal semis and defeated Los Altos, 5-3, in the final. Ava Hernandez, one of the reported strikeout leaders in the state with more than 300, had eight in the final and also went 2-for-3 with one RBI.