When the CIF-SS spring preseason polls were released this week, the Chino Hills High School softball team was ranked No. 3 in Division 3. Preseason rankings are seemingly based primarily on a team’s appearance on paper, but if that were the case it would be hard to rank anybody ahead of the Huskies.
Seven of the nine Chino Hills players who take the field on opening day will be signed with or committed to Division I colleges – with the potential to add at least two more, according to coach Mike Southworth. A season after the Huskies were two wins from a CIF championship, the outlook isn’t too shabby.
To add some perspective, freshman infielder Tannon Snow, who has verbally committed to Arizona State prior to her first high school season, is forced into the outfield due to an infield already filled with college-bound players. The same can be said for left fielder Patricia Parks, a sophomore committed to Arizona who will pitch when the circle is vacated by incumbent starter Nikki Innamorato (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo).
Shortstop Nikki Girard has signed with Arizona State, third baseman Garie Blando with UNLV and catcher Paige Gumz with Fresno State. Sophomore second baseman Shianne Brannan is committed to Cal State Fullerton.
“You look out there and expect them all to hit .500 and never make an error,” Southworth said. “But that’s not how it works. However, we sure do look good on paper.”