Video: Top 25 national softball rankings
See who climbed back into the top spot.
They're back. The Norco (Calif.) softball team returned to the top of the MaxPreps Top 25 national softball rankings after former No. 1, Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.), lost on its final day of the 2019 season.
Norco began the season ranked No.1 and held that spot for a dozen weeks before a 4-3, eight-inning loss saw Lakewood Ranch assume the top spot. It turns out, that was the Cougars' lone setback for 2019 and the California team closed out its season two weeks ago defending the CIF Southern Section D1 title, a crown they've won five times in the past decade.
With two rankings remaining in the 2019 season, Norco — also ranked No. 1 in MaxPreps Computer Rankings — looks headed toward a National Title. After all, Southern California softball is ranked the hottest spot for college recruiters.
Norco is impressive, but it's the only team in the top five that has lost a game. The question: How long will Norco remain No. 1 with so many undefeated teams closing in?
Teams ranked Nos. 2-5 have yet to lose and No. 10 Keystone (La Grange, Ohio) is 28-0 with a 62-game win streak.
Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.), ranked second, defeated Heritage (Brentwood, Calif.) to win the North Coast Section D1 title and conclude its season 28-0.
Winter Springs (Fla.), ranked No. 3, can lay a loud claim as it shut out Lakewood Ranch. Male (Louisville, Ky.) is seeking to become only the second Kentucky softball team to go unbeaten and North Oshkosh (Oshkosh, Wisc.) is 26-0 and heavily favored to finish the season unscathed.
With one loss, Norco can argue the strength of its schedule. But there is still that one-run, extra-inning defeat.
At first glance, the distance between Norco and No. 5 North Oshkosh (Oshkosh, WI) might seem large, but it is feather thin.Prospect of the Week:
In three recent Howell (Mich.) wins, Notre Dame
pledge Molly Carney
struck out 29 in 17 innings, allowed seven hits
and one earned run.
Game of the Week: Junior Aynslie Furbush
pitched a one-hitter as Winter Springs defeated previous No. 1
Lakewood Ranch for the Florida state 8A championship. Lakewood Ranch
came into the game hitting over .360 and with 122 extra base hits.
Senior Destiny Colgate tripled in two runs for Winter Springs.Game
No. 7 Katy (35-2) takes on No. 9 Keller (35-3-1). It should
be a pitcher's duel where Katy's duo of Chloe Cobb (9-0) and Alyssa
LeBlanc (20-1) square off against Keller senior Dylann Kaderka (25-1).
It's been months since either team lost, but that will change on Friday.Streaks:
Keystone extended its winning streak to 62 games.
Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.) has won seven straight state softball
MaxPreps Top 25 softball rankings
1. (Last week 2) Norco (Calif.), 31-1
The Cougars captured their fifth CIF SS D1 title in 10 years and second straight. Season complete.2. (3) Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.), 28-0
Junior Nicole May
(Oklahoma pledge) hit a two-run homer and pitched a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts in the section title win over Heritage. They are the first NCS DI team since Amador Valley (Pleasanton) in 2014 to go undefeated. Foothill outscored its four playoff opponents 36-2 and allowed 14 runs all season while scoring 194. Season complete3. (4) Winter Springs (Fla.), 31-0
The Bears defeated previous No. 1 Lakewood Ranch to win the state 8A championship. Season complete.4. (5) Male (Louisville, Ky.), 33-0
The Bulldogs, who are seeking to become just the second undefeated state champion in Kentucky history, defeated Presentation, 15-0, in a Seventh Region quarterfinal. Greenwood, which was 44-0 in 2013, is the only undefeated state champion in state history. The Bulldogs are one of three teams in Kentucky softball history to hit more than 60 home runs in a season.5. (9) Oshkosh North (Oshkosh, Wis.), 26-0
The Spartans opened state D1 play Thursday with a 12-0 win over West Bend. Next up: Sections on Tuesday against 14-8 Fon du Lac, a team it has defeated twice this season, 10-0 and 10-1. Northwestern signee Sydney Supple
homered twice and pitched a no-hitter the first time the two teams played.6. (7) Coral Springs Charter (Coral Springs, Fla.), 29-1
The Panthers tied Bartow High's state record of five consecutive championships with a 7-2 victory Friday over Marianna for the Class 5A title. It was the Panthers 28th-straight win. Their only loss was 6-5 to Western (Davie) on Feb. 28. Season complete.
7. (12) Katy (Texas), 35-2
The Tigers routed Ridge Point (Missouri City) 10-0 to advance to the state 6A regional semifinals vs. No. 9 Keller. Katy has won 29 straight.
8. (8) Klein Collins (Spring, Texas), 37-2
The Tigers got stellar pitching from senior Kenedy Hines
in sweeping Wylie to run their win streak to 25 games and earn a berth in the state 6A Final Four. Hines allowed one unearned run as the Tigers won 4-0 and 3-1. Next up: 30-4 Canyon (New Braunsfels) Friday in the state semifinals.9. (6) Keller (Texas), 35-3-1
The Indians have 23 wins in a row, the 23rd being a bottom-of-the seventh, walk-off win over Eaton. The win moves the Indians into their ninth state tournament. Up next: 35-2 Katy on Friday.10. (10) Keystone (La Grange, Ohio), 28-0
Keystone ran its two-year win streak to 62 game as senior Autumn Acord
homered and doubled in a 5-1 win over Napoleon in a state D2 playoff game. Up next: 23-23 Lakewood (Hebron) on Friday in the state D2 semifinals.11. (11) Marist (Chicago), 33-2
The Redhawks won the regionals last Saturday and face Sandburg on Tuesday in the sectional semifinal. Northwestern signee Angela Zedak
is batting .545 and slugging 1.386. She has 55 hits, including 22 home runs and 11 doubles to go along with 81 RBI and 51 runs scored. In the circle, Zedak is 19-1 with a 1.089 ERA and averages better than a strikeout per inning.12. (14) St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.), 20-0
The Lancers opened state tournament play with a 14-0 win over The Pingry School (Martinsville). Up next: 13-2 Bishop Ard (Edison).13. (18) Mt. Pleasant (Pa.), 19-0Carolyn Alincic
(Morehead State signee) pitched a four-hitter and sophomore Haylie Brunson
homered as the Vikings defeated Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson Hills) to earn a berth in the state 4A championship to be played on Thursday. The opponent will be Elizabeth Forward (Elizabeth), winners of 15 in a row.
14. (23) Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista, Calif.), 31-4Gigi Gonzalez
homered and Lexi Sosa
(UCLA signee) pitched a five-hitter as the Crusaders defeated Rancho Bernardo (San Diego), 5-1, to win the CIF-San Diego Section D1 championship. The Crusaders ended the season with 18 straight wins.
15. (15) Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.), 33-2
The Lady Rockets claimed their seventh straight Class 5A fast-pitch state championship. Season complete.16. (16) Hartsville (S.C.), 29-0
The Red Foxes won the state 4A softball championship. Season complete.
17. (17) Lincoln-Way Central (New Lenox, Ill.), 32-2
Four pitchers have combined for a 0.93 ERA and 280 strikeouts in 196 innings as the Knights have 25 straight wins. They have 14 shutouts during the streak.18. (19) St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.), 23-0
Junior Payton Doiron
is 21-0 and Charlee Horton
has homered 10 times to lead the unbeaten Cadets into the postseason as the state's No. 1 seed. Friday, Dorian pitched a no-hitter as the Cadets defeated crosstown rival Trumbull, 1-0, to win their fifth Fairfield County Interscholastic Conference softball title in six years.19. (NR) Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, N.J.), 23-1
The Blue Eagles have won six straight since losing (1-0 in 10 innings) and are on a collision course with 24-1 Donovan Catholic (Tom's River) in the state Non-Public A tournament. Last week, they avenged their loss to Bergen Tech (Hackensack) with a 7-0 win and no-hitter by Tennessee pledge Ryleigh White
.20. (25) Angleton (Texas), 37-2
The Wildcats rallied to score twice in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Barber's Hill and take the best-of-three series, 2-1. The wins put them in the state 5A semifinals against 36-3 Forney.21. (21) Shadow Ridge (Las Vegas), 31-2
The Mustangs won their first state large school championship. Season complete.22. (NR) The Colony (Texas), 39-2
The Cougars are led by Oklahoma pledge and Team USA Junior member Jayda Coleman
, junior Jaycee Hamlin
and senior pitcher Karlie Charles
. Coleman's numbers are staggering — .724 batting average, 69 runs, 76 hits, 31 extra bases, 56 stolen bases and only one error committed in 131 fielding opportunities.23. (NR) Shawnee Heights (Tecumseh, Kan.), 22-1
The T-Birds avenged their loss of the season by routing Bishop Carroll (Wichita), 12-1, to win their third-straight 5A state title. Season complete.24. (1) Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.), 30-1
The Mustangs lost to Winter Springs, 3-0, in the state 8A championship. Season complete.25. (NR) Howell (Mich.), 29-2
The Highlanders are hitting .468 and have ripped 56 home runs this season. Add to that, they are averaging three stolen bases per game, fielding .949 and the opposition is batting .132. Junior Molly Carney
(Notre Dame pledge) is 21-2 with an 0.81 ERA and has 197 strikeouts in 113 innings and the trio of Avrey Wolverton
(17), Carson Newman signee Maddie Gillett
(16) and Utah signee AJ Militello
(14) have combined to hit 47 homers and drive in 170 runs.Dropped out: Apopka (Fla.)
, West Stanly (Oakboro, N.C.)
, Richland (Wash.)
, Barbers Hill (Mt. Belvieu, Texas)
On the Bubble: Trenton (Fla.)
, 27-0; Hallettsville (Texas)
, 36-1; Lakota East (Liberty Township, Ohio)
, 30-1; South Windsor (Conn.)
, 20-0; Oakdale (Calif.)
, 28-1-1; Notre Dame (Crowley, La.)
, 33-0; Hoover (Clendenin, W. Va.)
, 32-1; Rose Bud (Ark.)
, 35-1; Holy Cross (Louisville, Ky.)
, 33-3; Decatur Central (Indianapoli)
, 27-1; Rains (Emory, Texas)
, 32-1; Huntingtown (Md.)
, 21-1; West (Salt Lake City)
, 21-1; Woodland (Wash.)
, 24-1; and Poland Seminary (Poland, Ohio)