EBAL softball

Well, if you happened to check out the East Bay softball poll today, you probably noticed that six East Bay Athletic League teams are in the top 10. That’s pretty much how I thought it would shake out.

With that many good teams, you can probably guess how tough the EBAL will be this season. There are no games where coaches can start backups just to get them some experience. Those experiments will have to wait, cause pretty much every game is going to be brutal. The league champion could wind up with two or three losses.

With that in mind, here’s my prediction for how the league standings will look when the season ends.

Foothill (10-2)
That Falcons have experienced players in just about every position, and that includes 2006 league MVP Val Arioto. You know the Cal-bound pitcher is going to do her job and then some. But if her teammates offer her run and defensive support, then the Falcons become almost unbeatable.

San Ramon Valley (8-4)
Another team with a stellar pitcher, as Dominique Ortega begins her third year as the starter. She will get run support, and the Wolves do play good defense. SRV wore down in games against Cal and Monte Vista late last year, but it’ll be better equipped to handle those situations this year.

Granada (7-5)
Having an above .500 record in the EBAL is nothing to sneeze at, and the Matadors should be a much-improved team this season. Pitcher Kendall Beermann has a year of experience under her belt and Granada has been bolstered by the addition of a couple of talented freshmen.

California (6-6)
The Grizzlies can hit the ball as well as any team in the league. They’ll need to be since Sarah Lawrence is out for another four weeks with a broken foot. Thoughts of a league title may be out the window for the Queen of the Mountain champions,

Livermore (5-7)
The Cowboys appear to have a bright future with Kellyn Trummer and Jenny Bird in the circle, but thewy’ll need defensive support for Livermore to contend with the league’s elite.

Monte Vista (4-8)
Basically, the Mustangs will go as far as pitcher Maggie Johnson takes them. She takes over from Stephanie Bregante in the circle and is one of Monte Vista’s best hitters. The Mustangs have talented young players, but it’ll be a year before they start thinking about a championship.

Amador Valley (2-10)
It seems we say the same thing every year about the Dons. They would be good enough to compete for the championship in most other leagues, just not the EBAL. That said, Amador Valley is better this year than last year. They just have to learn how to win the close ones (after losing five games by 2 runs or less last season).