Video: The ambidextrous switch pitcher
Brandon Garza of Texas can bring it from both sides of the mound.
Mark your calendars for the third week of June. That's when MaxPreps names its high school softball National Champion.
While not every team in this week's MaxPreps Xcellent Top 25 national high school softball rankings has a shot at finishing No. 1, most do.
With one state tournament concluded, three on tap this week and the rest of the country playing at various weekends between now and June 16, a lot can happen. It's wide open.
It happens every year. A year ago, California's Norco was 33-0 and held the top spot for many weeks before losing the season finale to Los Alamitos (Calif.) and ending its hopes of a national crown that was awarded to Griffins, who entered the final day of the season ranked No. 2 behind Norco.
Consider the following:
• Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.) concluded its season with its sixth-straight state 5A title and a 34-0 record. Neshoba enters this week ranked No. 4.
• Katy (Texas) vaulted into the conversation as its 28-game win streak moved it from No. 12 a week ago to No. 3 this week.
• East Carter (Grayson, Ky.) has won 29 straight and sits at No. 5. And defending champion Los Alamitos is No. 6 this week.
• Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) ran its win streak to 23 in a row and is ranked No. 7 this week. And there might not be hotter teams either side of the Mississippi River than San Marcos (Calif.) and Oakleaf (Orange Park, Fla.). Each has fashioned impressive winning streaks and knocked off high-ranking opponents in the process.
Not so fast. ... Canyon (New Braunsfels, Texas) has the best view of No. 1 as it sits atop the rankings for a third-straight week. Canyon is pitching strong with a trio of future D1 hurlers leading the way, including MaxPreps National Player of the Year candidate Brooke Vestal
Canyon still has three weeks of Texas playoffs before calling it a season. Or sooner as upsets are the norm in the Lone Star State postseason.
Also new to the Top 10 this week is Cathedral Catholic (San Diego). Cathedral Catholic has won 16 in a row, including 13 shutouts and four perfect games for pitcher Megan Faraimo
(UCLA signee). A three-loss team as national champion? Los Alamitos did a year ago.
Once beaten Lincoln Way East (Frankfort, Ill.), riding the arm of Alex Storako
(Michigan signee), vaulted into the Top 25 at No. 11.
White Knoll (Lexington, S.C.) returned to the Top 25 this week at No. 24 and has a best-of-three showdown this week with No. 23 Byrnes (Duncan) for South Carolina's large school state title.
Also new to the Top 25 this week are unbeatens Donovan Catholic (Toms River, N.J.), Herbert Hoover (Clendenin, W. Va.) and New Palestine (Ind.).
MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national high school softball rankings
1. (Last week 1) Canyon (New Braunfels, Texas), 30-1
The Cougars made Holmes their 18th straight victim, advancing to the fourth round of the Texas 6A playoffs.2. (12) Katy (Texas), 38-1
Katy enters the fourth round of the state 6A playoffs riding a 28-game win streak.3. (5) Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.), 34-0
The Rockets defeated Pearl River Central 6-2 Friday to win the state Class 5A state championship and cap a 34-0 season. It was their sixth state title in as many years, and it extended the Rockets' win streak to 39 games. Four seniors — Sindle Williams
, Madalyn Thompson
, Alex Bowen
and Makenzie Barnett
— wrapped up their high school careers with 122 wins. Junior Aspen Wesley
(Mississippi State commit) earned her 23rd win in the final and finished the season with 326 strikeouts in 143 innings, an average of 2.3 strikeouts per inning. She pitched nine no-hitters this season.4. (6) East Carter (Grayson, Ky.), 29-0
The Raiders won three games in the Queen of Swing Tournament last week and end the regular season on Friday against 25-2 Warren East (Bowling Green, Ky.
5. (7) Los Alamitos (Calif.), 25-2
The Griffins homered three times in a 13-0 win over Newport Harbor (Newport) to close out the regular season.6. (8) Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 23-0
Senior Jordyn Rudd
has 19 extra base hits and 32 RBIs to go along with a .547 batting average and 37 runs scored.7. (9) Oakleaf (Orange Park, Fla.), 29-2
Oakleaf takes a 20-game win streak into Friday's state 8A semifinal game against 24-4 Lakefront Ranch.8. (10) San Marcos (Calif.), 24-2
With a pair of wins last week, the Knights ran their win streak to 16.
9. (11) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), 23-3
Cathedral has won 14 in a row and closes out the regular season this week against San Diego rivals Point Loma (7-18) and University City (14-10). Senior Megan Faraimo
(UCLA signee) is 23-2 on the season with both losses coming by 1-0 scores. she has 326 strikeouts on the season.
10. (14) Keller (Texas), 30-2-1
The Indians defeated No. 4 and previously unbeaten Mansfield 8-4 to move o the fourth round of the Texas state 6A playoffs.
11. (NR) Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort, Ill.), 19-1
Led by pitcher Alex Storako
(Michigan signee) and Allison Jaquith
(St. Leo signee), East has won 16 in a row. Storako is hitting .404 with 21 RBIs. In 91 innings she has a 0.96 ERA, a 13-1 record and 187 strikeouts. Jaquith is batting .472 with 19 RBIs.12. (15) 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.13. (16) Norco (Calif.), 24-3
The Cougars ended their regular season with an 18-1 win over Roosevelt. They have won five in a row since a 3-2 loss to No. 9 San Marcos.
14. (18) Madison (Vienna, Va.), 20-0
The Redhawks closed out the regular season with a 19-0 win over Oakton (Vienna).15. (19) Tualatin (Ore.), 24-0
The Timberwolves closed the regular season by winning three times last week by a combined margin of 41-3. In 16 wins, Tualatin has allowed one or fewer runs in a game. 16. (21) Spanish Fork (Utah), 22-1
The Dons have won 19 in a row. Brylee Rudd
homered twice in a 16-0 win over Mountain View (Orem) on Friday.17. (22) Keystone (La Grange, Ohio), 28-0
Keystone is doing it all — hitting .470 as a team with 114 extra base hits, fielding .986 (only nine errors), running the bases (80 stolen bases) and pitching as opponents have scored just 13 times (only eight runs have been earned).18. (23) Lake Stevens (Wash.), 17-1
Lake Stevens is led by senior pitcher Sara Johnson
(Towson signee).19. (NR) Donovan Catholic (Toms River, N.J.), 22-0
The Griffins have allowed 25 runs and has scored 262 as all starters are hitting over .400. Sophomores Jayda Kearney
(batting .606) and Karina Gaskins
(12 homers, 45 RBIs) lead the way. Junior Lindsay Nelson
is 16-0 with a 0.70 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 76 innings.20. (NR) Hoover (Clendenin, W. Va.), 28-0
The Huskies put a big exclamation mark in ending their regular season unbeaten with a convincing 4-0 win over previously ranked Hurricane. They have allowed just 23 runs this season and only two in their last nine games.
21. (3) Marist (Chicago), 27-2
The Redhawks have a pair of one-run losses this season. Since falling 7-6 to Bishop McNamara (Kankakee) last week, the Redhawks rebounded with a vengeance outscoring three foes 45-3.
22. (24) King's Academy (Seymour, Tenn.), 34-2
The power-hitting Lions beat Friendship Christian (Lebanon) 8-1 in the first round of the state playoffs. 23. (20) Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.), 30-2
Byrnes saw its 21-game win streak end, but bounced back to take a best-of-three series to win the 5A UpState title. By winning, Byrnes meets 30-2 and No. 24 ranked White Knoll (Lexington) in a best-of-three series this week for the state 5A championship.24. (NR) White Knoll (Lexington, S.C.), 30-2
The Timberwolves needed to beat Ashley Ridge twice on Friday to win the Lower State 4A title and did just that — 11-7 and 3-1 in nine innings. By winning, they move into the state 5A title series against No. 23 Byrnes (Duncan).
The Dragons have reeled off 11 straight since losing 3-2 to Center Grove (Greenwood).Dropped out:
Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.), Mansfield (Texas), Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas), Eagle (Idaho).