With championship weekend fast approaching, the county has teams in six of the seven CIF-SS divisions, with Division 6 being the lone exception.
In Division 2, Villa Park, Dana Hills and Santa Margarita all advanced to Thursday’s quarterfinals behind stellar second-round pitching performances from their aces.
Spartans junior pitcher Emily Rosas did not allow an earned run in Villa Park’s 3-2 win over Agoura. Dolphins senior Kate Donaldson scattered two hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings of work, setting the stage for Serafine Parrish to record six of the final seven outs of a 1-0 victory by way of strikeout.
Second-seeded Santa Margarita cruised to an 8-0 win over Warren as junior right-hander Paige Vargas pitched lights out, allowing just one hit in a complete-game shutout.
With top-seeded Gahr of Cerritos upset by St. Lucy’s in the second round, the county’s three remaining squads in the bracket are even greater threats now to win the Division 2 crown.
It helps that they all have the greatest card in the deck at their disposal: an ace.
Most coaches will tell you, it’s not always the best team that walks away with a CIF championship, it’s who is playing the best at the end of the year.
If that’s the case, good luck predicting the rest of the Division 1 race.
Entering Thursday’s quarterfinals, seven of the eight teams still alive take double-digit win streaks into their respective matchups. Having not dropped a game this season, Norco (31-0) holds the longest streak. Pacifica – who the Cougars welcome in the quarters – has reeled off 13 wins in a row.
Going down the bracket, Grand Terrace is winners of 16 straight. Mission Viejo has racked up 11 in a row. Orange Lutheran is also at 11. Valencia is up to 14. Los Alamitos reached double-digits on Tuesday, winning its 10th straight.
Santiago of Corona has the shortest win streak at just four games. But if you take away the Sharks’ two losses to Norco in league, they’ve knocked out…