Four new teams make their entrances into the Xcellent 25.
Though one of them has not played a game this season, the top three teams remained atop this week’s MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Softball Rankings.
No. 1 Mission Viejo blasted San Clemente, 17-0, and No. 2 Archbishop Mitty got off to a good start in winning its openers by a combined 16-3 margin.
Alexander Central, looking to extend its 68-game winning streak, is battling wind and rain and its March 4 opener looks doubtful.
New to the Top 10 this week are Horizon (Phoenix) and Atascocita (Texas). New to the top 25 this week are Red Mountain, Viera and La Grange.
1. (No. 1 last week) Mission Viejo (Calif.), 1-0
Mission Viejo opened the season with a 17-0 blowout of San Clemente that featured a 12-run inning.
2. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 2-0
The Monarchs opened the season with a 5-3 win over Mt. Pleasant (San Jose) and blanked Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 11-0 on a combined one-hitter from Desiree Severance and Lauren Lopez. Danielle Bowers had five hits in the two games. Up next is Milpitas on Saturday.
3. (3) Alexander Central (Taylorsville, N.C.), 0-0
The Cougars, working on a 68-game winning streak, open the season March 4 against St. Stephens (Hickory, N.C.) March 4.
5. (4) Deer Park (Texas), 7-1
Since losing 3-2 to Oak Ridge (Conroe), Deer Park has won four straight, including 6-5 over previously ranked Kingwood. Up next is the MC-Sienna Tournament, which opens on Thursday.
6. (15) Horizon (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 6-0
Led by pitcher Tamara Statman (6-0), the Huskies swept through the Dobson/Marcos De Niza Invitational. Statman had 61 strikeouts in 35 innings and batted .556. Gabby Moreno drove in a dozen teammates in the tournament. Up next is Desert Vista (Phoenix) on Thursday.
8. (8) Pacifica (Garden Grove, Calif.), 0-0
Pacifica, the lone team to defeat Mission Viejo in 2014, won 29 of 33 games a year ago.
9. (9) Sparkman (Harvest, Ala.), 0-0
The Senators won 63 games last year and open the season this week.
11. (11) Edwardsville (Ill.), 0-0
Edwardsville was 36-4 a year ago and opens its season April 11.
12. (12) Aledo (Texas), 0-0
Top 5A team in Texas opens its season this week.
13. (13) Chino Hills (Calif.), 0-0
Six starters return from 30-6 team a year ago. Chino Hills opens its season Wednesday at King (Riverside).
14. (NR) Red Mountain (Mesa, Ariz.), 7-0
The Mountain Lions have reloaded and their 7-0 start gives them 14 straight wins dating back to 2014. Lindsey Steverson is setting the bar high with four homers and a .625 batting average for a team that is hitting .429.
15. (10) Bloomingdale (Valrico, Fla.), 7-1
Since losing 1-0 to Wharton (Tampa), Bloomingdale has won three straight.
17. (17) North Little Rock (Ark.), 0-0
The reigning 7A state champions open their season March 12 against No. 21 Russellville.
18. (18) Carson (Calif.), 0-0
The Colts enter the season riding an 18-game winning streak.
19. (20) Pioneer (San Jose, Calif.), 1-0
The Mustangs won their opener 2-0 and host Half Moon Bay on Wednesday.
20. (NR) La Grange (Texas), 10-0
The Leopards have hit 16 homers and are hitting .465 after 10 games They play Little Cypress-Mauriceville (Orange) on Thursday.
21. (21) Russellville (Ark.), 0-0
North Little Rock is the season-opener, scheduled for March 12.
22. (22) Washburn Rural (Topeka, Kan.), 0-0
The returning state champions open their season on April 3.
23. (NR) Viera (Fla.), 13-0
The 7A Hawks are off to their best start in school history and have outscored their foes 126-25. They already have 48 extra base hits.
24. (24) Keystone (La Grange, Ohio), 0-0
Keystone’s season opener is April 11.
25. (25) Baker (Mobile, Ala.), 2-0
The Hornets scored 20 runs in a pair of wins over Montgomery (Semmes).
Dropped out: Mountain Ridge (Glendale, Ariz.), Kingwood (Texas), Flower Mound (Texas), Hagerty (Oviedo, Fla.).