Softball playoffs: Connolly breaks down Division 3
2014 champion: St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs
Top-four seeded team: 1. Grand Terrace (22-3); 2. La Serna of Whittier (21-6) ; 3. Burbank (20-4) ; 4. Gahr of Cerritos (21-7)
O.C. teams: Beckman (7-17); Irvine (15-9); Laguna Hills (14-11); Northwood (13-14); San Clemente (19-5); Tesoro (13-10-1)
Analysis: Not really a great draw for any of the area’s local teams. Irvine and Tesoro will square off on Thursday, with the winner likely getting to play top-seeded Grand Terrace in the second round. On the bottom half of the bracket, San Clemente and Northwood also meet in the first round. The Tritons would appear to be the likeliest of the county teams to make a run in the division. Seniors Lauren Kane (.566 average) and Kelsey Horton (.456) formed one of the area’s best left sides of the infield which guided the team to a Sea View League title. If that duo can get hot at the plate, the rest of the lineup should follow suit. A potential quarterfinal matchup with Burbank would pit San Clemente against Notre Dame-bound Caitlyn Brooks (0.46 ERA), likely the best pitcher this lineup would’ve seen since facing Orange Lutheran and Maddy Dwyer in mid-March.