The last of the top five slots in this year’s final Extra Elite Eighty national rankings got locked up last weekend by the girls from Katy High in Texas.
The Tigers won the Class 6A state championship of the University Interscholastic League with a convincing 8-2 victory over Klein Collins in an all-Houston area final.
After having a more difficult time getting past Keller 1-0 in the semifinals (with the only run scored by catcher Cait Calland on a double steal), Katy built a 7-0 lead against Klein Collins through the early innings.
Pitcher Alyssa LeBlanc, who also had an RBI single in the third inning, finished with a complete-game six-hitter and struck out seven. The first three runs in the game by the Tigers were all scored on sacrifice bunts.
Texas teams can lose games during its playoffs and still win state titles, but that wasn’t the case for Katy. Head coach Kalum Haack’s club swept all of its series leading up to last weekend’s final four and enjoyed a 108-18 scoring advantage for the post-season. It was Katy’s second state title in four years following its previous championship from 2015.
With the top four teams from last week’s national rankings all wrapped up for the season, there was no room for Katy to move up this week.
Thus, the Tigers essentially locked up the fifth spot for the final rankings, which will be announced on Monday, June 17 with no rankings update coming out until that day.
There are still two teams currently in the top 10 of the Extra Elite Eighty that need to win out this weekend in order to secure their final rankings position.
Unbeaten Male of Kentucky (36-0), which moved up to No. 8 this week, faces Boyle County on Friday in the Kentucky all-class state quarterfinals. The Bulldogs could face Warren East of Bowling Green, Ky., in the final, which is entering the quarterfinals at 30-1. Male’s final ranking also could be helped if New Palestine (28-3) were to win the Class 3A state title in Indiana. The Bulldogs already have a win over Alabama Class 6A champion Buckhorn.
Also unbeaten Oshkosh North of Wisconsin (28-0), which moved up to No. 10 this week, is playing defending champion Sun Prairie on Thursday in the Division I state quarterfinals in that state.
Oshkosh North, which features All-American Sydney Supple, won its previous game 5-3 over Oshkosh West. Sun Prairie, which went 28-0 last year, advanced by beating Verona 10-3. That win also avenged two earlier losses by Sun Prairie to Verona.
Among other states that are getting finished with state playoffs this week is Illinois. Extra Elite Eighty No. 15 Marist of Chicago is in the Class 4A semifinals and will be trying to finish an unbeaten run against teams from its home state. Both losses by Marist came to Arizona teams during a trip to the desert early in the season.
After this weekend, the only states that will still be left with championships to decide will be Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.
We also want to give a shout out to new No. 49 and unbeaten Kellam of Virginia Beach, Va. That school is located just half a mile from the building in Virginia Beach where 12 people were killed last Friday in a mass shooting. We’re sure the team and school community were immensely impacted and wish the girls good luck as they try to win a state title this weekend.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(Through games of Tuesday, June 5)
*Indicates season complete.
1. (1) Winter Springs (Winter Springs, Fla.) 31-0*
2. (2) Norco (Norco, Calif.) 31-1*
3. (3) Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.) 30-1*
4. (4) Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.) 28-0*
5. (5) Katy (Katy, Texas) 37-2*
6. (8) Coral Springs Charter (Coral Springs, Fla.) 29-1*
7. (6) Klein Collins (Klein, Texas) 38-3*
8. (10) Male (Louisville, Ky.) 36-0
9. (12) Angleton (Angleton, Texas) 39-2*
10. (13) Oshkosh North (Oshkosh, Wis.) 28-0