Video: Candidate for softball Play of the Year
Carlsbad's Zoe Nolte robs a home run with a spectacular effort.
Eight teams are still alive in the Texas 6A state playoffs and if it goes chalk, national No. 1 Canyon (New Braunfels) and No. 2 Katy would play June 2 for a state title.
Once-beaten Canyon and once-beaten Katy have large targets on their backs, especially sitting atop the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national high school softball rankings.
Canyon's lone last was 1-0 to Judson (Converse) two months ago. Katy's one loss was 4-3 to Alvin three months ago. A state title showdown could set the stage to also crown the MaxPreps National Champion.
A year ago, Californians Los Alamitos and Norco played their final game of the season with then No. 1 Norco losing to Los Alamitos. Los Alamitos won the title with three losses and this week sits at No. 5 with a 25-2 to record as California moves into postseason fever.
East Carter (Grayson, Ky.) concluded its regular season at 32-0 and begins playoff action this week. The No. 3 Raiders jumped past last week's No. 3 Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.), which won the Mississippi 5A title last week and concluded its season unbeaten.
The rest of the Top 10 enters this week's action with lengthy win streaks:
• No. 6 Oakleaf (Orange Park, Fla.) carries a 20-game streak into Tuesday's state 8A semifinal.
• No. 7 San Marcos (Calif.) has won six of its last seven by shutouts and carries an 18-game win streak heading into round three of the playoffs.
• No. 8 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) also has an 18-game win streak and has won eight of its last nine by shutout.
• No. 10 Keller (Texas) has won six straight and 23 of its last 24.
• No. 9 Lincoln Way East (Frankfort, Ill.) are new to the Top 10 and winners of 19 in a row.
The Xcellent Top 25 rankings change drastically in the playoffs and this week is no exception as six new teams joined the Top 25 this week.
Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), Clovis (Calif.) and Freedom (Oakley, Calif.) each return to the Top 25 this week. Center Grove is one game away from the state 4A title game.
New to the Top 25 this week are Arkansas large school champion Bentonville, Coral Springs Charter (Coral Springs, Fla.) and Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, Calif.), winners of 17 in a row.
MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national high school softball rankings
1. (Last week 1) Canyon (New Braunfels, Texas), 30-1
The Cougars defeated San Benito 10-0 and as a result advance to the fifth round of the Texas 6A playoffs. Outfielder Bailey Zibelin
and shortstop Sydney Belvin
combined for seven RBIs in the win.2. (2) Katy (Texas), 38-1
Katy enters the fifth round of the state 6A playoffs riding a 30-game win streak. After taking two from Kingwood, 5-1 and 4-0, Katy moves onto play 31-6 Atascocita on Saturday.3. (4) East Carter (Grayson, Ky.), 32-0
The Raiders won three games to close out the regular season last week with shutouts out over Bath County (Owingsville) and Blazer (Ashland) and a 2-1 over Warren East (Bowling Green).4. (3) Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.), 34-0
The Rockets won their sixth straight state 5A title.5. (7) Los Alamitos (Calif.), 25-2
The Griffins open the postseason on Tuesday against 19-10 Pacifica (Garden Grove).6. (7) Oakleaf (Orange Park, Fla.), 29-2
Oakleaf takes a 20-game win streak into Tuesday's state 8A semifinal game against 24-4 Lakefront Ranch.7. (8) San Marcos (Calif.), 26-2
The Knights opened the postseason with a pair of shutouts from senior Payton Tidd
and move to the third round of the San Diego Section D2 playoffs.8. (9) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), 25-3
Cathedral opened the San Diego D1 playoffs with a 1-0 win over Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) as senior Megan Faraimo
pitched a no-hitter and struck out 15. In her last four games, the UCLA-bound Faraimo has allowed two hits and fanned 54.9. (11) Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort, Ill.), 23-1
Winners of 19 straight, East has allowed just 36 runs in 24 games. 10. (10) Keller (Texas), 31-2-1
The Indians defeated Wylie 5-3 to advance to the state 6A fifth round with a best-of-three series Friday against 25-4 Plano.11. (12) Fort Myers (Fla.), 28-2
With an 8-1 win over Braden River, the Green Wave move to the state 7A semifinals versus 25-4 Pembroke Pines Charter on Friday. The Green Wave have won 13 straight.
12. (13) Norco (Calif.), 24-3
The Cougars face 22-5 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) on Tuesday in the first round of the postseason.
13. (14) Madison (Vienna, Va.), 22-0
The Redhawks closed out the regular season with a 19-0 win over Oakton (Vienna), then defeated Centerville (Clifton) and Chantilly to win the Concorde District title and move on to the state tournament.14. (15) Tualatin (Ore.), 25-0
The Timberwolves open the postseason on Monday.
15. (17) Keystone (La Grange, Ohio), 30-0
Keystone blanked Holy Names (Parma Heights) 3-0 in the first round of the state 2A tournament. Next up is Oak Harbor on Wednesday.16. (20) Hoover (Clendenin, W. Va.), 30-0
The defending state champion Huskies continue their postseason march with a 9-1 and 4-0 wins over Bridgeport.17. (19) Donovan Catholic (Toms River, N.J.), 22-0
The Griffins advance to the sectional quarterfinal on Thursday.18. (25) New Palestine (Ind.), 24-1
The Dragons finished the regular season with 14 straight wins and open state 3A play on Tuesday versus 13-13 Connersville. They have hit 64 home runs.19. (NR) Freedom (Oakley, Calif.), 20-1
The Falcons roll into the postseason with a four-game win streak.20. (NR) Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 26-1
A rematch is set for Tuesday against Franklin Community, a team Center Grove lost against two weeks ago. As a result, Center Grove fell from the Top 25 and saw its unbeaten season vanish. This time, the rematch takes place in the state 4A semifinal game.21. (24) White Knoll (Lexington, S.C.), 32-2
The Timberwolves swept Byrnes (Duncan) 2-1 and 6-2 to win the state 5A championship.22. (NR) Bentonville (Ark.), 31-3
Defeated West Bentonville to win the state 7A championship.23. (NR) Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, Calif.), 28-2
Led by senior pitcher Savannah Diederich
(Mississippi signee), the Conquerors ended the regular season with 19-straight wins. They have committed 18 errors and are batting .386 as a team.24. (NR) Clovis (Calif.), 30-2
Winners of 13 in a row, the Cougars take on 26-3 Stockdale (Bakersfield) in the semifinals of the state Central Section D1 tournament.25. (NR) Coral Springs Charter (Coral Springs, Fla.), 28-2
The Panthers, who are hitting .451 as a team, have won 13 in a row as they play 20-12 Hardee (Wauchula) in the state 5A semifinals on Tuesday.Dropped out:
King's Academy (Seymour, Tenn.), Lake Stevens (Wash.), Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.), Spanish Fork (Utah), Marist (Chicago).