Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Softball: Final Orange County Top 20 (6/5/18)

Ohio University-bound Mackensie Kohl of Mater Dei of Santa Ana. Photo/Patrick Takkinen.


FINAL ORANGE COUNTY TOP 20


1. (2) Mater Dei of Santa Ana (Trinity) 23-6

The Monarchs took fourth place at the Dave Kops Tournament of Champions, second place at the Best of the West where they knocked off state-champion San Marcos, second place at the Dugard Classic, they beat Orange Lutheran twice en route to winning their first Trinity League title since 2015 and reached the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs where they lost to Gahr of Cerritos, 4-3, in eight innings. Mater Dei loses UCLA-bound 3B Kelli Godin, Ohio University-bound P Mackensie Kohl, Notre Dame-signed OF Emma Clark, Virginia-bound C Donna Friedman to graduation, but they’ll have Arkansas-committed SS Marlene Friedman and Tennessee-committed OF Nyomi Jones back to rebuild next year.

2. (1) Orange Lutheran (Trinity) 26-5

The Lancers lost to Norco, 7-5, in the finals of the Dana Housley Memorial Tournament, avenged that loss with a 7-2 win over the Cougars to win the Gold Division at the Dave Kops Tournament of Champions, they beat Los Altos of Hacienda Heights, 6-0, and Agoura, 13-3, to win the TNT Tournament, reached the finals of the Michelle Carew Classic, took second place in the Trinity League and went to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs before losing to Great Oak of Temecula, 8-5, in nine innings. Dartmouth-bound IF Kira La Scola, Grand Canyon-bound OF Gianna Nicoletti and Vanguard-bound OF Isabelle Valdez graduate, but the Lancers will have a stacked lineup coming back next year, led by LSU-committed OF Ciara Briggs, Ohio State-committed SS Mya Rodriguez, Siena College-committed C Jaeden Barajas, Kentucky-committed IF Victoria Fragoso and Mercer-committed IF Sarah Taylor. BYU-commit Taryn Lennon and Dartmouth-commit Mia Bagatourian got valuable innings in big games this year and they also return for OLu next year.

3. (3) Huntington Beach (Sunset) 21-8

The Oilers split their two games against Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, beat Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista, split their two games against Los Alamitos to share the Sunset League title, knocked off Valencia of Magic Mountain in the playoffs and got eliminated by eventual-champion Norco, 5-5, in nine innings in the CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinals. Huntington Beach will be in good position to make another deep run next year with the return of Missouri-committed P Grace Uribe, Washington-committed OF Jadelyn Allchin and North Carolina State-committed P/OF Devyn Greer. The Oilers will miss Oregon-bound Allee Bunker and USD-bound Kelli Kufta, who graduate.

4. (11) Pacifica of Garden Grove (Empire) 20-11

The Mariners had their string of nine consecutive Empire League championships snapped by Kennedy of La Palma this season, but they came back to reach the CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinals with wins over Grand Terrace, 8-2, and Los Alamitos, 4-2, before losing to Chino Hills, 3-0, in eight innings. Pitcher Eliza Sandoval and Cal Baptist-bound C Julia Dorado will be two key losses to graduation of this year’s team, but Colorado State-committed P Julia Cabral, Oregon-committed Alyssa Brito, Notre Dame-commit Carlli Kloss, freshman IF Jacquelyn Bicker and junior 3B Alani Nguyen are among the top players Pacifica has coming back next season.

5. (4) Los Alamitos (Sunset) 24-3

The Griffins beat Mater Dei of Santa Ana, 8-7, to win the Green Division title at the Dave Kops Tournament of Champions, they won the Cypress Tournament title, they shared the Sunset League title with Huntington Beach and lost to Pacifica of Garden Grove, 4-2, in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs. Los Al loses Nevada-bound 2B Danielle Lew and Biola-bound OF Madison Blossey to graduation, but freshman power hitter Sophia Nugent, Utah-committed 3B Aliya Belarde and Michigan State-committed P Sarah Ladd a talented list of returners that will be back next season.

6. (5) Esperanza of Anaheim (North Hills) 24-5

After going 7-17 last season, San Jose State-bound pitcher Chrys Hildebrand led to the Crestview League title, the Aztecs’ first league crown since 2014, and the CIF-SS Division 2 semifinals. Esperanza loses Hildebrand and Middle Tennessee State-bound C Hailey Bosley to graduation, but junior OF/2B Sophia Tricoli will beback to help Esperanza rebuild.

7. (12) Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo (South Coast) 21-8

The Wolverines ended Mission Viejo’s eight-year reign as South Coast League champion and won their first league title since 2009 and they reached the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals. BYU-committed right-hander Carley Brown was the driving force behind Aliso Niguel’s run this year. Dixie State-bound SS Lindsay Altfillisch and Carnegie Mellon-bound P/1B Gwen De La Cruz graduate, but Brown, freshman P/1B Amanda Johnston and junior RF/C Danielle Mandichak will be back next season.

8. (6) Santa Margarita (Trinity) 22-6

North Dakota State-bound P Paige Vargas capped her outstanding high school career by helping the Eagles take third place in the Trinity League and reach the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs where they lost to eventual-champion Norco, 2-1. Vargas and Seton Hall-bound OF Marissa Pla graduate, but Penn-committed P/1B Bella Fiorentino, Notre Dame-committed MIF Miranda Johnson and Penn-committed OF Julia Mortimer are coming back for the Eagles next year.

9. (8) Sonora of La Habra (Freeway) 24-6

The Raiders finished second in the Freeway League and made it all the way to the CIF-SS Division 4 semifinals before losing to eventual-champion Santa Fe of Santa Fe Springs, 3-2, in nine innings. North Dakota State-committed sophomore P/1B Gaige Garcia, junior P/UT Haylee Enriquez and UC Santa Barbara-committed sophomore SS/OF Maddie McNally played big roles this year and will be back for Sonora.

10. (13) Laguna Hills (South Coast) 16-8

The Hawks finished tied for second with San Clemente behind Aliso Niguel in the South Coast League, then made a run to the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals before losing to eventual-champion Newbury Park, 6-1. Laguna Hills loses UC Riverside-bound P Megan Casper, 2018, P, UC Riverside, Humboldt State-bound OF Jacci Crowe, Concordia Irvine-bound P/1B/OF Erika Morris, UC Santa Barbara-bound C/OF Teah Thies and Pesbyterian College-bound P Taylor Ward to graduation, so the Hawks will be in rebuilding mode next season.

11. (14) San Clemente (South Coast) 13-10

After tying for second place in the South Coast League, the Tritons upset Kennedy of La Palma, 3-1, in eight innings in the opening round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs before falling to RioMesa of Oxnard, 5-2. San Clemente loses Hawaii-bound C Mikaela Mak and Harvard-bound P Grace Krantz to graduation.

12. (16) Mission Viejo (South Coast) 12-9

The Diablos’ eight-year reign over the South Coast League ended, but they stunned Freeway League-champion La Habra, 10-0, in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs before losing to Mater Dei of Santa Ana, 9-5. Arizona State-bound Terra McGowan, St. John’s-bound OF/C Peyton Cody and Seattle-bound OF Olivia Viggiano graduate, but Delaware-committed 1B/3B Taylor DeDen, freshman P Nicole DeDen, sophomore 2B Mikailah Dees, freshman C/OF/SS Abygail Vieira and freshman 1B Kailyn Pisciotti will be back to help the Diablos rebuild.

13. (7) La Habra (Freeway) 19-7

Long Island-bound Elena Valenzuela and Grand Canyon-bound IF Savannah Tourville helped the Highlanders win their 10th consecutive Freeway League title, but the Highlanders exited the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs in the first round. Valenzuela and Tourville graduate, but La Habra will have Boston College-commit Anissa Alatorre and Biola-commit Rilee Ruvalcaba back next season.

14. (9) Sunny Hills of Fullerton (Freeway) 19-7

The Lancers looked like they were on track to win the Freeway League title and make some noise in the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs before a late-season injury to senior P Mariah Ramirez. Sunny Hills ended up tied for second in the Freeway League and exited the playoffs in the first round. Ramirez is off to Tennessee Chattanooga and SS Taylor Okada is headed to Maryland. Grand Canyon-committed 1B/P Taylor Barraza will be back to help the Lancers rebuild.

15. (15) Cypress (Empire) 18-10

The Centurions finished tied for second with Pacifica of Garden Grove behind Kennedy of La Palma in the Empire League and exited the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs in the second round after a 4-2 loss to Lakewood. Mt. Saint Mary College-bound P/2B Christen Hansen, Bryant-bound 2B/RF Carlyn Hernandez, Army-bound P/1B/DP Emily Iannotti and Maryland-bound C Caitlyn Koenig all graduate, but Notre Dame de Namur-committed C Kaitlyn Govea returns next year to help Cypress rebuild.

16. (10) Kennedy of La Palma (Empire) 17-8

The Fighting Irish won their first Empire League title since 2008 before exiting the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs in the first round after a 3-1 loss to San Clemente in nine innings. Cal State Satnislaus-bound 2B/OF Kayla Fajardo, Hope International-bound C Skylar Mao and Colorado State Pueblo-bound P Melissa Torres graduate, but Kennedy has Illinois Chicago-commited C/1B Samantha Ferguson and Illionois-committed SS Miranda Gallardo coming back next year.

17. (18) Edison of Huntington Beach (Sunset) 15-10

The Chargers finished tied for third place with Marina of Huntington Beach in the Sunset League, then made it to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs before losing to Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo, 2-1. Edison loses Manhattanville College-bound 3B Giovanna Liggett, NYU-bound OF Alex Loomis and Iowa State-bound C Jayden McKeague to graduation, but Arkansas-committed P Jenna Bloom and Princeton-committed SS/OF Serena Starks give Edison a strong group of returners for next year.

18. (17) Marina of Huntington Beach) 14-14

The Vikings had an up-and-down season, finished tied for third with Edison of Huntington Beach and exited the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs in the first round after a 6-2 loss to Esperanza of Anaheim. Cal State Northridge-committed 3B Shayla Thomas returns for Marina next season.

19. (NR) El Modena (Crestview) 14-16

The Vanguards finished tied for second with Foothill of Santa Ana in the Crestview League, then made it all the way to the CIF-SS Division 3 quarterfinals with wins over San Luis Obispo, 7-3, and second-seeded Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta, 9-8, before losing to Don Lugo of Chino, 10-5. Junior OF Hailey Fink and junior IF Dani Nii are among the top returners for El Mo next season.

20. San Juan Hills of San Juan Capistrano (Sea View) 19-10

The Stallions won their first Sea View League title in school history and reached the second round of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs. San Juan Hills loses Concordia Irvine-bound IF Lauren Fairchild and Towson-bound IF Gracyn Houmis to graduation, but junior P Phoebe Popplewell returns next year.

OTHERS CONSIDERED: Dana Hills (Sea View) 13-11; San Juan Hills of San Juan Capistrano (Sea View) 19-10; Segerstrom of Santa Ana (Golden West) 18-9; Troy of Fullerton (Freeway) 17-11; Valencia of Placentia (Empire) 10-17; Villa Park (North Hills) 14-19; Woodbridge of Irvine (Pacific Coast) 19-12; and Yorba Linda (Crestview) 16-8.

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