1. (1) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 29-2
With so many other final No. 1 contenders all suffering playoff upsets last week -- including previous No. 2 Santiago, No. 3 Valencia and No. 5 Mater Dei -- it is now clearly the Mariners who are in the driver's seat to be State Team of the Year. They won their CIF Southern Section Div. III quarterfinal, 1-0, over Mayfair of Lakewood behind Brittany Weil's one-hitter and an RBI single from Jamie Waldecker. Pacifica plays La Mirada (26-6) in this week's semifinals.
2. (4) Notre Dame (Salinas) 31-2
We've been saying for weeks how difficult it would be for the Spirits to move up because they are in the Central Coast Section Div. III playoffs, which is not exactly as strong as some of the other playoff brackets in the state. But now, thanks to all the many upsets, there's a chance Notre Dame will be State Team of the Year. If Pacifica falls in the Southern Section, Notre Dame would be the leading candidate to move up. The Spirits won their sixth straight section title last Saturday with a 3-0 win over Half Moon Bay. Another feather in their cap is that North Salinas, a team Notre Dame beat twice in the Tri-County Athletic League, won the CCS Div. I title.
3. (12) California (Whittier) 26-5-1
Jennifer Davis tossed her 14th shutout of the season and had the only RBI of the game in a 1-0 win in nine innings over El Modena of Orange in the CIF Southern Section Div. II quarterfinals. The Condors were a finalist in this division last year and if they win it this year over a strong field, that would be enough to be ahead of anyone else in the Southern California rankings if Pacifica were to lose.
4. (9) Clovis 29-7
Last year, it was tough figuring out where to rank the Cougars after they dominated all year and then got upset in the Central Section finals by Clovis West. This year, it's tough because they beat Clovis West and came back strong from a slow start.
5. (10) University City (San Diego) 24-4-1
If the Centurions had won a more challenging section title in San Diego -- Division I, for example, instead of Division III -- they would be ahead of California and Clovis in the rankings. A top five finish is a certainty, however, and so are a plethora of postseason honors for pitcher-hitter Lisa Dodd.
6. (11) Vanden (Travis AFB) 22-3-1
If we've learned anything in softball in recent years it's that there's not that much of a difference between No. 1 and No. 100, especially in the playoffs and especially in California where there are so many good pitchers. So why not Vanden this high? The Vikings have a win over two-time North Coast Section Class 3A East Bay champ Freedom, their pitcher, Anjelica Selden, is clearly one of the best in the nation and two of the losses came when Selden and others were still playing basketball.
7. (2) Santiago (Corona) 25-4
Before the Sharks were stunned by Diamond Bar and its freshman pitcher, Brittany LaRosa, in the CIF Southern Section Div. II quarterfinals, they posted a 1-0 win in the second round over Villa Park. Taryne Mowatt ended the season with 23 shutouts.
8. (6) El Modena (Orange) 26-5
The Vanguards saw their promising season end in a 1-0 loss in nine innings to California of Whittier in the CIFSS Div. II playoffs. Earlier in the week, they won 1-0 over Colton behind Lindsey Klein's four-hitter and her own RBI single. If California goes on to win the title, El Modena could still sneak up a spot or two in the final rankings.
9. (15) Rosary (Fullerton) 24-6
We can move Rosary in front of Mater Dei even though the Monarchs' recently went 2-1 in games between the two since the Royals are still going in the CIFSS Div. I playoffs while Mater Dei is done. That order would change if Rosary doesn't win the title this week. Coach Tom Tice's team won in the quarterfinals, 3-0, over Royal of Simi Valley. Darcie McClelland ended the week with two shutouts and five hits allowed.
10. (13) Clovis West (Fresno) 35-4
Another big beneficiary of the many upsets of last week was the Golden Eagles. They didn't play, but their overall record and the fact their playoff loss was to Clovis helped them jump into the top 10.
11. (5) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 25-5
It's not the Monarchs losing to Foothill of Tustin in the CIFSS Div. I playoffs that has sent them tumbling in the rankings. It's that they lost 7-0 and that Foothill is a team with 12 losses. Mater Dei advanced from the second-round due to a 4-1 win over Cypress.
12. (19) Freedom (Oakley) 26-3
Coach Michele Biglow's club won its second straight CIF North Coast Section East Bay Class 3A title with a 4-1 victory over Newark Memorial. Freshman Amanda Williams finished with a one-hitter and whiffed 12, while Riannon Thomas got the offense going with a leadoff double. This is one team that should make a nice jump next week, too, based on its overall record. Two wins over Clovis still sounds real impressive as well.
13. (20) Bullard (Fresno) 28-5
This program has been No. 1 in the nation before, so the players know how to play at the highest level. The Knights won this year's CIF Central Section Yosemite Division Small School crown with victories of 2-1 vs. Porterville, 2-0 vs. Liberty of Bakersfield and 1-0 in nine innings vs. Centennial of Bakersfield.
14. (3) Valencia 27-4
Ouch, the Vikings went from being among the contenders for State Team of the Year to a quick exit in the second round of the CIFSS Div. I playoffs. Valencia's loss was by 2-1 to Lakewood. Just one of those days.
15. (nr) Woodbridge (Irvine) 25-8
Kendra Singley scored both runs as the Warriors clipped Lakewood, 2-0, in the CIFSS Div. I quarterfinals. Brittany Couch was the winning pitcher and improved to 22-5. Woodbridge may have eight losses, but it also has a win over Pacifica.
16. (nr) San Pedro 30-1
Now that some of the CIFSS teams are starting to get eliminated from the playoffs, it's time to get the Pirates into the rankings mix. Coach Tony Dobra's club won its fourth straight L.A. City Section crown last week with a 1-0 win in nine innings over Carson. Ashley Esparza pitched the shutout and hammered a double for the game-winning RBI. One of San Pedro's earlier wins was over Lakewood, which just beat Valencia, so this could be one L.A. City team that can play with the best of the Southern Section.
17. (nr) Canyon (Anaheim) 25-8
Laura Kimborowicz smacked a triple that plated Heather Slettvet with the game's only run in a 1-0 win over El Segundo in the CIFSS Div. II quarterfinals. Lisa Geer pitched the shutout and struck out 11.
18. (nr) El Camino (Sacramento) 23-3
The Eagles won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II title with a 1-0 victory over Granite Bay. In the semifinals, they bombed Napa 13-0 and earlier in the season they were the only team to hand a loss to Vanden with Anjelica Selden pitching. If it hadn't dropped two games since then, El Camino might have been in the top 10 by now.
19. (nr) Wilson (Hacienda Heights) 25-3
The Wildcats blanked Palm Desert, 5-0, on another shutout by pitcher Jamee Juarez and moved into the CIFSS Div. III semifinals. Wilson could be the foe of No. 1 Pacifica in the title game this weekend.
20. (nr) North Salinas (Salinas) 24-7
Freshman Kristen Archuleta had an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to back up the pitching of Monica Abbott in the Vikings' 2-0 win over Hollister for the CIF Central Coast Section Div. I title. It is North Salinas' second straight CCS title. Abbott struck out seven and gave up two hits in pitching her seventh straight postseason shutout over the last two seasons.