Well, the Queen of the Mountain is over after three intense days with (mostly) picture-perfect weather. While Foothill and San Ramon Valley were looked as favorites to win the tournament at Willow Pass Park, it was California that surprised the so-called experts to capture its first Queen title.
And the Grizzlies didn’t take the easy road, either. They knocked off three straight East Bay Athletic League opponents, including a 1-0, eight-inning win over San Ramon Valley in the championship Saturday night. That followed a 2-0 quarterfinal win over Foothill on Friday and a 1-0 semifinal victory over Monte Vista Saturday morning.
So, can California be considered EBAL favorites now? Well, considering how Sarah Lawrence pitched during the tournament, why not? She recorded four straight shutouts, was named MVP and seemed to get stronger as the tournament went on. The Grizzlies can also hit, and they don’t hurt themselves with mistakes. This is a experienced, savvy group.
By the way, when the first Times/ANG softball poll comes out next Tuesday, it’s possible that six of the top 10 teams will be from the EBAL. The combined records of those six teams – California, Foothill, Granada, Livermore, Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley – through Saturday was a staggering 30-7. And that’s against good competition. The EBAL’s seventh team, Amador Valley, would finish near the top of the standings in just about every other East Bay league.
So, here’s my top 15 East Bay teams as of right now. Feel free to comment, tell me who I’m missing, who I’m underrating or who the best team really is.
3. San Ramon Valley
4. Clayton Valley
8. James Logan
9. Monte Vista
11. Newark Memorial
12. Castro Valley
13. Deer Valley
HM: College Park, Irvington, Carondelet.