Final Overall State Softball Top 20 Rankings

What to do with improbable CIF Southern Section winners King and El Dorado are only part of the chaos that needed to be sorted out in the last ratings of the season. All the upsets also benefitted Brookside Christian, Notre Dame of Salinas and Poway.


(All divisions; through June 1; last week in parentheses)

1. (2) Mira Mesa (San Diego) 35-1

With so many players back next year, led by P Lisa Dodd and C Lyn Morris, we'd love to see the Marauders in the Bullhead City, Arizona or Santa Maria Best of the West tourneys.

2. (3) Clovis 37-3-1

Cougars had the best overall season among the many favored teams that were upset in various section playoffs. This year had the most of those since we began doing rankings in the 1980s.

3. (4) Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 31-1

Second guessers are wondering why No. 1 pitcher Emily Turner wasn't in the circle vs. Poway in key playoff game the Barons lost. Turner returns next year and should be one of state's most dominant players.

4. (7) Brookside Christian (Stockton) 32-1

Everything fell into place for the Knights to get such a high final ranking: 1. Mira Mesa wound up on top; 2. All the top-ranked Southern Section teams lost; 3. They faced a 28-0 team in the playoffs and won.

5. (nr) M.L. King (Riverside) 26-2

With their record, with the fact they beat previous No. 1 Pacifica, and with the fact that El Dorado wound up winning in its division, how can the Wolves not be considered the No. 1 team overall in the CIFSS for this year?

6. (1) Pacifica (Garden Grove) 28-3-1

Like Clovis and Bonita Vista before them, the Mariners succumbed to the pressure of being No. 1 in the playoffs and lost a 3-0 game to King in the CIFSS Div. III semifinals.

7. (7) Foothill (Tustin) 29-4

It helped in the final rankings that the team the Knights were upset by in the playoffs, El Dorado of Placentia, went on to win the CIFSS Div. II crown.

8. (8) Sheldon (Sacramento) 29-4-1

The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I champions might have finished as high as No. 2 had they been able to beat Thousand Oaks in the final of the Best of the West tourney.

9. (13) Notre Dame (Salinas) 28-3

A late-season injury to ace pitcher Erin Sigala might have limited her innings, but the Spirits came on strong anyway and won their fifth straight CIF Central Coast Section Div. III title.

10. (5) Kennedy (La Palma) 24-6-1

With its strength of schedule and the presence of Michelle Turner, the Irish might have been able to be No. 2 in the final rankings. Loss to El Dorado in CIFSS Div. II final wrecked that possibility.

11. (15) Poway 23-6

Big-time kudos to Mandy Brown, who pitched two one-hitters for the Titans to close the year and played well all season even though her father, Mike, died suddenly of a heart attack just before it started.

12. (12) Poly (Riverside) 26-3

With Mindy Cowles returning next season, the Bears should be able to put together another strong squad.

13. (nr) El Dorado (Placentia) 21-9

Amanda Watkins outdueled Michelle Turner as the Golden Hawks upset Kennedy, 2-1, in the CIFSS Div. II finals. Kennedy can still be ranked higher, though, due to beating El Dorado twice in league play.

14. (18) Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga) 24-6

Maybe it's time the Inland Empire is regarded on equal terms with Orange County. Etiwanda won the CIFSS Div. I title by 2-1 over Dana Hills to go with M.L. King winning it all in Div. III.

15. (9) El Modena (Orange) 28-6

Highlights of the season for this squad included winning the Woodbridge tourney and making it to CIFSS Div. III finals where they lost to King.

16. (11) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 26-6

Monarchs' playoff loss last week was 2-0 to No. 10 Kennedy of La Palma. Since at one point Mater Dei was contending for the No. 1 ranking, you could label the season somewhat disappointing.

17. (10) California (Whittier) 26-6

Watch out for the Condors next season as top pitcher-hitter Jennifer Davis will return for her senior season.

18. (19) Wilson (Hacienda Heights) 25-3-1

This team's playoff loss was by just 1-0 to No. 6 Pacifica and pitcher Jaime Juarez only gave up two hits. It's just that those hits were in the same inning.

19. (20) Vanden (Travis AFB) 28-1

With Fairfield ace Alicia Hollowell moving on to college, Vanden's Anjelica Selden will now be the pitcher to watch in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. She's just a sophomore.

20. (nr) Freedom (Oakley) 23-4

It was a real whirlwind for the Falcons to win the CIF North Coast Section East Bay 3A title as they played four games in four days.

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