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SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL PAIRINGS

Pacifica, Foothill, Woodbridge Are the Teams to Beat

May 20, 1997|MARTIN HENDERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

As expected, the top four teams in Orange County--all ranked among the top 10 nationally--were among the seeded teams in the Southern Section playoffs.

Pacifica (Division III), Foothill (I) and Woodbridge (II) were all seeded No. 1. Mater Dei was seeded fourth in Division I.

Division I

Defending champion--Mater Dei, a 3-1 winner over Camarillo.

Top teams--Foothill (25-2-1), Thousand Oaks (23-3), Corona (26-1), Mater Dei (25-5).

Dark horse--El Toro (22-7-1), which has four losses to Woodbridge--which isn't in this division. A week ago, they were ranked fifth in the section poll.

Noteworthy--This is the third consecutive year Foothill has been seeded No. 1.

Division II

Defending champion--Saugus, a 1-0 winner over Woodbridge.

Top teams--Woodbridge (29-2), Santa Maria Righetti (29-2), Saugus (22-5), Cerritos (26-4).

Dark horse--San Clemente (15-10) lost in the season's final week to Mater Dei, 1-0, on a seventh-inning run.

Noteworthy--Righetti pitcher Jocelyn Forster, a junior, has over 400 strikeouts this season.

Division III

Defending champion--Whittier La Serna, a 1-0 winner over Upland in 12 innings.

Top teams--Pacifica (25-1-1), Covina Charter Oak (23-4), Kennedy (20-5), La Puente Bishop Amat (21-7).

Dark horse--Ocean View (17-8), which lost to Woodbridge, 2-1, and has a different wrinkle from most teams: a left-handed pitcher, Sara Gulla.

Noteworthy--Pacifica is ranked No. 1 in the state and the nation. The last time the Mariners were seeded, No. 2 in 1995, they were beaten in the quarterfinals.

Division IV

Defending champion--Corona Centennial, a 4-3 winner over Cerritos in 10 innings.

Top teams--Mission Hills Alemany (21-3), Bolsa Grande (17-9), West Hills Chaminade (18-9), Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (22-7).

Dark horse--Rosary (20-7), which was ranked No. 1 in the division two weeks ago and No. 3 last week.

Noteworthy--This is the first year an Orange County team has participated in Division IV.

Division V

Defending champion--Santa Monica Crossroads, a 2-1 winner over Moorpark.

Top teams--Santa Maria St. Joseph (18-9), Calvary Chapel (22-5), Pomona Catholic (20-5), Paraclete (23-3).

Dark horse--Ontario Christian (16-8), which defeated Calvary Chapel the final week of the season.

Noteworthy--Calvary Chapel was seeded No. 1 last year, but lost in the quarterfinals to Riverside Notre Dame.

Division VI

Defending champion--Covina Western Christian, a 7-5 winner over Temecula Linfield in eight innings.

Top teams--Linfield (22-3), Boron (21-2), St. Margaret's (18-4), Lone Pine (14-2).

Dark horse--Cornerstone Christian (16-4) lost to Linfield in the 1995 finals and 1996 semifinals.

Noteworthy--All four seeded teams last year reached the semifinals.

* COMPLETE PAIRINGS: Section C

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