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PREP EXTRA / A weekly look at the high school sports
scene in the Southland

The Title Fights

Softball: San Pedro is favored in Tuesday's City final. Southern Section playoffs begin this week.


Santa Ana Mater Dei and San Pedro are trying to win their second softball championships in three years.

For Mater Dei, that quest begins Friday, when the top-seeded Monarchs play Rowland Heights Rowland in the first round of the Southern Section Division I playoffs.

Championship games in six Southern Section divisions will be June 2-3 at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.

San Pedro's quest ends Tuesday when the Pirates play Carson in the City Section championship game at UCLA.

Here is a look at each of the divisions:


San Fernando Valley schools might still have a stranglehold on the baseball title, but the softball championship will definitely go to a South Bay school this season.

Second-seeded San Pedro (22-5-1) and 1999 runner-up Carson make the final at UCLA a local affair.

San Pedro is led by pitcher Natalie Tam (21-4).

Carson (25-7) features pitcher Jessica Ruiz (14-2) and power hitter Adrienne Alo.

Washington, a 5-3 semifinal winner over Van Nuys, plays Monroe, a 1-0 semifinal winner over Lincoln, in the Invitational final.


* Division I: Top-seeded Santa Ana Mater Dei (27-1) suffered its only loss in a Serra League game against Fullerton Rosary, the top-seeded team in Division IV.

Senior pitcher Tia Bollinger leads the Monarchs, who lost in the final to Valley View of Moreno Valley last season.

Second-seeded Valley View (24-2) will try to repeat behind UCLA-bound pitcher Keira Goerl, who dominated in last year's playoffs and beat Mater Dei in the final.

Santa Ana Foothill (28-2) is seeded third after finishing in a tie with fourth-seeded Los Alamitos (18-8) and Fountain Valley (22-8) in the Sunset League.

* Division II: Defending champion Cerritos (26-2) will be tough to beat, especially if senior Jessica van der Linden dominates the way she has throughout her career for the Dons. Van der Linden has 285 strikeouts in 163 2/3 innings this season.

Second-seeded Crescenta Valley, however, also has a formidable presence with senior Meredith Cervenka in the circle, and third-seeded Corona (24-3) is a force with pitcher Kristi DeVries.

Thousand Oaks (21-5-1) is seeded fourth.

* Division III: Hacienda Heights Wilson (23-2-1) is the top-seeded team and La Habra Sonora (22-7) is seeded second in a division that has third-seeded Whittier La Serna (19-4) and fourth-seeded Norco (16-4) playing first-round games on the road.

* Division IV: Rosary (21-8), which finished second to Mater Dei in the Serra League, is the top-seeded team. The Royals have victories over Mater Dei and Valley View, the top two teams in Division I.

North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (22-4) is seeded second, Lompoc Cabrillo (18-8) third and Goleta Dos Pueblos (21-5) fourth.

* Division V: Thousand Oaks La Reina (19-4), the champion of the Tri-Valley League, is the top-seeded team, but it does not have an easy road to the title.

Santa Maria St. Joseph (16-10, champion of the Los Padres League, is seeded second, Cerritos Whitney (13-3) third and San Pedro Mary Star (20-4) fourth.

* Division VI: Top-seeded Capistrano Valley Christian (20-2) is the top-seeded team. Linfield (18-8) is seeded second, Van Nuys Montclair Prep (17-6) is third and defending champion Camarillo Cornerstone Christian (18-3-1) is fourth.

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