Softball Rankings: Chino Hills looks like dominant No. 1, but the Sierra is about to start

Tribune Top Ten Softball Rankings

1. Chino Hills (13-3) -- The Huskies have not only won seven straight, they’re working on five straight shutouts. I don’t care what sport it is, Chino Hills is a sports factory.

2. Bishop Amat (11-3) – The Lancers impressed local coaches with their dominant showing in the Charter Oak tournament at Big League Dreams, beating La Serna 7-1 in the title game. They finish with league teams the rest of the way and might not lose another game. By the end of league, I’ll bet they’re ranked No. 1 in D-3.

3. St. Lucy’s (11-3) — I was ready to write some big compliments for the Regents, then they go and lose 4-1 to Pomona Catholic. Comparing scores, I don’t know if they’re good enough to beat Chino Hills, but I certainly think they’re good enough to beat South Hills, who they will host on Friday.

4. South Hills (11-3) - – So far losing pitcher Sydney La Follette has not affected their bottom line, but it might catch up with them eventually. Fortunately for the Huskies, they have the type of lineup that scores runs and will make a lot of pitchers look good, but it’s hard to win a league title that way.

5. Ayala (7-3 ) – Ayala’s is no. 8 in Division 3, giving the Sierra four teams ranked in the top ten. I’m as curious as everyone on how they will fare in the Sierra, but their most recent win, a 4-0 victory over Rowland, isn’t real convincing.

6. Duarte (9-2) — The Falcons are 4-0 in the Montview and No. 7 in Division 5. They took on Long Beach Wilson, No. 10 in Division 2 and lost 10-3 in the Whittier tournament. It’s was a huge step-up, but not an embarrassing result by any stretch. It’s too bad that Duarte doesn’t compete in any area tournaments in our parts, would love to see how they stack up.

7. Los Altos (8-4) –Conqs are already 2-0 in the Hacienda with a showdown at Bonita on Thursday. The winner of that game has the inside track toward the league title.

8. Charter Oak (8-4) -- Charter Oak has won three straight, but its problems have been the same problems over the last four or five years. They can swing the bat but give up too many runs to be consistent. Sure, they can beat anyone, but nothing’s changed really.

9. Glendora (5-4) – The Tartans didn’t play last week and are 1-2 in the Baseline. I miss the Tartans not competing in the Sierra where they should be.

10. Bonita (6-5) –Say this about Bonita, it has lost to solid teams like St. Lucy’s, Glendora, Charter Oak and South Hills, all teams ranked in our top ten. The Bearcats are what they’re, about the ninth or tenth best team in the area. But on paper, they should probably be better.

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Who has the best shot at winnnig a CIF-SS Baseball title? If you believe the polls, it’s Diamond Bar

Diamond Bar is 7-1 and already 2-0 in the Hacienda to take over the top spot in Division 3. Coach Eric Shibley’s team is batting .350 and senior pitcher Henry Omana is having one of the best years statistically in the Valley. He’s 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 18 innings. As a staff, Diamond Bar sports an eye-catching 2.16 ERA.

CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL POLLS

Division 2: 1. Redlands, 2. Alemany, 3. Harvard-Westlake, 4. Cypress, 5. Dos Pueblos, 6. Buena, 7. Mayfair, 8. Palos Verdes, 9. South Hills, 10. Garden Grove Pacifica.

Division 3: 1. Diamond Bar, 2. Bonita, 3. Beckman, 4. San Gorgonio, 5. Corona del Mar, 6. Rancho Alamitos, 7. Elsinore, 8. Culver City, 9. Alhambra, 10. Warren.

Division 4: 1. Palm Desert, 2. Bishop Amat, 3. Savanna, 4. Indio, 5. Sonora, 6. Chino, 7. Colony, 8. Malibu, 9. Temple City, 10. Oaks Christian.

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Is St. Lucy’s the area’s top softball team? The Regents are looking the part after winning the Diamond Bar tournament on Saturday; Chino Hills and Bishop Amat, however, top CIF polls

St. Lucy’s defeated host Diamond Bar 4-1 in the championship game of the Diamond Bar Springfeast Tournament on Saturday, which followed dominant tournament victories over Sonora (4-0), Ontario (10-3) and Fresno Clovis West (3-0). The Regents are on fire behind super senior pitcher Danielle O’Toole (six shutouts) and hot-swinging Danielle Mavridis (batting .615 with 11 runs scored). The Regents have a team batting average of .341, a huge improvement over last year’s squad that struggled at the plate. The Regents have won eight straight and are 11-2 overall. However, one of those losses was a forfeit due to a father-daughter dance, and the other loss was a doubleheader split against Upland early in the season. O’Toole is 5-1 with a 1.26 ERA. The Regets have home tests against Pomona Catholic (Today) and Downey (Thursday) before opening the Sierra League against powerful South Hills on Friday at home at 3:15 p.m. Also, kudos to St. Lucy’s for finally posting a roster and stats on Maxpreps, make it much easier to follow one of the area’s best teams.

Check out Danielle Mavridis’ third homer of the season in the Regents’ 10-3 win over Ontario.

CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL POLLS

Division 3: 1. Chino Hills, 2. Bishop Amat, 3. South Hills, 4. Burroughs, 5. St. Lucy’s, 6. South Torrance, 7. Torrance, 8. Ayala, 9. Atascadero, 10t. Harvard-Westlake, 10T, Oaks Christian.

Division 4: 1. Aquinas, 2. La Quinta, 3. Dos Pueblos, 4. Garden Grove, 5. La Habra, 6. Buena, 7. Segerstrom, 8. Loara, 9. Kaiser, 10.T San Dimas, 10T. Troy.

Division 5: 1. La Canada, 2. Beaumont, 3. Keppel, 4. Marlborough, 5. Immaculate Heart, 6. Nipomo, 7. Duarte, 8. Victor Valley, 9. Montebello, 10. Santa Ana Calvary Chapel.

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Charter Oak football will take on Los Alamitos and Bishop Amat in back-to-back weeks

The Charter Oak High School football team has agreed to play a home-and-home with Orange County power Los Alamitos, starting with a road game against Los Alamitos at Long Beach’s Veteran Stadium this fall.

Since moving to the difficult Sierra League and Inland Division, the Chargers have increased their quality of opponents in nonleague, and this might be their most difficult non-league schedule ever.

The Chargers will face Los Osos, Corona Roosevelt, Glendora and Los Alamitos and Bishop Amat in back-to-back weeks (Week 2 and 3). The Chargers will take on Bishop Amat at home following its road trip against Los Alamitos.

“I know what’s going on in the heads of our kids,” Chargers coach Lou Farrar said. “It’s a (daunting) schedule, but if we want to get past the Upland’s and better teams in our division, we don’t want the stage to be too big for our kids, both from an emotion and physical standpoint. I don’t know if there is any other way to be prepared for our league and division without playing teams of that caliber in the preseason.”

Los Alamitos is from the Sunset League and was 6-4 last year. The Sunset League is moving from the powerful Pac-5 to the Southwest Division. The Sunset League includes Newport Harbor, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Edison.

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Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz recovering and in good spirits; expected to miss two to three weeks

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
twitter.com/sgvtribpreps

Bishop Amat standout infielder Rio Ruiz rested comfortably over the weekend at USC Medical Center after undergoing a procedure on Friday to break up a blood clot in a vein near his clavicle in his right shoulder, his father Rudy Ruiz explained on Monday.

Several friends, teammates and family stopped to visit Ruiz since having the procedure, including South Hills standouts and longtime friends C.J. Saylor and Ty France.

Ruiz, a senior, could be released from the hospital as soon as today and his father said it could be two to three weeks before he is able to rejoin the Lancers’ baseball team, who defeated Loyola 3-2 on Saturday in the RJs Foundation game at Bishop Amat.

Ruiz was ESPN’s California junior of the year and also is the reigning Tribune and CIF-Southern Section Division 4 most valuable player after leading the Lancers to a divisional title last season.

“He might be back sooner, it might be longer, it depends on the comfort level of his arm,” Rudy Ruiz said. (To continue click thread).

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Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz in stable condition after surgery to remove a blood clot, Bishop Amat beats La Salle 6-2 to improve to 3-0 in Del Rey League.

Bishop Amat’s standout baseball player Rio Ruiz, who complained of a bicep strain earlier in the week, is in stable condition after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in his vein on Friday, Amat coach Andy Nieto explained to our Miguel Melendez following Amat’s 6-2 win over La Salle. A blood clot was discovered during an examination on Wednesday and he is out indefinitely while he awaits to see a specialist who will determine his future status.

By Miguel A. Melendez, SGVN
twitter.com/StarNewsPreps

LA PUENTE — There’s a sign in the Bishop Amat High School baseball team’s dugout that reads “Two-out rallies win championships.”

La Salle fell victim to Bishop Amat’s battle cry as Adam Alcantara drove in the first run on an RBI single andEvan Claproth connected for a three-run home run to give Bishop Amat all the runs it would need in a 6-2 Del Rey League victory Friday afternoon.

The victory was bittersweet for Bishop Amat (4-5, 3-0) which again played without standout pitcher/third baseman Rio Ruiz, who that morning underwent surgery on his neck to remove a blood clot on a nerve that stopped blood flow to his right bicep. He is in stable condition and will seek a specialist for further evaluation.

Ruiz, who is commited to USC, had complained of a bicep strain earlier in the week. The blood clot was discovered during a doctor’s exam Wednesday. Ruiz is considered a potential first-round draft pick, according to ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law.

“We just heard that he’s resting and recovering fine and in stable condition,” said Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto after the game. “I know talking to the La Salle family they all have their thoughts and prayer on Rio.”

Ruiz will remain in the hospital for at least two more days.

“He needs to get his health in order,” Nieto said. “It wasn’t an emergency surgery. It was more of a, ‘Hey, we found it, let’s fix it.’”

When asked if Ruiz is out for the season, Nieto was noncommital.

“That’s still hard to say,” he said. “You know what he means to us, but the priority is to get his health in order.”

La Salle coach Harry Agajanian wanted to see a Ruiz-Bowdien Derby battle on the mound, but was more concerned about his health when he found out about Ruiz’s surgery.

“Our prayers are with Rio Ruiz,” La Salle coach Harry Agajanian said. “We miss him out there. I miss talking to him over at third base.”

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Northview looks like Vikings of old, beat Baldwin Park 9-3; Amat, South Hills and San Dimas win; Charter Oak loses second straight

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN, twitter@sgvtribpreps
When Northview High School was winning five straight Valle Vista League titles, which included a CIF-SS Divisional title in 2008, the Vikings’ baseball team always did it with pitching, defense and timely hitting.

The Vikings are starting to get back to those principles after having their league championship-streak ended last year in a miserable 12-14 season that ended in the first round of the CIF playoffs.

Northview completed a Valle Vista League sweep over Baldwin Park this week, winning 9-3 on Friday to go with its 1-0 win earlier in the week.
The Vikings improved to 6-1-1 and 3-0 in the VVL and have allowed three runs or less in six of their eight games. (To continue click thread)

Baseball Results
Valle Vista League
Northview 9, Baldwin Park 3
San Dimas 2, Wilson 1
Sierra League
South Hills 15, Ayala 2
Damien 21, Chino Hills 7
Claremont 6, Charter Oak 1
Del Rey League
Bishop Amat 6, La Salle 2
Montview League
Duarte 6, Bassett 5

Inland Insider with highlights from South Hills’ 15-2 win over Ayala


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South Hills softball moves on without La Follette, beats Bonita 4-2 behind Burford’s clutch double

Burford’s clutch double rallies South Hills past Bonita in big nonleague softball game

Bishop Amat softball hammers La Salle: Bishop Amat High School’s Amanda Sanchez went 3 for 4 and had five RBIs, including a three-run homer in a seven-run second inning, to lead a 10-0 six-inning victory over visiting La Salle in a Del Rey League softball game that was shortened due to the mercy rule.

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South Hills gets a “W” in the Sierra while No. 1 Charter Oak falls to Ayala, 6-1 … Trib Jinx?

Game Story: South Hills can breathe a little easier with 5-2 must win over Damien

WEDNESDAY’S PREP RESULTS

BASEBALL
MISSION VALLEY LEAGUE
Gabrielino 2, Mountain View 1 (8 innings)

Angel Acosta went eight innings and recorded nine strikeouts and Johnny Moreno went 2 for 4 and scored two runs for the Eagles.

South El Monte 2, Arroyo 0
South El Monte scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to stay unbeaten in league at 2-0 and improved to 2-4 overall. Eagles junior Mario Lopez pitched a complete game and evened his record at 1-1 while giving up five hits on one walk and two strikeouts. “I thought we played a good defensive game today,” South El Monte coach David Sheiner said.
“It was a pitchers’ duel until the sixth when we were finally able to brake through and Mario kept us in the game with a good performance.” With the loss, Arroyo dropped to 1-7 overall and 0-2 in league. With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Eagles sophomore pinch hitter David Mora doubled to left. The next batter, Aaron Saavedra, grounded to third but the throw to first was wild. That scored Mora for a 1-0 lead and Saavedra ended up on second.

MONTVIEW LEAGUE
La Puente 10, Workman 0 (5 innings)

La Puente’s Randy Anaya went the distance with 10 strikeouts and improved to 2-1 with the win.
The Warriors got plenty of offense from Cody Hrey, who went 2 for 2 with two doubles and two RBIs and Mike Patini, who walked twice and drove in a pair of runs. David Patino contributed with three walks and five stolen bases.

SIERRA LEAGUE
Ayala 6, Charter Oak 1

Ayala received a strong performance from sophomore Peter Deattie, who went 4 2/3 innings and gave up an unearned run. Deattie evened his record at 1-1 while the Bulldogs improved to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in league play. Leading Ayala at the plate was senior Vahn Bozoian, who went 3 for 3 with three singles and a run scored. Also enjoying a good day at the plate was junior Jordan Robinson, who was 2 for 3 with a double, a single, 3 RBIs and a run scored.

SOFTBALL
CHARTER OAK
TOURNAMENT
13th place
San Dimas 8, Covina 1

Kaili Now and Bethie Celaya combined for a solid performance and Now earned the win to improve to 2-2 on the season. With the game tied at 0-0 in the third, the Saints (7-4, 0-1) broke it open. Janell Wheaton finished 3 for 4 with an RBI, Deenah San Luis went 2 for 4 with a triple and Amanda Aguinaga went 2 for 2 with an RBI. Jennifer Aguinaga went 2 for 2 and stole two bases. The Colts dropped to 5-5 overall.

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Maggiore on new challenges in Southeast

West Covina football coach Mike Maggiore on the revamped Southeast Division: “I think that’s a fair, competitive division,” Maggiore said of the new Southeast proposal. “There are some athletes (in the San Gabriel Valley League) and some big schools. If it makes it more fair and competitive for everyone, then that’s the right thing to do. We’re not going to be like we have been every year. We just want to be competitive in the division we’re going to be in. I’m fine with anything. It’s not going to change anything we do.”

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Bishop Amat hosting doubleheader to benefit the RJs Foundation on Saturday

The Third Annual RJ’s High School Baseball & Softball Classic featuring Loyola vs Bishop Amat in baseball at 10 a.m., followed by Northview vs Bishop Amat in softball at 4 p.m., is on Saturday at Bishop Amat with proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. General admission is $5 and $2 for children and students with an ID. The RJ’s Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that supports endeavors for terminally ill children and grants scholarships to students from local regional, low-income families to promote professional, academic and athletic achievement.

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Amat’s Rio Ruiz day-to-day with bicep strain

ESPN’s California junior of the year and reigning Tribune and Division 4 MVP Rio Ruiz has a right bicep strain and did not play in the field in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over St. Paul, coach Andy Nieto said. Ruiz was able to pinch hit, but he hasn’t thrown a baseball in a week, which is more cautionary than anything else, Nieto explained. Ruiz will be evaluated by a doctor Wednesday. Nieto does not think his injury is serious, but he wants to be extremely cautious, especially since he could be a high draft back in Major League Baseball’s spring draft.

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Kaylea Snaer on pace to have a historical season, but will teams keep pitching to her?

I love this quote from Rowland coach Craig Snyder. With Kaylea Snaer hitting .571 with 24 RBIs and eight home runs, he’s challenging the Hacienda League to pitch to her. “I don’t know, but I don’t think people in our league are going to pitch to her a whole lot,” Snyder said. “Not unless some other girls start hitting behind her. It takes more than one person.”

CIF SOFTBALL RECORD FOR HOME RUNS IN A SEASON
With eight home runs, Snaer needs six more to get her name in ink in the CIF record books. At the pace she’s going, she’ll get there soon.

18 – Bailie Kirker, Crescenta Valley (2008)
17 – Lauren Chamberlain, El Toro (2010)
16 – Lisa Estill, Grace Brethren (1998), Baile Kirker, Crescenta Valley (2009).
15 – Baile Kirker, Crescenta valley (2007), Brittany Spaulding, Los Alamitos (2008), Taylor Edwards, Vista Murrieta (2009), Lauren Sweet, Corona Santiago (2011).
14 — Sheri Ramsay, Hesperia (1990), Crystal Roberts, Grace Brethren (1998), Anissa Young, Bloomington, (2008), Shawna Wright, Lancaster (2007 and ’09), Alena Murgatroid, Quartz Hill (2009)

STORY: If teams in her league decide to actually pitch to her, Rowland High School catcher Kaylea Snaer could be headed toward an unforgettable season.

Snaer, a junior, leads the Valley with eight home runs. The next closest person has four. She has nearly double the RBIs (24) of any other hitter and is hitting a whopping .571.

But will it last? The Raiders open Hacienda League play on Thursday against Los Altos. Hitting well during tournaments is one thing, but getting pitches to hit in league where everybody knows what you’re capable of is another

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Bishop Amat is taking care of business in the Del Rey, beats St. Paul 4-2 to go 2-0 in league

“Anybody following our program the last five years knows our body of work has been pretty special. We’ve set the bar high for our program and what we feel we want to become is a program to be reckoned with. But for us, with three or four sophomores, three or four juniors, we’ve been slapped with a learning curve and forced to grow up fast. The learning curve has hit us.” -- Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto on his 3-5 start.

Bishop Amat takes care of St. Paul, 4-2

Hey Amat, where’s your stats and roster? Since I’ve been here Amat has always posted its roster and updated its stats on a game-by-game basis on Maxpreps. I know they’re not off to a good start, but if you’re going to post when the going’s good, you should post during the tough times too.

By Keith Lair SGVN twitter.com/KeithLLair
It has been an unconventional season for the Bishop Amat High School baseball team. So it only makes sense the Lancers used unconventional strategies Tuesday.

Catcher Bryan Menendez broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning with a two-out drag bunt that scored Scott Hurst from third base to carry visiting Bishop Amat to a 4-2 victory over

St. Paul in a Del Rey League game.

“Anybody following our program the last five years knows our body of work has been pretty special,” Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto said. “We’ve set the bar high for our program and what we feel we want to become is a program to be reckoned with.

“But for us, with three or four sophomores, three or four juniors, we’ve been slapped with a learning curve and forced to grow up fast. The learning curve has hit us.”

How unconventional has the Lancers’ season been? The reigning CIF-Southern Section Division 4 champions started only one senior with varsity experience, designated hitter Rio Ruiz. They are 3-5 on the season, already with more losses than last season.

Unconventional? The Lancers’ first five hitters had only one of Bishop Amat’s six hits Tuesday.

“It’s very important,” Menendez said of the bottom of the order getting hits. “If nobody gets hits, the game ain’t going to go our way.”

But it was the drag bunt, which was more like a squeeze play, that seemed the most unconventional.

“That turned out to be huge,” Nieto said. “We happened to be fortunate enough that for that particular hitter they were not playing up. It’s kind of a cat and mouse game and fortunately it played out in our favor.”

The Lancers were trailing, 2-1, in the sixth when Andrew De La Cruz had the top of the lineup’s lone hit, an infield single. Clean-up hitter Adam Alcantara drew a walk and St. Paul anticipated Hurst’s sacrifice bunt and caught De La Cruz at third base.

Pitcher Jonah Jimenez got a strikeout and Moya singled through the first-second base gap to tie the game at 2-2. Menendez got a 2-0 count and St. Paul coach Casey Morales decided to send Aaron Pinto to the mound.

Menendez bunted the next pitch down the third-base line for his second bunt single of the game.

“How often does that work?” Morales said. “Not very often. We had positioned ourselves for it, but we didn’t make the play.”

Third baseman Jordan Valdez threw wide to first base, although Menendez already had the throw beaten. The ball sailed past first baseman and Luis Moya also scored to make it 4-2.

“I was thinking to just get the bunt down,” Menendez said. “That is what (coach) wants us to work on a lot. I have been bunting a lot, even with two strikes.”

The Swordsmen (4-7) took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning when leadoff hitter Kevin Romo sent a 2-1 Eric Vega fastball over the left-field fence.

All the Swordsmen had to do was to keep the Lancers off the bases in the last two innings.

“The pressure got to us,” Romo said. “We felt we were going good in the last two innings. It just unfolded there and we didn’t make the plays we should have.”

keith.lair@sgvn.com

626-962-8811, ext. 2242

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