MaxPreps Top 25 national high school softball rankings (March 4, 2014) Lady Huskies #25

Thumbnail image of this articles writer: Tom  Mauldin

Alexander Central won it all in North Carolina last season and is off to a hot start already in 2014.
Photo by Fabian Radulescu
Alexander Central won it all in North Carolina last season and is off to a hot start already in 2014.

While No. 1 Pacifica sets to open its season on Saturday, No. 2. Alexander Central opened its season with a big statement by allowing just one hit in a pair of wins.

In winning its opener, 10-0, Bailey Rhoney and Kiana Millsaps combined to pitch a perfect game against Wilkes Central. Millsaps followed that with a one-hitter in a 3-0 win over Ledford.

Other Top 10 teams opening the season impressively were unbeatens Mountain Ridge, Basha and Pelham.

The rest of the Top 10 – No. 3 Amador Valley, No. 4 Greenwood, No. 6 Archbishop Mitty, No. 7 Hoover and defending mythical national champion Northern – have yet to play, though most hit the dirt this week.

Five teams fell from the Top 25 after just one week of play.

New to the Top 25 this week are Harmony, Ezperanza, Barbers Hill, Cy-Fair and Cinco Ranch.

1. (No. 1 last week) Pacifica (Garden Grove, Calif.), 0-0 (27-6 in 2013)
Pacifica won 19 of its last 20 games and reached the CIF Division 1 Southern Section semifinals. Pacifica opens its season Saturday in the Best of the West Tournament.

2. (2) Alexander Central (Taylorsville, N.C.), 2-0
Rhoney and Millsaps combined to throw a perfect game in the season-opening 10-0 win over Wilkes Central and Millsaps followed with a one-hitter in 3-0 win over Ledford. Rhoney had base hits in each game to run her hitting streak to 28 games. Millsaps homered in the 10-0 win. Central hosts St. Stephens (Hickory, N.C.) on Tuesday.

3. (3) Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.), 0-0 (24-3)
The Dons lost only one senior from last year’s impressive team. They open the season Thursday at Deer Valley (Antioch, Calif.).

4. (4) Greenwood (Bowling Green, Ky.), 0-0 (44-0)
Greenwood, riding a 44-game winning streak, opens the season March 15 hosting Bullitt Central (Shepherdsville, Ky.).

Desiree Severance, Acrhbishop Mitty

Photo by Scott Dinn
Desiree Severance, Acrhbishop Mitty

5. (9) Mountain Ridge (Glendale, Ariz.), 6-0
Outscoring its opponents 68-4, Ridge will carry a lot of momentum into an early-season showdown on Tuesday with 2-0 Sunrise Mountain (Peoria, Ariz.).

6. (6) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 0-0 (27-1)
With pitcher Desiree Severance (22-1, 1.28 ERA) in the circle, Mitty opens the season Tuesday hosting Pioneer (San Jose).

7. (7) Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 0-0 (34-0)
Led by Jenna Lilley and Tara Thacker (21-0), Hoover brings a 34-game winning streak into the season.

8. (11) Basha (Chandler, Ariz.), 3-0
The Bears, who have scored 35 runs in three games, host Xavier Prep (Phoenix) Tuesday.

9. (13) Pelham (Ala.), 3-0
Junior catcher Madi Walker homered twice and drove in five runs and senior Emily Spain drove in four as Pelham opened with three victories, outscoring its foes 21-2. Next up is a game at Hoover (Ala.) on Thursday.

10. (10) Northern (Owings, Md.), 0-0 (23-0)
Northern won its sixth-straight 3A state title in 2013 and will enter the 2014 season with a 79-game winning streak. Northern’s opener is March 21 at Huntingtown (Md.).

11. (14) St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 8-0
Led by Gwen Svekis, who hit three homers, and pitchers Meghan KingKatie Behm and Olivia Saviskas, Aquinas is off to an 8-0 start. The pitchers have combined to strike out 56 in 37 innings and have allowed just 12 hits. The Raiders, who are hitting .388, host Plantation Tuesday.

12. (12) Mission Viejo (Calif.), 0-0 (26-2) 
The Diablos lost a trio of seniors, but have two of the best preps anywhere in pitcher Taylor McQuillin and power hitter Alyssa Palomino. Their March 1 season opener at Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) was postponed by weather.

13. (NR) Harmony (Fla.), 8-0
The Longhorns are hitting .465 as a team and have scored 81 runs. Aleshia Ocasio has been a power in the circle and at bat. She is hitting .667 and has 16 RBIs plus 43 strikeouts in 21 innings. She has yet to allow a hit this season. Harmony hosts East Ridge (Clermont, Fla.) on Wednesday.

14. (NR) Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.), 1-0
Hayley Copeland opened the season by striking out 14 in a five-inning no-hitter as Ezperanza blanked Mira Costa, 11-0. She also drove in two runs, as did teammates Gabby De La RosaHaleigh John and Olivia Trapp. The Aztecs host Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) on Tuesday.

15. (15) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 0-0 (26-2)
The Monarchs are loaded for a 2014 title run. The season begins at Loara (Anaheim) on March 4.

16. (NR) Barbers Hill (Mt. Belvieu, Texas), 12-0
The Eagles beat previously ranked No. 5 Deer Park 4-0 as Randi Rupp pitched a two-hitter and struck out 15. They also beat No. 18 Cy-Fair 4-0 and have outscored their opponents 107-4 in winning their first 12 games. On Tuesday, the Eagles host New Caney (Porter, Texas).

17. (17) Curtis (River Ridge, La.), 0-0 (32-1)
A winner of 64 of its last 65 games, Curtis opens the season at Belle Chasse (La.) on Wednesday.

18. (NR) Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas), 14-1
The Bobcats won their first 13 games before losing to Barbers Hill. Pitcher Christina Biggerstaff has 11 wins and 115 strikeouts in 73 innings. Carrying the big sticks in the early going of the season are Alissa Dalton (17 RBIs) and Micah Schroder (hitting .490 and 22 RBIs). The Bobcats travel to Katy to face Cypress Lakes on Tuesday.

Brittany Nollkamper, Cinco Ranch

Photo by Morris Covin
Brittany Nollkamper, Cinco Ranch

19. (19) Bloom-Carroll (Carroll, Ohio), 0-0 (30-3) 
B-C opens the season April 1 at Centerville (Ohio).

20. (NR) Cinco Ranch (Katy, Texas), 12-1
With juniors Karli Hamiton and Brittany Nollkampercombining for 39 RBIs and 18 extra-base hits this season, the Cougars have won 11 of 12 games. Included in the victories is a 7-2 win over previously ranked The Woodlands (7-1). They host Taylor (Katy, Texas) on Tuesday.

21. (21) St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.), 0-0 (29-2)
The Lancers won their third state title in four years in 2013 and look better this season. Their opener is March 19 at Immaculata (Somerville, N.J.).

22. (22) Olathe East (Kan.), 0-0 (24-1)
The Hawks repeated as Kansas 6A state champions in 2013 and return key players – Allison Stewart (.493, 33 RBIs), Elizabeth Leonard (.554),McKenna Davis (.544) and Bailey Ward (.396). Stewart was also 10-2 with 125 strikeouts in 69 innings pitched (two earned runs allowed).

23. (NR) P.K. Yonge (Gainesville, Fla.), 8-0
Behind senior pitcher Kalen McGill (8-0, has allowed just 21 hits) and .600-plus hitters Sara Hendrix andKaitlyn Burke, Yonge has blitzed its foes by a 73-6 combined score. McGill also has 16 RBIs. The Blue Wave visit Buchholz (Gainesville) on Tuesday.

24. (24) Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, N.J.), 0-0 (31-2)
The state runner-up opens its season April 1 at Paramus Catholic (N.J.).

25. (23) Horizon (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 6-1
Tamara Statman has recorded 64 strikeouts in 34 innings and is batting .526 with five doubles and two triples and Gabby Moreno is hitting .467 through seven games. Statman struck out 12 and allowed one earned run in 2-1 loss to Chandler. Horizon hosts Desert Vista (Phoenix) on Wednesday.

Dropped Out This Week: Red Mountain (Mesa, Ariz.), Lewisville (Texas), Estrella Foothills (Goodyear, Ariz.), Deer Park (Texas), Bradford (Fla.) and The Woodlands (Texas).