North: La Canada top seed in Division 5 softball playoffs

The La Canada softball team is the No. 1 team in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs, but coach K.C. Mathews said he isn’t too concerned about rankings in the middle of May.

“We talk about setting goals and we want to be playing late in May,” Mathews said. “Our goal is to be playing softball in June. We want to come out and play the best softball we can each and every day.”

La Canada will play the winner of the wild-card game between Lompoc and Gladstone.

With senior Lauren Cox in the circle, the Spartans (21-4-1) have been nearly unbeatable. Cox (19-3) has 15 shutouts, a 0.63 ERA and 254 strikeouts in 156 1/3 innings. Teams are hitting .099 against her.

“The pitching that we have, we have a chance against everybody,” Mathews said. “Our lineup, somebody different is getting it done every game.”

La Canada is hitting .312 as a team. Catcher Catherine Horner and infielder Alyssa Stolmack lead the team with four home runs apiece. Horner is hitting .450 with 28 RBIs. Stolmack, who has a 2-1 record as a pitcher, is hitting .305 with 17 RBIs.

Annie Monroe is batting .349 with nine stolen bases and has scored 17 runs.

In the Division 1 softball playoffs, Norco earned the top seed.

West Ranch, the Foothill League champion, is the No. 7 team in the Division 1 poll and opens the playoffs against El Modena on Thursday.

Simi Valley opens playoffs against the winner of the wild-card game between Riverside Poly and Foothill.

Saugus plays La Palma Kennedy in the first round.

In the Division 2 playoffs, Mission Viejo is the No. 1 seed. Camarillo is the No. 2 seed and will play the winner of the wild-card game between Diamond Bar and Rialto.

Click here for the rest of the CIF Southern Section softball playoff brackets.