High School Sports

High schools: Central headlines Washington softball tournament (with rankings)

Arianna Navarrete-led Central High is the defending champion of the Washington Invitational softball tournament, which starts Thursday in Easton.
Arianna Navarrete-led Central High is the defending champion of the Washington Invitational softball tournament, which starts Thursday in Easton. ezamora@fresnobee.com

Four reigning Central Section divisional finalists are entered in the third Washington Invitational, a 13-team softball tournament that runs Thursday through Saturday in Easton.

Defending tournament champion and reigning section Division I runner-up Central headlines the field. The tournament also features section champs from last season in Madera (D-II), Taft (D-III) and Mission Oak (D-IV).

Central, ranked second in the section by The Bee, is coming off a second-place finish last week at the Clovis Easter Classic, where it was without Nos. 1-2 pitchers Gianna Mancha and Ciera Montalvo. Both were sidelined with minor arm injuries, according to Grizzlies coach Scott Gorton.

No. 2 Central’s ranking in the Central Section by The Bee

The status of Mancha, a junior Boise State commit who was The Bee’s Outstanding All-Around Player last season, will be determined later in the week, Gorton said. Montalvo, however, will be available to pitch when Central (10-1) faces Mission Oak (at 10:10 a.m. Thursday), Covina (12:30 p.m. Friday) and Monache (2:45 p.m. Friday) during pool play.

No. 4 overall Madera (11-3), Taft (9-1) and No. 12 Mission Oak (7-2-1) enter a combined 27-6-1. The Coyotes and Hawks are top-ranked by The Bee in Divisions II and IV, respectively, while the Wildcats are No. 2 in D-III.

No. 13 Monache, host Washington, Tulare Western, inaugural event champion Rancho-Las Vegas, Heritage-Brentwood, Paradise, Union Mine-El Dorado, Covina and R.A. Long-Wash. round out the tournament field.

In addition to Mancha, the tournament will feature NCAA Division I college commitments in Rancho pitcher Sam Pochop (Tulsa) and sophomore Gianna Carosone (Michigan), Tulare Western catcher Kelsey Carrasco (Michigan State), Mission Oak pitcher Mariah Mazon (Oregon State), Taft junior Olivia Ortlieb (George Washington), Heritage senior Tamia Lee (Alabama State) and Union Mine pitcher Beth Hammer (Pacific).

Heritage is coached by former Fresno State star running back Ron Rivers, whose daughter, Malia Rivers, plays for the Bulldogs.

Nick Giannandrea: 559-441-6103, @NickG_FB

High school softball rankings

CENTRAL SECTION

TOP 15

1. Clovis (11-1)

2. Central (10-1)

3. Buchanan (8-3)

4. Madera (11-3)

5. Bullard (7-5)

6. Hanford West (9-6)

7. Clovis East (9-5)

8. Stockdale (5-4)

9. Frontier (8-6)

10. Clovis West (4-5-1)

11. Centennial (5-6)

12. Mission Oak (7-2-1)

13. Monache (12-1)

14. El Diamante (8-6)

15. Sanger (11-6)

DIVISIONAL RANKINGS

Division I: 1. Clovis;

2. Central; 3. Buchanan

Division II: 1. Madera;

2. Monache; 3. El Diamante

Division III: 1. Liberty-

Madera Ranchos (8-3); 2. Taft (9-1); 3. Tehachapi (10-2)

Division IV: 1. Mission Oak; 2. Dinuba (9-2-1); 3. Selma (4-2)

Division V: 1. Caruthers (7-2-2); 2. Firebaugh (9-4); 3. Coalinga (10-3)

Division VI: 1. Orange Cove (7-4); 2. Mendota (7-6-1); 3. Parlier (7-4)

SOFTBALL WASHINGTON INVITATIONAL Thursday

At Washington varsity field

10:10 a.m.: Central vs. Mission Oak

12:20 p.m.: Rancho-Las Vegas vs. Taft

2:30 p.m.: Washington vs. Paradise

4:40 p.m.: Heritage-Brentwood vs. Covina

At American Union

11:20 p.m.: Union Mine-El Dorado vs. Tulare Western

1:40 p.m.: Mission Oak vs. R.A. Long-Wash.

4 p.m.: Taft vs. Tulare Western

At Washington JV field

11 a.m.: Madera vs. Monache

3:30 p.m.: Rancho vs. Union Mine

Friday

At Washington

8 a.m.: Paradise vs. R.A. Long

10:15 a.m.: Taft vs. Union Mine

12:30 p.m.: Rancho vs. Tulare Western

2:45 p.m.: Washington vs. R.A. Long

At American Union

8 a.m.: Heritage vs. Madera

10:15 a.m.: Heritage vs. Monache

12:30 p.m.: Central vs. Covina

2:45 p.m.: Central vs. Monache

At Washington JV field

9:30 a.m.: Covina vs. Mission Oak

11:45 a.m.: Paradise vs. Madera

Saturday

At Washington

8:30 a.m.: Semifinal No. 1

10:45 a.m.: Semifinal No. 2

1 p.m.: Third-place game

3:15 p.m.: Championship

At American Union and Washington JV fields

8 a.m.: Consolation games

10:10 a.m.: Consolation games

12:20 p.m.: Consolation games

2:30 p.m.: Consolation games

4:40 p.m.: Consolation games

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