FAB 50 High School Rankings

Week 14: FAB 50 High School Rankings

By Mark Tennis

In the aftermath of two teams that took swings and misses at perhaps ending No. 1 in the nation, California State Team of the Year San Marcos has moved to No. 1 in the next-to-last FAB 50 national softball rankings.

San Marcos moved to the top of the California state rankings after it defeated Cathedral Catholic of San Diego 4-0 on May 26 in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs. The Knights avenged one of their two losses in April with a win over CIF Southern Section powerhouse Norco, which last Saturday won the CIFSS Division I title. 

On Tuesday, UCLA-bound Cathedral Catholic pitcher Megan Faraimo was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. She pitched in that loss to San Marcos, which was led by Payton Tidd, its Notre Dame-bound pitcher.

Norco won its last two games in the CIFSS playoffs 9-0 vs. nationally ranked Los Altos (Hacienda Heights) and 8-1 vs. nationally ranked Gahr (Cerritos). Ole Miss recruit Paige Smith, who was the last out in the 2017 title game loss to Los Alamitos that prevented Norco from going 34-0 and being No. 1 in the nation, had a long fly ball with the bases loaded in against Gahr in the title game that popped out of the fielder’s glove and went over the fence for a grand slam. Washington-bound sophomore Sarah Willis pitched both the semifinal and final for Norco and hit two homers in the semifinals.

Previous FAB 50 No. 1 Canyon of New Braunfels, Texas got its opportunity to end No. 1 in the nation in last Saturday’s Class 6A state final in Austin. The Cougarettes won in their semifinal game 8-1 over Oak Ridge (Conroe, Texas) and were leading 3-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning of the title game against Atascocita (Humble, Texas). That’s when disaster struck. The Eagles loaded the bases on one hit and two failures to throw out runners at first base on sacrifice bunt attempts and then scored three times on a sacrifice fly and two wild pitches. Atascocita went on to win its first state title 5-3.

While Atascocita has been a consistently strong team in recent years in Texas, head coach Ashley Boyd’s girls have seven losses and can’t really be a national No. 1 contender. In this week’s rankings, the Eagles were moved to No. 9 with Canyon right behind at No. 10.

Another team that entered last week with a chance to finish No. 1 was Lincoln-Way East of New Lenox, Ill. That team, though, won’t be going to this week’s final four of the Illinois Class 4A state playoffs after getting stunned 3-1 by Minooka, a team with 16 losses, in the Joliet West Sectional championship. All of the other Illinois teams that have been highest in the FAB 50 this season and in the state rankings also didn’t last into this week, either. 

The highest-ranked team still playing is 37-0 East Carter of Grayson, Ky. Led by Alabama-bound pitcher Montana Fouts, East Carter is in this week’s all-class Kentucky state tournament. So far, East Carter hasn’t played very many larger schools but could face several in its state tournament, including FAB 50 ranked Scott County.

With most of the states in the nation done, there won’t be national rankings next week. The final FAB 50 will be completed after all states are wrapped up in two weeks.

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