Softball Rankings: San Marino moves up to No. 2 spot

STAR-NEWS RANKINGS

1. La Caada (8-2)
2. San Marino (8-4)
3. Monrovia (8-2)
4. La Salle (9-3)
5. Mayfield (5-3)
6. San Gabriel Mission (8-1)
7. South Pasadena (4-6)
8. Maranatha (4-5)
9. Ramona Convent (7-2)
10. Temple City (6-7)

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  • SM TITAN

    looking at how they played today against Monrovia, san marino oughta be moving up to number one pretty soon

  • sm

    Interesting La Canada does not view San Marino as a real rival

  • SJC

    From a third source:

    Temple City 3 – South Pas 0

  • SJC

    Mayfield 8 – Poly 0

  • Prep fan

    SJC: Wouldn’t that be Mayfield – Rio Hondo 8-0? Or are calling tomorrow’s game?

  • Happy

    No—-Mayfield 18–Poly 0
    Early April Fools

  • SJC

    Ooops! Sorry to Poly… my bad.

  • SJC

    Mayfield 2 – Poly 0 (got it right this time)

    La Canada 10 – Golden Valley 0

  • outsider with friends in rio

    sm,

    la canada views san marino as a threat but the last few years have not been kind to san marino. one kid does not make a franchise. especially when the one calls out her team on errors. my book shows 9 players on the field.

  • question

    How much weight do place on the schedule when making these decisions?

    I believe that you have left off some worthy schools in favor of privates whose schedules tend to be less than competitive.

  • Anonymous

    Clancy threw a no-hitter in the Mayfield – Poly game.

  • rclancy

    Question – who do you think is being left off the list? Schedule should definitely be looked at when deciding the top 10.

  • gimme that keyboard

    I don’t see a bias toward private schools. However:

    The initial picks at the start of the season are necessarily somewhat arbitrary, maybe based on how the school did the previous year, or on how vocal their fans are on this blog. Everyone understands that you can’t put much weight on that.

    But then something funny happens. Because they are now in the top ten, these schools get all the attention, and after sufficient repetition of their names, everyone “knows” that these are the ones that count. So now they stay forever in the top ten, reshuffled weekly with respect to each other, but without serious evaluation of how they stack up against other teams.

    I don’t think you can make a case that the numbers 6-10 in this week’s poll are clearly better than the area teams not mentioned. SG Mission has an impressive record, but on a very fluffy schedule; South Pas, Maranatha, and Temple City have losing records, and seem to be in this list based on name recognition only. (Oh, and their fan base of course, actually a valid point for a local newspaper.) Maybe the SGV is simply not large enough to have more than a top five.

    It could be worse (the CIF poll is a case in point), and you could argue that who cares anyway. The main problem is that schools, and individual players, get ignored simply because they are not on the list.

  • question

    In particular, I didn’t think Arcadia should have been dropped out of the top ten. Which then led me to look at the schedules of the other schools. Because even though they are 5-6 they have had very close games with several teams in this top team.

  • rclancy

    gimme that keyboard – your points are certainly very true and valid, but, what schools, players, etc. do you think are being left out?

  • rclancy

    I think San Gabriel is one of the teams that at least has to be looked at. They are 6 – 4 and beat Mission. I have not seen them play, but they have a winning record and beat one of the top 10 teams.

    What other teams should be looked at?

  • Riddle Me This Batman

    The ranking discussion has to make you laugh every year. By the end of the season the rankings seem to be pretty close to right. BTW, every year the Pasadena Star News rankings literally disappear and are no longer published by the end of the season. So for those of you who think they lead to some ultimate recognition … they don’t! The only people I think they are meaningful to are parents. I don’t think the kids even care that much, nor should they concern themselves with the biases that are inherent in meaningless newspaper rankings.

    It is a fact that there are huge differences in strength of schedule from team to team in this area, which makes it impossible to factually back-up any ranking. Nevertheless, Ill try and it makes for fun discussion, and the real entertainment is to watch the post game scurry of parents phone calling and text messaging parents at other games to find out scores. What would parents do without the entertainment value provided by our kids LOL!

    All that being said, and for what its worth, here is my assessment of this season thus far.

    I agree with La Canada’s #1 ranking. If you’ve seen them play, at this point of the season they are clearly the most worthy of this #1 ranking. Their primary strength is of course not 1, but a duo of good pitchers who complement each other well. Also, although it is a typical lower CIF division high school line-up with its share of holes through the batting order, there are a couple of players who are very solid hitters and high level players. They are the ones who add most of the punch to the offense. Last but not least, it is a team with one of the best high school coaching staffs around at any level, in particular a very good head coach who knows how to manage the kids, and also the advantage of a former great D1 pitcher who really knows how to highlight their 2 pitchers with her pitch calling. She makes their pitching look even more dominant and her pitch calling creates an overmatch with the typical batters in this area. Sure, there may have been a “cupcake” or 2 on their schedule, but they have not shied away from very good competition this season either. Then there was the Monrovia game, which goes to show you anyone can beat anyone on a given day.

    San Marino certainly is formidable this season, the big difference being they have a pitcher this season. In the past there have been some examples of how a good pitcher can make a dramatic difference to an otherwise relatively weak team in high school competition. My one negative observation of them this season is they tend to look like a collection of individuals without a solid team mindset (dare I say, a few of their better players in particular appear to be a little selfish). Then again, theyve done much better this season than they have in past years, but they have yet to win a game against the stronger competition on their schedule and they also lost a game to a team who is in a very down year with a very low 0.357 winning percentage against mostly so-so competition. Their pitcher seems to be doing her job in the games theyve lost, however, their bats are dead against good competition. My opinion is if the coach is successful in getting them to jell as a team, they will win some of these games against the stronger competition in their schedule.

    Monrovia is this seasons wonder. Giving good teams fits, and then being blown out by a couple of weak teams with losing records. My guess is you have an experienced and very good coach who knows what he is doing and he is typically able to get his team to believe in themselves and exceed expectations with solid play on the field.

    You can’t blame Mayfield or La Salle (or their coaches for that matter) for their very weak league schedule. But the truth remains, when they have played so-so middle level competition or competition better than their weak leagues, they have come up on the short end, and at times struggled from both the offensive (hitting and base running) and defensive (pitching and fielding) sides of the field. Beating their very weak league competition is not at all a good indicator of their strength. Both should handily win their very weak leagues but still both have a lot to prove. That being said, both La Salle and Mayfield have added has added some very good young players to their team this season who are already making a big difference. Mayfield has also shown considerable improvement in their existing players over last year. Both are formidable teams in our area and deserving of Top 10 ranking, but I personally wouldnt put either of them amongst the top of the Top 10.

    Congratulations to San Gabriel Mission and Ramona Convent for putting together very good seasons so far but truth be told, we’re talking “apples and oranges” in comparing strength of schedule with the other area teams. However, that is great that you appear to be dominating your world, but it is a much different world than that of most of the other Top 10.

    How do you take a Top 10 seriously when 3 of the teams have losing records? South Pasadena, Maranatha, and Temple City all with losing records, all 3 have a lot to prove to be considered as ranked teams. Then there is the hysterical discussion of, my team has a losing record too, but they are less of a loser than your teams, therefore, they should be included in the Top 10 too give me a break! Odd logic to say the least.

    Then in looking at archived prior rankings in past seasons, there are some notable teams missing from ranking consideration. For example, Sacred Heart who maintained a #1 ranking the entire season last year and has seemed to have been a darling of the Pasadena Star News the past couple of years, they have quietly accumulated a winning record this season and why would they be excluded from this years published Top 10, especially with the presence of teams with losing records in the published Top 10. Then there is Arcadia who at times looks like a top competitor with their very good play against good teams, but then they lose to very weak teams. Nonetheless, they have a record under 0.500 and are far more worthy as a Top 10 vs. the other teams with losing records, and dare I say they would likely beat many of the teams with winning records in the Top 10. The Arcadia La Salle game in a couple of weeks will be very interesting.

    Bottom line, Pasadena Star News ranking or even winning league is truly of little significance in judging who the best teams are. It comes down to CIF playoffs. All the best teams view that as the determinant of who are the best.

  • gimme that keyboard

    rclancy – I don’t know which standout individuals don’t get enough attention, because, well, I haven’t heard of them :-)

    My point wasn’t so much that there are top teams that are being overlooked, but that there are a few average teams that are perennially promoted as top teams. If you need padding to get to 10 teams, then spread the wealth a bit.

  • Prep fan

    Riddle Me This Batman – First you ridicule people who use the ‘my team is less of a loser than your team’ argument, and in the next paragraph you use the same argument to promote Arcadia. Arcadia played well against La Canada and LA Marshall, but nothing else.
    They lost to Poly, which is the, as you emphasized not once, not twice, but three times, “very weak” competition of Mayfield.

    FSHA ranked high last year because of their pitcher, Jessica Ferri. Without her, yes they managed a winning record, but against Glendale and Immaculate Heart? Who wouldn’t? That winning record hinges on just barely beating Prep, which is the other, as you say, very very very weak competition of Mayfield.

  • San MeMeMerino

    Howd i look?

  • just another day

    San Marino 9, South Pasadena 1

  • Bob Anon

    LC won 3-1 at Temple City

  • Eyes closed

    Question for Prep fan? Is your problem with Mayfield or each game which is played differently.Knowing that Prep league players go to class first then softball. Or is it that every team Mayfield plays is weak Competition? Mayfield could just show class in each game./

  • softballfan

    Batman, I agree with your summation of the LC coaching staff. The head coach is probably the best one around and he has surrounded himself with quality coaches who work hard. The LC program has come along way in the short amount of time the coach has been in charge.

  • Lady Ram fan

    I could not agree with you more regarding the LC coaching staff. Being an observer of the TC/LC game yesterday, all I can say is one coaching staff was doing work while the other was standing around the dugout looking out in amazement. Coaching makes a huge difference (along with pitching) and TC was simply and has been out coached in just about every game they have played so far. If you look at TCs loses in the RHL one has to ask themselves, if only the coaching staff was able to make adjustments in those games, things would be looking a bit different right now As an observer of this young TC team, (which is starting to get old as an excuse for losing) its time to start encouraging building up and at times during the games but not always needed, keeping players accountable. All one has to do is look over at the LC coaching staff and you will see and hear who is in charge of that team and how they go about getting it done with a handful of players (and of course great pitching)

  • Prep fan

    Eyes closed: I have no clue what you are referring to. Maybe you’re talking to someone else? What did I say about Mayfield that sounded negative? My problem was with Riddle Me This Batman, who found the need to emphasize three times how very weak the Prep league was. OK, that’s his opinion. But then he pushed for two teams, Arcadia and FSHA, that had struggled against those same Prep league teams. You can’t have it both ways. If the Prep league is so very weak, then anyone who struggles against them doesn’t belong in the top ten.

  • chkyrslf

    If I were you TC fan I would pause before you criticize your coach, he has gotten it done for several years and is an outstanding coach. LC’s coaching staff is great but it is the result of a concerted effort to make it that way and they are benefitting from a solid ASA program sending up quality players. The youth programs in the area that rely on little league to provide talent are suffering right now. It is difficult when your area relies on individuals to go out and get travel ball experience when the youth programs guide you away from that. Bob is an excellent coach.

  • Eyes closed

    I drink, Bars just closed, Just kidding. The way I read it, it sound a little negative. Thanks for clearing it up.

  • Lady Ram fan

    Hey chkyrslf before you start giving any advice on here and start labeling coaches as excellent do me a favor and hang out at the field and games before you start defending your buddy As a matter of fact there was never any singling out of Bob about his expertise in coaching, if I re-call I stated the entire staff stood there in amazement. This is not a personal attack on an individual (so dont make it out to be one) it is simply stating what is factual and that being there has not been since the beginning of the season especially yesterday any sense of urgency from the coaching staff to change or shake things up a bit to help this current TC team start gelling together and play the types of games that they are capable of playing instead of under achieving the way they are. Dont give me any excuses about ASA programs or travel ball players being on LCs team. Take a look at TCs 12 girl roster and you will see that 9 out of the 12 are currently on and have been for many years on travel ball teams. In fact some of them play for a couple of elite teams in the OC. As a fan of sports you except to come to a contest and see your coaching staff excited about having the opportunity to be on the field (not just because they may be nice people) and for your team to be competitive throughout the contest. Its very disheartening when you look into your dugout and the team is talking amongst themselves, some even texting, your coaching staff with their backs to them not even paying attention, then you look over at the visitors dugout and everyone of those girls are either up on the fence cheering and supporting their teammate up at the plate or behind the dugout shadow swinging getting ready for their next at bat. Plain and simple dude in my opinion, thats called EXCELLENT AND COMPLETE COACHING!!!!! I am going to give the last word on this because Im sure you will come back with something. Im not going to sit here and go back and forth trying to out clever you. As a fan of Ram softball, as dissapointed as I am that we lost, I have to give it up to the LC staff for taking complete control and being the difference makers of a game that could have easily gone either way but in the end, like I stated, we simply were outcoached again.

  • Anonymous

    Lady Ram Fan,

    It’s pretty obvious that you have an axe to grind with the TC coaches. Also, you show your ignorance with referring to travel ball as a generic term. You can’t even begin to compare the so-called travel ball teams of the TC players with what chkyrslf is referring too. Also, with that level of travel team, so goes the level of player. The level of travel ball chkyrslf is referring are the travel teams that consistently play at the 4 main fields in Huntington Beach, I don’t think the current travel ball players at TC have even watched a game at those 4 main fields, let alone play on them.

    You seem to blame the TC coaching staff as the main reason for the loss to LC … you are wrong. There isn’t a player on the TC team who matches up in current skill with that of an LC player. Both LC pitchers are several levels in current skill over any of the TC pitchers (and although both are good, neither LC pitcher is an elite level travel ball pitcher yet, one doesn’t even play travel ball). Even if you put either LC pitcher on TC this year, LC would beat TC 9 out of 10 games. Also, if you traded coaching staffs, it would be the same result. I give the TC coaching staff huge credit for keeping the score that close.

    I also think chkyrslf makes an excellent point, the LC Rec League revamped itself about 7 or 8 years ago and has without a doubt become the premier Rec program in the area and as a result has developed talent in a far superior way, and we have seen that talent coming to light over the past several years in high school ball and a few on elite level travel teams and on to playing in college.

    I don’t mean to belittle the current level of the TC kids, but to say that they are underperforming because of coaching is just plain wrong.

    Bob Ellingsworth and his staff have accumulated tremendous results the past 3 years and frankly, this year’s result is relatively less because the skill level of the TC players is less (especially compared to LC players) as compared to previous years on the TC team … not because of coaching.

    Not only is Bob Ellingsworth a very skilled high school coach on the field, he gives his heart and soul to every kid on the TC team, and he always has. He’s not perfect, who is … but it’s his commitment to the TC program and kids that makes him pretty close to perfect in my book.

    Instead of anonymously slamming him, we should erect a statue!

  • Lady Ram fan

    Anonymous, very well thought out, thank you for enlightening me on my lack of knowledge of Bob’s outstanding, oh I mean “excellent” coaching ability. If you need help erecting that Bronze statue, give a shout out, I’m sure many will come out and give a hand standing it up….See you at the crest…..

  • chkyrslf

    LRF,

    My guess is that Bob knows exactly who you are and you are part of the reason why they are having trouble this year at TC. I have yet to see a coach make a play or drive in a run, but I have seen a couple of parents break down a good thing at the seams for personal reasons. It is not a coaching staffs fault if the kids cant stay focused, texting in the dugout is a parental disciplinary problem. I have seen this happen on a JV team more than on a varsity team and it is usually the same kids whose parents are walking around complaining that their kid isn’t on varsity. It requires a lot of cooperation and belief to make a system work. Bob used to have that, I am sad to see others pulling from the other side of the rope.

    PS: And let me give you a hint, sarcasm is not the answer.

  • mytwosense

    While the TC coaching staff may care about the team, the players, etc., it may be that they lack the connection and kowledge that the La Canada coaches have with their players. In close games, this can make a difference in the outcome. Not to put down anyone’s coaching ability, the two coaching staffs may just be at a different level. I think TC’s past success can be attributed (at least partially) to travel ball. Whether at an elite level or local level, girls that are playing year round (100 plus games)will be better prepared come high school season. As the TC coach mentioned in a prior Star News article, his past teams have been on auto pilot. Whether it is because of the training and experience of travel ball or that they had been playing together for a while, the current TC team is young, less experienced and needs to be coached. Bottom line is I think coaching makes a difference. Maybe that is what Lady Ram fan is trying to say……

  • chky

    coaching does make a difference and LC is a better coaching staff right now. But there talent is way above TC right now.

  • Anonymous

    Travel Ball players are no more prevelant on LC than TC. However, there is a huge difference in talent on LC over TC.

  • Anonymous

    There is a difference in the level of travel ball players for LC and San Marino over all RHL teams. It takes just a few players especially if one of them is an elite pitcher. Anna Edwards is committed to Northwestern and plays for Valley Breeze (top 18 gold/Premier League Team) Lauren O Leary plays for Team Smith and Michelle Floyd plays for the Batbusters (Top gold team/ Premier League team) and Alexis Watanabe also plays for Valley Breeze. Those are top teams and they will all play for quality D1 programs. La Canada also has the advantage of a quality ASA feeder program in their area. La Canada’s Lauren Cox is an oddity, a legit pitcher that doesn’t play much travel ball, but she is still a top pitcher. LC’s coaching staff is the best, but it required a lot of commitment from their athletic program to make it happen.

    People should send in where the kids play travel ball, all of the kids should be proud of the commitment they make, elite team or not, it is a huge sacrifice.

  • chkyrslf

    that last one was from me

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