Softball State Division Rankings

Capistrano Valley outfielders greet each other during recent game. Their team from Mission Viejo is shown No. 1 in our D2 state rankings entering its regional semifinal game. Photo: @CapoSoftball /

These are not the same as our overall State TOP 25 rankings from just a few days ago thanks to big wins by Whitney of Rocklin and Rancho Bernardo of San Diego in the CIF regional playoffs. These also require placement of all teams into our own five-division format with all of the opt outs in SoCal greatly impacting the SoCal regional brackets. With two games to go for the top teams, No. 1 teams are Hollister (D1), Capistrano Valley (D2), Ponderosa of Shingle Springs (D3), Orestimba of Newman (D4) and Boron (D5).


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Note: Divisional placement for these rankings are based on a combination of CIF section divisions plus the CIF regional playoffs divisions. We also use our own longtime experience of placing teams according to more traditional factors such as enrollment, small towns being in small schools (D4 & D5). They are not going to completely match CIF regional divisions due to those reasons. Adjustments could still be made for the final division rankings, which will have more time to examine since everyone will be done playing for the season. For the upcoming all-state teams, players from D4 & D5 teams will be considered small schools, players from D3 medium, players from D2 split between medium and large and all in D1 will be large.

(Through results of Tuesday, May 30)
*Indicates season complete.

Hollister head coach Andrew Barragan signals where his team finished in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs. Photo: Mark Tennis.

1. Hollister 28-3
2. St. Francis (Mountain View) 27-3
3. Pacifica (Garden Grove) 24-8*
4. Norco 27-4*
5. Los Alamitos 24-4*
6. Murrieta Mesa (Murrieta) 24-4-1*
7. Huntington beach 23-6*
8. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 29-2-1
9. Central (Fresno) 27-5
10. Poway 27-3
11. Whitney (Rocklin) 22-7
12. Lutheran (Orange) 22-6*
13. Riverside Poly (Riverside) 23-2-1*
14. Clovis North (Fresno) 24-2-1*
15. Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 25-5
16. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 21-5*
17. Great Oak (Temecula) 20-8-1*
18. Esperanza (Anaheim) 19-7*
19. Torrance 24-5
20. Bullard (Fresno) 27-5
Notes & Highlights: Hollister and St. Francis both won in their NorCal D1 openers on Tuesday with the Haybalers blanking CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 champ Oak Ridge, 2-0, while the Lancers mercy-ruled San Ramon Valley of Danville, 10-0. If both win Thursday (Hollister playing Whitney & St. Francis playing Central of Fresno) they would meet in the final on Saturday. We’ve already said if that happens that the winner will be State Team of the Year. Pacifica of Garden Grove, which won the CIF Southern Section D1 title and is among many from the CIFSS who have opted out of the regional playoffs, needs either Whitney or Central to win out for it to finish No. 1. Oaks Christian is the highest ranked CIFSS team that did not opt out and is playing Rancho Bernardo on Thursday in the SoCal D1 semifinals. Oaks clobbered Moorpark, 10-2, on Tuesday. Poway got the top seed and had a bye on Tuesday.

1. Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 26-6
2. Willow Glen (San Jose) 21-7
3. Notre Dame (Salinas) 21-7
4. California (Whittier) 21-8-2
5. Vacaville 29-3*
6. El Capitan (Lakeside) 24-5**
7. Moorpark 21-3*
8. Otay Ranch (Chula Vista) 23-7
9. Grand Terrace 23-7*
10. Casa Grande (Petaluma) 25-6*
Bubble: Ayala (Chino Hills) 20-2-1*, Camarillo 16-7, Carlsbad 19-9*, Carson 20-9, Foothill (Tustin) 23-11*, Granada Hills Charter 24-5*, JSerra (SJ Capistrano) 19-11*, Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 18-13, Rio Mesa (Oxnard) 24-4-1*, Sequoia (Redwood City) 18-6*, Valley View (Moreno Valley) 22-6-1*.
Notes & Highlights: You should notice that CIFSS D2 champion Great Oak is not shown for D2 but D1. The Wolf Pack are ranked where they should be in the overall State TOP 25, but are from the same league as Murrieta Mesa, Vista Murrieta and others and that’s actually a big-time D1 league for softball and many sports. Capo Valley was the CIFSS D3 champion and is playing in the regionals and got a win on Tuesday over Foothill of Tustin. It will play El Capitan next in the SoCal D2 semis. California of Whittier is top seed and had a first-round bye. For NorCal D2, Willow Glen is top seed and is playing Bullard of Fresno (D1) in one semifinal. In the other semi, Notre Dame is playing East Nicolaus (which we have as D3).

The Ponderosa of Shingle Springs girls won the first CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship at their school in 41 years with wins over State TOP 25 teams. Photo:

1. Ponderosa (Shingle Springs) 24-4-1
2. East Nicolaus (Nicolaus) 29-1-1
3. Central Catholic (Modesto) 28-4
4. Sutter 26-2*
5. Pinole Valley (Pinole) 29-1
6. Vista del Lago (Folsom) 26-3*
7. Cypress 21-4-1*
8. Aquinas (San Bernardino) 27-3*
9. Fullerton 24-7
10. Pleasant Valley (Chico) 19-7
Bubble: Alameda 18-6*, Burroughs (Ridgecrest) 24-5*, Capuchino (San Bruno) 22-6*, J.W. North (Riverside) 28-4*, Madera 14-8-1*, Monterey 20-8*, North Salinas (Salinas) 14-12, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 18-5*, Oakdale 20-8*, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 14-7-1, Temple City 18-4*, West Valley (Cottonwood) 24-5*.
Notes & Highlights: It is always very difficult where to put East Nicolaus and Sutter in these rankings. The former Northern Section rivals (Sutter is now in Sac-Joaquin) played each other this season. Sutter won, but then lost in the SJS D5 semis to Orestimba of Newman (which traditionally is D4 and we kept it that way). East Nic has since won its section title and on Tuesday defeated Vacaville (recently had 28-game win streak snapped) in the D2 NorCal playoffs. In keeping East Nic and Sutter together, we’re putting both in D3. Ponderosa, however, won the SJS D3 title first by beating higher ranked Vista del Lago in the semis and then higher ranked Central Catholic in the final. Both of them were in the State TOP 25, too. That moved up the Bruins in front of East Nic in our rankings and they would be higher at the end too if both were to win NorCal titles this weekend.

Alexis Alvarado has been one of the top players this season at Fowler. Photo:

1. Orestimba (Newman) 23-4
2. University Prep (Redding) 26-5
3. Fowler 27-3
4. Santa Paula 24-6
5. Holtville 24-5
6. Liberty (Winchester) 22-3-1
7. Paraclete (Lancaster) 22-2*
8. Wheatland 20-9*
9. Imperial 23-5-1
10. Capital Christian (Sacramento) 17-5
Bubble: Calaveras (San Andreas) 19-3*, Del Norte (Crescent City) 19-8*, Dixon 22-8*, Live Oak (Morgan Hill) 13-11, Ontario 17-9, Orange Cove 22-8-1*, Our Lady of Peace (San Diego) 18-11-1, San Fernando 19-7, St. Helena 23-5*, Stevenson (Pebble Beach) 18-4, Summerville (Tuolomne) 15-9*, Western Christian (Glendora) 19-3.
Notes & Highlights: In the aftermath of its impressive pair of wins over Sutter and Wheatland to win the Sac-Joaquin Section D5 title, Orestimba opened the NorCal D4 playoffs with an 8-0 romp past St. Helena. It doesn’t matter that University Prep was seeded first in that bracket (even their own players know what beating Sutter means). It would have to beat Orestimba on Thursday in the semis to be ranked higher. No. 2 seed Fowler is playing Capital Christian on the other side. There’s a good chance, therefore, that Orestimba will have to go all the way to Redding and then turn around and go all the way to Fowler in order to win a regional title. Pretty horrible treatment by the CIF to a team that beat Sutter. In the south, meanwhile, Santa Paula also had a bye in the first round and is playing Imperial on Thursday.

1. Boron 23-2
2. Stone Ridge Christian (Merced) 17-2
3. Los Molinos 21-9
4. Verdugo Hills 16-8
5. Coastal Academy (Oceanside) 19-6-1
6. Flintridge Sacred Heart (La Canada) 17-4*
7. Woodlake 23-4*
8. Hoopa Valley (Hoopa) 19-5*
9. Providence (Burbank) 21-6*
10. Port of Los Angeles (Wilmington) 16-3*
Bubble: Design Tech (Redwood City) 16-5*, Head-Royce (Oakland) 14-4*, Immanuel (Reedley) 15-6*, Laytonville 9-6*, Linfield Christian (Temecula) 14-5*, Loyalton 18-4*.
Notes & Highlights: Maybe it’s because we keep getting such great info on Hailey Davis of Boron from Central Section historian Bob Barnett, but we had to go with the Bobcats in front of Verdugo Hills for these rankings despite Verdugo being the No. 1 seed in the SoCal D5 bracket in front of Boron at No. 2. Stone Ridge Christian is the No. 3 seed for NorCal D5, but the top two seeds, Live Oak of Morgan Hill and North Salinas, just can’t be down in D5. Those schools are just way too big so we have them in D4. Ontario from SoCal D5 also is D4 for these rankings.

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

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  1. Bob Hewitt
    Posted June 1, 2023 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I am not sure why Notre Dame and East Nicolaus were put in the same side of the bracket or why they are considered division II while much larger schools are down in D V
    Here in Texas the student population determines the division eliminating “politics” from determining who goes where. A NCAA type regional, super regional and finals would be a better way of determining a state champion. When schools with 1500 or 2000 students are put in a division with schools of 300 or 400, it is hardly equitable

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted June 2, 2023 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      It’s the competitive equity way of doing seedings plus Texas doesn’t have different sections with different rules and ways of doing things. Not sure why Ponderosa was put in 3, either. North Salinas and Live Oak down in D5 is indeed a joke.

    • John Weibling
      Posted June 4, 2023 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree with you more. How does live oak ( morgan hill) who is more than 5 times the school size of other schools in D V go 5-9 in league and then drop down to a lower division and be given the #1 seed for state playoffs. Something isn’t right with the process.

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