Top-ranked Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.) opened its season impressively, winning the Queen of the Mountain Tournament for the second-straight year.
As a result of their four straight shutout victories, the Dons remain atop the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 Softball Rankings as they have since week one.
With junior Johanna Grauer (Arizona State commit) allowing only six hits and striking out 48, the Dons won a pair of 1-0 games and a pair of 3-0 victories. They have won 29 of their last 30 games — 19 by shutout.
Also making a big splash during their season opener was Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.), which won 11-0 and 2-0 to extend its shutout streak to 18 (over two seasons). Toni Finucane (Missouri commit) struck out 26 as she pitched a no-hitter and a two-hitter.
No. 2 Northern (Owings, Md.) opens its season on Friday and will be seeking its 47th-straight win over three seasons.
Logan (Union City, Calif.) remained at No. 4 with a pair of convincing wins and Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) got a no-hitter from ace Hannah Null to move to 17-0 and remain at No. 5.
After that, however, the Top 25 looks greatly different than a week ago as No. 6 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and No. 7 Cypress (Weston, Fla.) lost and dropped from the rankings, as did previously unbeaten Cypress (Calif.), Niceville (Fla.) and Great Oaks (Temecula, Calif).
Rounding out this week's Top 10 are Curtis (River Ridge, La.), Pearland (Texas), Woodinville (Wash.), Coronado (Lubbock, Texas) and new to the Top 25, Frontier (Bakersfield, Calif.).
Also ranked for the first time this season are Mission Viejo (Calif.), Basha (Chandler, Ariz.), Sierra (Manteca, Calif.), and Jack Britt (Fayetteville, N.C.).
Eyes will focus on Horizon Park in Scottsdale (Ariz.) this week as many of Arizona's top softball teams compete in the 16th annual Desert Mountain Softball Invitational, opening on Tuesday.
Last year's final four in Arizona's D-I (three-time defending champ Red Mountain, Basha, Mountain Ridge and Horizon) are entered and each has been ranked among the Xcellent 25 this season. The defending tournament champion is Mountain View (Mesa, Ari.).MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Softball Rankings1. (1 last week) Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.), 4-0
With Johanna Grauer
throwing four shutouts, the Dons defended their Queen of the Mountain Tournament title. Grauer allowed six hits and struck out 48. They visit Livermore on March 26.2. (2) Northern (Owings, Md.), 0-0
The 3A state champions will open the season by hosting Patuxent on Friday and haven't lost since 2010 after going 25-0 last year and 21-0 in 2011. 3. (3) Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.), 2-0Tori Finucane
opened the season with a no-hitter and a two-hitter as the Knights ran their shutout streak to 18 over two seasons. Finucane struck out 26 in the two games. The Knights visit Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) on Wednesday.4. (4) Logan (Union City, Calif.), 4-0
The Colts extended their winning streak to 22 games and outscored their first four foes, 24-7. They visit Monte Vista (Danville, Calif.) on Tuesday.
5. (5) Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas), 14-0Hannah Null
continued her dominating pitching and ho-hit Garland Naaman, then shut out Sachse to go 9-0 on the season. Marcus hosts Ryan (Denton, Texas) on Tuesday.6. (8) Curtis (River Ridge, La.), 15-0
The Patriots ran their win streak to 46 and have been dominating along the way, outscoring their opponents by more than 100 runs. They face G.W. Carver on Tuesday.
7. (10) Pearland (Texas), 23-1
Led by Samantha Show's
40 RBIs and 166 strikeouts in 85 innings, the Oilers have a dozen-straight victories. The Oilers visit Memorial (Pasadena) on Tuesday.8. (NR) Frontier (Bakersfield, Calif.), 11-0
Hitting .417 as a team, Frontier has outscored its foes, 112-9. Brenna Vasquez
(.656) and Karissa Nickeson
(.667) lead six starters with .400 or higher averages. Four pitchers have allowed only 26 hits in the 11 games. The Titans host Liberty (Bakersfield) on Wednesday.9. (9) Woodinville (Wash.), 0-0
With Washington's Gatorade POY Madi Schreyer
(Stanford) in the circle, the Falcons have lost just twice in the last three seasons. Their season begins in late March.10. (13) Coronado (Lubbock, Texas), 21-1Monique Garcia
picked up her 15th win as the Mustangs beat Odessa Permian, 6-0. They visit Midland Lee (Midland, Texas) on Tuesday.11. (NR) Mission Viejo (Calif.), 12-1
The Diablos' only loss was at the Arizona TOC event (3-1) to Norco, but since have been unbeatable in defeating their last seven foes, 57-11. Their last three opponents have not scored. They host Los Alamitos on Tuesday. 12. (11) Santiago (Corona, Calif.), 9-1
After back-to-back shutouts, Santiago allowed Roosevelt (Eastvale) three runs in the bottom of the seventh to lose 4-3 to end the Sharks nine-game winning streak. Sophomore Nichole Fry
is batting .535. Next up: March 19 at Redlands.13. (NR) Basha (Chandler, Ariz.),10-1
Since losing to 10-2 Red Mountain (Mesa, Ariz.), Basha has won seven straight — the last three by shutout. Basha also avenged the one-run loss by beating Red Mountain, 10-6. Kylie Shull
leads the Bears with 17 RBIs and a .517 average. Basha plays in the Desert Mountain Tournament starting on Tuesday.14. (NR) Sierra (Manteca, Calif.), 9-0
Led by pitcher Allie Walljasper
, averaging two strikeouts per inning, the Timberwolves host Oakdale on Wednesday. Oakdale has beaten Sierra in four straight games.
15. (18) North Medford (Ore.), 1-0
The defending 6A state champs opened with a 12-2 win over Henley. The Black Tornado travel to Palo Cedro (CA) to face Foothill for a Tuesday doubleheader.16. (16) Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, N.J.), 0-0
With Steph Thomas
on the mound (27-0), Immaculate Heart was unbeaten in winning the 2012 state title. The Eagles open their season April 1 hosting Paramus Catholic (N.J.).17. (17) Lake City (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho), 0-0
With two-time Gatorade State Player of the Year Casey Stangel
in the circle, the Timberwolves open their season on Saturday hosting Richland (WA).
18. (19) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose), 7-0
Scoring 12 runs each in wins over Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) and Valley Christian (San Jose) keeps the Monarchs unbeaten. The Monarchs host Presentation (San Jose) on Tuesday.19. (20) Cienega (Vail, Ariz.), 12-1
Five players have driven in 10 or more runs as the Cougars have outscored their opponents, 106-23. CHS will host Desert View (Tucson) on Wednesday.20. (21) Lake Howell (Winter Park, Fla.), 13-1Autumn Hanners
tossed three straight shutouts last week as the Silver Hawks moved to 13-1. They host Lake Mary (FL) on Tuesday. 21. (25) Carolina Forest (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), 10-0
Recorded wins over South Florence twice and also beat West Florence and Myrtle Beach. Led by Marisa Runyon
(Alabama commit), Carolina is hitting over .400 as team. It will host West Florence on Friday.22. (13) Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas), 20-2
Since losing 1-0 to Montgomery, the Bobcats bounced back to beat Cypress Lakes (Katy, Texas) 11-0 and Cy-Ridge (Houston), 10-0. The Bobcats host Cypress Lakes (Houston) on Tuesday.23. (23) Olathe East (Kan.), 0-0
Led by state Gatorade winner Allison Stewart
(13-0, 0.20 ERA and 52 RBIs), Olathe opens the season on March 28 at North (Shawnee Mission, Kan.).24. (24) North Marion (Citra, Fla.), 13-1
As long as Holly McKinnon
is throwing shutouts, the Colts are winning. McKinnon has 10 shutouts and 138 strikeouts in 88 innings. She has allowed just one earned run this season. 25. (NR) Jack Britt (Fayetteville, N.C.), 6-0
Pitchers Stephanie Thomas
and Mary Williams
are each 3-0 and have allowed one earned run between them and only 4 hits in 6 games. They have combined for 77 strikeouts in 39 innings. Each pitcher has a pair of no-hitters this season. Britt faces Cape Fear (Fayetteville) on Tuesday.Dropped out:
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), Great Oak (Temecula, Calif.), Cypress (Cypress, Calif.), Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.), and Niceville (Fla.)