CAL-HI SPORTS BAY AREA TOP 20 SOFTBALL

In support of our weekly TV show that airs on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. on KRON TV Channel 4 (San Francisco), here's the latest top 20 rankings for S.F. Bay Area softball. Note: These rankings are for all schools in the CIF Central Coast Section, all schools in the CIF North Coast Section (except Humboldt-Del Norte) plus schools in Solano and Napa counties of the Sac-Joaquin Section.

(After games of April 12; first rankings of the 2003 spring season)

1. Notre Dame (Salinas) 13-2

2. Freedom (Oakley) 9-1

3. Mitty (San Jose) 16-2

4. North Salinas (Salinas) 14-4

5. Vanden (Travis AFB) 9-3-1

6. Carlmont (Belmont) 16-3

7. Foothill (Pleasanton) 5-1-1

8. Casa Grande (Petaluma) 11-1

9. Alameda 9-1

10. Carondelet (Concord) 8-3

11. Alhambra (Martinez) 10-2

12. Acalanes (Lafayette) 12-0

13. Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 10-4

14. Ursuline (Santa Rosa) 9-3

15. Deer Valley (Antioch) 9-4

16. Livermore 7-2

17. Campolindo (Moraga) 8-3-1

18. Presentation (San Jose) 12-4-1

19. San Ramon Valley (Danville) 7-4

20. California (San Ramon) 6-2-1

Notes & Highlights

Most of the games scheduled for Saturday at the Mission City Invitational tournament were washed out, but the night before a biggie that was played saw Notre Dame down Mitty, 2-0. Melissa Pura came through with the big hit for Notre Dame that won the game as she cracked a two-run triple in the sixth inning. Kim Reeder pitched the shutout in a duel vs. Mitty's Christy Murray. She did give up five hits, but walked none and whiffed eight. The Spirits then posted a 2-0 win on Saturday morning over Carlmont before the rains came.

Freedom's rise toward the top of these rankings -- as well as significant shifts upward in both the state and national polls -- can be mostly attributed to the success of freshman pitcher Amanda Williams. With solid returnees in the field and with the bat, Freedom's only questionmark coming into the season was in the circle. The freshman has more than lived up to her potential. She recently pitched back-to-back no-hitters and was the key in a doubleheader sweep of nationally-ranked Clovis. Freedom rolled on last week with a 4-0 win over Deer Valley. Williams gave up six hits, but this time the offense came through as Riannon Thomas blasted a three-run double.

Monica Abbott of North Salinas pitched her seventh no-hitter of the season and finished with 20 strikeouts in her team's 9-0 win over Live Oak of Morgan Hill.

Acalanes stayed perfect with a 5-3 win last week over College Park, a team the Dons hadn't beaten in six years. Lauren Olson went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Blair Cuny improved to 11-0 in the circle to lead Acalanes.

Sierra Pereira gave up just one hit as Alameda blanked Campolindo, 4-0, and was able to slide into this week's top 10. The sophomore also had a two-hitter and struck out 12 in a 10-2 win last week over Hercules. Both of those runs were unearned.


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