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SOFTBALL RANKINGS: Taut Battle for No. 1

Hillsdale and Capuchino jockey for position atop county hierarchy as regular season nears end.

Entering the final week of the high school softball regular season, Hillsdale and Capuchino are in a back-and-forth battle to claim status as the top program in San Mateo County.

Despite losing two of the teams’ three meetings, Hillsdale has all but locked up the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division championship, which is why the Knights return to the No. 1 spot in Patch’s county rankings a week after Cap supplanted them for the first time. But the final barometer won’t come until the Central Coast Section playoffs, which kick off in 10 days.

Carlmont also could throw itself into the conversation of the area’s top dog with a great month of May, and the Scots have a golden opportunity to prove themselves when they conclude the Bay season against Cap and Hillsdale this week.

Elsewhere, Sequoia enters the rankings for the first time at No. 10, and the Cherokees are hoping San Mateo gets upset to earn a piece of the PAL Ocean crown. 

The top-10 weekly rankings are drawn from all schools in the county. Records are based on reported games played through Saturday, May 7.

SOFTBALL

1. Hillsdale 21-4 (Last week: 2) Watch a Richwood game before it’s too late; Knights have two chances to clinch outright PAL Bay title

2. Capuchino 17-5 (1) Stumbles against lesser teams suggest Mustangs lack focus; Cap followed win over Hillsdale with 3-1 loss to Terra Nova

3. Carlmont 19-6 (4) Run prevention against top teams a concern; young pitchers to get CCS-caliber tests against Cap & Hillsdale

4. Notre Dame 15-11-1 (5) Solid comeback in 5-3 loss to Valley; Tigers become just 3rd team to dent Laront for three earned runs

5. Terra Nova 13-9 (6) In position to claim at-large CCS berth; 2+ wins in brutal four-game final week would bolster resume

6. Burlingame 9-16 (7) Few bad losses for young Panthers = credit to first-year coach Firenze & team’s improvement

7. Aragon 11-14 (3) Consistently inconsistent; bad losses (10-8 to BHS, 8-1 to HMB) outweigh solid wins over Cap & Carlmont

8. Half Moon Bay 5-16 (8) Cougars look to end trying year on high note with win over Terra Nova, Aragon or Cap

9. San Mateo 11-4 (9) 2-1 loss to Sequoia removes cushion, but should cruise to PAL Ocean title with 3-0 week vs. SSF & El Camino

10. Sequoia 11-8 (NR) Hottest Ocean team (beat Woodside & San Mateo this week) but likely to finish one game out of first

Dropped out: Woodside (10)

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