FAB 50 High School Rankings

Final FAB 50 High School Rankings

By Mark Tennis

There were some moves to be made in the final FAB 50 national softball rankings of the 2018 season, but not at the top as San Marcos of San Marcos, Calif., located in San Diego County, has finished as the FAB 50 mythical national champions.

This is the first time that a school from the CIF San Diego Section has ended No. 1 in the nation in softball. The last San Diego team that was State Team of the Year in California, Mira Mesa in 2002, was No. 2 in the final FAB 50 national rankings that season. The FAB 50 is considered to be the predecessor to the FAB 50.

Head coach Steve Tidd’s squad lost two early-season games but avenged one of those losses with a late-season win over eventual CIF Southern Section Division I champion Norco. The Knights won the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title 4-0 over Cathedral Catholic, which had moved to No. 1 in California after winning the prestigious Michelle Carew Classic in a field that included most of the top-ranked teams in the CIF Southern Section.

All season long, it looked like the Class 6A state playoffs in Texas would produce the eventual No. 1 team in the season, but one by one once those playoffs began the contenders started to fall. The last one was Canyon of New Braunfels, which would have been No. 1 in the nation if it had won in the Class 6A state championship but lost to Atascocita of Humble, Texas. With seven losses, Atascocita just couldn’t be considered to be that close to the top of the nation.

The No. 4 team from the previous rankings, unbeaten East Carter of Grayson, Ky., not only didn’t get that far in the Kentucky state tournament (which doesn’t have divisions) but lost twice and had to drop all the way out of the final FAB 50. The first team to beat East Carter, Warren East of Bowling Green, went all the way to the state final but then lost twice to champion Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.). Scott County was No. 20 in the previous FAB 50 and was bumped to No. 12 for the final rankings.

That No. 12 spot from the previous rankings had been occupied by unbeaten James Madison of Vienna, Va. Since Madison did go on to win its second straight state title, finish 28-0 and take a 42-game win streak into next season, the Warhawks were bumped up into the No. 4 hole that was previously occupied by East Carter. Madison clinched its title with a 9-0 victory over Manchester behind Purdue-bound pitcher Alex Echazaretta, who tossed a no-hitter. Stanford-bound outfielder Emily Klingaman preserved the no-hitter with what one newspaper report described as “a diving catch.”

The highest-ranked newcomer in the final FAB 50 is Hempfield Area of Greensburg, Pa. Hempfield wound up winning its third straight Pennsylvania Class 6A state crown with a 4-3 win in eight innings over Parkland of Allentown. The Spartans rallied from a 3-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. They scored three in that frame to tie and won it in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double by Emma Hoffner. She earlier had driven in the first run in the sixth.

For the final rankings, head coach Bob Kalp’s squad went from on the bubble to No. 31.

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