New Cal-Hi Sports Softball Top 20

Pacifica drops meaningless game, which does flip-flop No. 1 ranking with Norco but scenario still in place for either Mariners or Cougars to finish as No. 1 team in state and nation.

Norco is back on top in this week’s state top 20 softball rankings, but in the big picture it’s still going to be what happens in the playoffs that determines which team will end up in the No. 1 position.

Although previous No. 1 Pacifica of Garden Grove lost in its regular season finale, both the Mariners and Norco can still end the season at 31-2 with a CIF Southern Section Division I title. Based on strength of schedule, that will be hard to beat not just for any other team in California but for any other team this year in the nation according to the ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50.

San Diego Section top-ranked Bonita Vista of Chula Vista is the team coming up the most in this week’s rankings. The Barons are up to No. 12 after being at No. 16 last week.

(Through games played Monday, May 14)

(Contributing: Harold Abend, Paul Muyskens)

(Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (2) Norco 26-2

As expected, due to having a head-to-head win over Pacifica, the Cougars will start the CIFSS Division I playoffs as the top seed. They won the final two games of the regular season 10-0 and 6-0 over Corona and J.W. North of Riverside, respectively. They host a wild-card winner in their first post-season game on Thursday.

2. (1) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 26-2

While the 1-0 loss to Cypress didn’t mean much for seedings or league standings, it’s not like the Mariners sent out their second-stringers, either. Top sophomore pitcher Kaylee Carlson pitched a perfect game into the seventh inning, but couldn’t hold on. The Pacifica offense was shut down on three hits, which was a far cry from the 6-1 win over Cypress from earlier in the season. A wild-card winner will be the opponent in the first-round, but in the second-round it could be state top 10 Royal of Simi Valley.

3. (3) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 22-0

The dream season continues with two more shutout victories, 3-0 over California of San Ramon and 5-0 over San Ramon Valley of Danville. It took 11 innings against California, but Arizona-State bound super sophomore Johanna Grauer got the job done by striking out 22 while only allowing three hits. She came back against San Ramon Valley with a one-hitter and 16 strikeouts for her seventh straight shutout and 17th this season.

4. (4) Lutheran (Orange) 25-4

The Lancers had last week off after capturing the Trinity League championship the week before. With a current six-game winning streak, they will open the Southern Section Division I playoffs on Thursday against Tuesday wild-card winner Roosevelt of Eastvale.

5. (5) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 25-2

First, the Monarchs pinned an 11-4 loss on crosstown Presentation in the semifinals. Then in the West Catholic Athletic League playoff title game, Vanessa Alvarez defeated crosstown Valley Christian for the third time this season. The Cal-bound Alvarez, who didn’t allow an earned run in 21 innings against the Warriors this season, allowed just six hits for her 11th shutout of the year. Kiersten Nordin drove in the game’s only run in the second inning. As expected, Mitty snagged the No. 1 seed in the CIF Central Coast Section Division II playoffs and will try to win its second straight title and seventh in the last eight years.

6. (6) Chino Hills 27-3

Coach Mike Southworth's Huskies finished a perfect season in Sierra League play last week as they defeated South Hills of West Covina 10-0 and Charter Oak of Covina 9-7. Nikki Girard homered and drove in four runs during a three-hit performance at the plate in the five-inning win in the battle of the Huskies. Chino Hills is the top seed in the CIFSS Division III playoffs.

7. (7) El Diamante (Visalia) 29-1

For the second straight week, the Miners pulled out a 1-0 victory, this time in eight innings over host and crosstown Golden West. Junior phenom Sierra Hyland went all the way and was a walk away from a perfect game while registering 13 strikeouts. The game might have gone on longer had not Katy McJunkin come up with an RBI single in the top of the eighth. In the first game of the week, McJunkin and Rylee Pierce had two RBIs apiece in a 9-2 win over Hanford West. The girls received the No. 1 seed in the CIF Central Section Division I playoffs and got a first-round bye.

8. (8) Royal (Simi Valley) 24-2

The Highlanders did their part and took care of business, and finished Marmonte League on a roll with an 11-1 win over Calabasas followed by a 10-0 blanking of Westlake of Westlake Village giving them 10 straight victories to end the season. Where the team came up short was in the seedings of the CIFSS D1 playoffs. Due to a three-way tie for first place in league, a coin flip decided that Royal would be the No. 3 team behind Simi Valley and Moorpark. The bad news for Coach Bill Dishon and the girls is if they win a first-round game against Redlands they would face No. 2 Pacifica of Garden Grove next.

9. (9) Esperanza (Anaheim) 23-6

With a 2-0 win at El Modena of Orange, the Aztecs captured the Century League championship. Hayley Copeland struck out 14 and allowed just one hit and Nicole Shroeder had a solo home run in the win. Esperanza opens the CIFSS Division I playoffs on Thursday against wild-card winner Yorba Linda.

10. (10) James Logan (Union City) 20-1

Raeann Garza tossed a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts to open last week in a 2-0 win over American of Fremont. Then, the Colts came back from 1-0 down to Newark Memorial with a two-run fourth, and then the defense of shortstop Jazmine Reed and the rest of the Cougars helped Garza close out their arch-rivals despite her giving up eight hits. Logan has already wrapped up the Mission Valley Athletic League title with a lone game against Fremont Irvington of Fremont left this week before the start of the CIF North Coast Section Division I playoffs.

11. (11) Los Alamitos 22-6

With the Sunset League title on the line, after a 1-0 victory over Fountain Valley earier in the week, the Griffins went on the road and defeated Edison of Huntington Beach 3-2 to capture the championship. On Thursday, they will face wild-card winner Upland in the first-round of the CIFSS Division I playoffs.

12. (16) Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 21-3-1

The Barons only needed 10 innings to complete a home and away sweep of crosstown Eastlake in a pair of mercy-shortened 10-0 victories. Sacramento State-bound senior pitcher Jennifer Hartman gave up one and four hits, respectively. The top team from the CIF San Diego Section is the top seed in the Division II playoffs and awaits a Friday game against the winner of the San Diego Point Loma versus Carlsbad La Costa Canyon matchup.

13. (14) Mission Viejo 23-5

The South Coast League champion Diablos finished their regular season with a pair of shutout wins last week as they defeated Tesoro of Rancho Santa Margarita 15-0 and Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo 5-0. Taylor McQuillin allowed just three hits and struck out 15 while Alyssa Palomino drove in two runs in the final game of the regular season. As the top seed in the Southern Section Division II playoffs, they will face wild card winner West Covina in Thursday’s first round.

14. (12) Edison (Huntington Beach) 23-4

In a winner-take-all game for the Sunset League championship, the Chargers were unable to rally from a 3-0 deficit as they lost 3-2 at home against Los Alamitos. Earlier in the week, they defeated Marina of Huntington Beach 5-2 in a game that saw all seven runs scored in the 10th inning. Samantha Cordova and the Chargers will face Murrieta Valley on Thursday in the Southern Section Division I playoffs.

15. (NR) West Ranch (Valencia) 21-4-1

Kylie Sorenson’s home run and Bailey Foster’s pitching sparked the Wildcats past Saugus 3-1 in their regular-season finale. A few weeks ago, it looked like a wide-open race for the highly-regarded Foothill League title, but in the end West Ranch won it going away. The team also won 7-6 last week against Hart of Newhall. In the first-round of the CIFSS Division I playoffs, West Ranch will meet El Modena of Orange.

16. (13) Simi Valley 21-5-1

The Pioneers started the week pretty strong with a 5-1 win over Agoura, but the road trip to Moorpark created a trifecta in the Marmonte League after 6-5 loss made a somewhat twisted situation where Simi Valley, Royal and Moorpark all finished 12-2 in league after each split with each other. Unlike Royal, Simi Valley came out of it pretty good after winning the coin flip. They play Foothill of Tustin in their first post-season matchup.

17. (20) Del Oro (Loomis) 19-4-2

Going on the road and picking up a 3-2 win over Woodcreek of Roseville, the Golden Eagles captured the Sierra Foothill League title to go with their season sweep of the Timberwolves. Hanna Miller drove in all three runs as they rallied from behind with a run in the sixth inning and two runs in the seventh inning. They ended the regular season with an 11-1 win over Woodland.

18. (19) Camarillo 24-5

Entering the playoffs on a positive note, the Scorpions stung their way to two shutout wins last week as they defeated Oxnard 7-0 and Pacifica of Oxnard 15-0. Sarah Shadinger and Bianca Noriega combined for the shutout. Camarillo shared the Pacific View League title with Oxnard but beat Oxnard in the second matchup.

19. (17) Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) 19-4-1

With the Southwestern League championship already clinched, the Broncos split a pair of games against Temecula Valley with the loss in their regular season finale just preventing an undefeated league record. Sierra Romero homered and drove in four runs in the 10-4 victory. She has 19 homers for the season and 44 for her career. They will face Corona on Thursday in the CIFSS D1 playoffs.

20. (NR) Dos Pueblos (Goleta) 23-3

This contender for the top ranking in the state in Division III now gets into the top 20 as well. Dos Pueblos has split with No. 18 Camarillo and owns a win over CIFSS Division 5 top-ranked La Canada. There also have been two wins later in the season over Buena of Ventura, which was the team’s first loss. The only other loss by the Chargers has been to higher-ranked Simi Valley. They play a wild-card winner in the opening-round of the CIFSS Division 4 playoffs.

Dropped Out:

Previous No. 15 Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga); No. 18 Newark Memorial (Newark).

Teams on the Bubble

Alhambra (Martinez) 19-4, Atascadero 24-3, Canyon (Anaheim) 17-8, Carlmont (Belmont) 22-3, Heritage (Brentwood) 20-2, Hughson 23-1, La Canada 21-4-1, Lakewood 25-5, Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga) 20-6, Mira Mesa (San Diego) 23-5-1, Moorpark 18-6-1, Newark Memorial (Newark) 17-4, Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 18-1, Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 29-3-1, San Benito (Hollister) 20-3, Saugus 21-7, St. Lucy’s (Glendora) 21-5, Valley Christian (San Jose) 24-6, Wilson (Long Beach) 22-7, Woodcreek (Roseville) 21-4.

Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.