Los Alamitos (Calif.) started at No. 1 and now finishes at No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/National Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Super 25 softball rankings.
In between, the Griffins dropped into the Top 10 but reclaimed the top spot two weeks ago after winning the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Division I championship game by beating No. 1 Norco, 3-1.
“My approach going into the final game was to just focus on the batter in the box and the pitchIi was about to throw,” said Ryan Denhart, Los Alamitos’ ace who retired 18 of the first 19 batters in the game. “I knew if I got caught up in who was on deck or the previous batter it would affect what was about to happen.”
SUPER 25: See the final rankings
Los Alamitos, led by ALL-USA High School Softball Coach of the Year Rob Weil, finished 28-3 on the year but avenged each of those losses.
“We were able to dig down and avenge those loses because we knew as a team in those games that we did not play to our best ability,” Denhart said. “We knew we could do better than that
Norco, whose only loss was to Los Alamitos in a 33-1 season, finished No. 2, behind the pitching of American Family Insurance ALL-USA High School Player of the Year Taylor Dockins.
Oak-Park-River Forest (Ill.) won its second consecutive Class 4A state championship and finished No. 3 in the Super 25. Woodinville (Wash.) went 26-0 and won the state 4A title. Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) won its sixth consecutive state title and capped a perfect season (27-0) and is No. 5.
Newcomers to the final poll are state titlists No. 15 Dakota (Mich.), No. 16 North Medford (Ore.), No. 17 Shawnee Heights (Kan.), No. 24 Keller (Texas) and No. 25 Hamilton (Ariz.).
New Jersey’s Donovan Catholic, Maryland’s Leonardtown, Kentucky’s Male, Arizona’s Pinnacle and California’s Stockdale — dropped out this week.
State rankings submitted by NFCA member coaches are used to compile the Super 25.