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Softball playoffs: Who will win Division 2?
OCVarsity takes a close look at the top teams in the CIF-SS Division 2 playoff bracket.
2015 champion: Yucaipa
Top-four seeded teams: 1. La Habra (26-1); 2. Mission Viejo (22-4); 3. Oaks Christian (27-1-1); 4. Valley View (23-1)
O.C. teams: La Habra (26-1); Capistrano Valley (17-7); Villa Park (16-11); Dana Hills (15-13); Sonora (12-10-1); Aliso Niguel (19-8); Foothill (15-11); Fullerton (16-11-1); Mission Viejo (22-4)
Analysis: Can Mission Viejo make it three consecutive trips the the final? Time will tell, but essentially every player on the Diablos roster has championship experience and understands how to win at this stage in the game, so mentally, they’re second to no one in this bracket.
Top-seeded La Habra takes a 23-game winning streak into the postseason thanks in large part to a talented pitching staff, led by junior Janelle Rodriguez. The Highlanders allowed a total of 31 runs in 27 games this season, and scoring runs hasn’t been much of an issue either with seniors Nikki Butler and Frankie Mendoza leading that charge.
The South Coast League saw four of its teams earn playoff berths in the division, with Capistrano Valley, Aliso Niguel and Dana Hills all plenty capable of making a run through the bracket like league champ, Mission Viejo. The Cougars are 9-3 since the start of April, with two of those losses coming against Mission in league play. The Wolverines have won seven of their last eight, including a huge upset over the Diablos two weeks ago. And the Dolphins played just about everyone over the course of the regular season, and are battle-tested moving forward.
The same can be said for Foothill and Villa Park. It just comes down to consistency for both the Knights and Spartans.