Daily News softball rankings: California retains No. 1 slot

1. California (13-3)
Has 9-game win streak
2. La Habra (8-5)
Freeway League favorites
3. El Rancho (4-2)
Offense off to good start
4. Cantwell SH (7-5)
3-1 start in Camino Real
5. La Serna (7-6)
Split doubleheader with St. Paul

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El Rancho’s Vargas, La Habra’s Ciocatto named Daily News athletes of the week

Frank Vargas
El Rancho baseball
Senior catcher
Vargas helped lift the Dons to a 3-0 record last week. He totaled three hits and two RBIs in El Rancho’s 4-3 nonleague victory March 19 at Montebello. Vargas also delivered a two-run homer in Friday’s 7-6 Del Rio League win over La Serna.

Vanessa Ciocatto
La Habra softball
Senior pitcher
Ciocatto was impressive in posting a 2-0 record last week. She pitched a complete game two-hitter in the Highlanders’ 7-0 triumph March 19 at Whittier Christian. Ciocatto followed that performance by striking out five and scattering five hits in Thursday’s 10-1 win over La Serna.

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High School Softball: St. Paul, La Serna split doubleheader

From left, St. Paul’s Koreen Orozco, Krystal Gutierrez and Jazmine Martinez celebrate a double play during Tuesday’s game against La Serna. (Leo Jarzomb / Staff Photographer)

By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer

SANTA FE SPRINGS – St. Paul High School’s Tuesday home doubleheader against La Serna turned to be an offensive show on both ends.

The host Swordsmen dropped the opener 12-6 but won the nightcap 11-9.

Lovie Lopez paced the Swordsmen (7-4) with two hits and five RBIs. Krystal Gutierrez had three hits and an RBI.

Swordsmen starting pitcher Koreen Orozco threw a complete game in the victory and also hit a two-run home run.

Five players drove in runs for La Serna (7-6), which was led by Molly Bourne’s three RBIs. Raeanne Martinez and Dana De La Torre each drove in two runs for the Lancers.

St. Paul coach Roberta Argott said the split against a good La Serna squad should bode well as the season progresses.

“For us to face them and put up a lot of runs gives us a lot of confidence,” Argott said. “We were struggling to get on base but our runners definitely got on base today. I’m very proud of them. The girls were happy with their swings.

“I told them to keep up that same confidence and to continue to hit the ball hard.”

The second game was a roller-coaster in which La Serna jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after its first two at-bats.

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Baseball Rankings: St. Paul remains on top

Here is this week’s area top five rankings:
1. St. Paul (6-3) The Swordsmen, who split a doubleheader with Acalanes, visit Brea Olinda on Thursday.
2. California (4-2-1) – Defending Del Rio League champions host Pioneer and Whittier this week after opening with a 6-6 tie at La Serna.
3. Montebello (4-2) – The Oilers are off to a quick 2-0 start in the Almont League.  They host El Rancho today before resuming league play Friday at San Gabriel.
4. El Rancho (3-3) – The Dons started Del Rio play off on the right foot on Friday by defeating Santa Fe 4-1. After visiting the Oilers, El Rancho will travel to Whittier and La Serna later this week.
5. La Mirada (4-5-1) – The Matadores open Suburban League play this week against Cerritos. They visit the Dons on Wednesday before hosting them on Friday.

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