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SBLive's California Softball Top 25: Villa Park and Roosevelt (Eastvale) return to the top five; Buchanan, Oakdale, and Central Catholic debut

Oaks Christian looms large at No. 1 in the last rankings before some of the state begins the postseason.

Here are SBLive's weekly California high school softball rankings. The rankings are posted weekly throughout the regular season, and before and after the CIF Regional playoffs. This week's rankings do not reflect any games already played on Friday.

1. Oaks Christian (27-0 – 1st)

With Clovis North going down, the Lions are currently in a tier of their own heading into the postseason. They beat Westlake 3-2 on Tuesday and wrap up their regular season Friday against Rio Mesa.

2. Granada Livermore (20-1 – 3rd)

Now winners of eight straight, the Matadors haven't looked back since winning the Livermore Stampede. Their home game next Thursday against Livermore will likely determine whether they win the EBAL outright or shared.

3. Saint Francis Mountain View (20-2 – 4th)

Since falling to Sheldon in the semifinals at the Stampede, Saint Francis has won seven straight by a ridiculous 76-0.

4. Roosevelt Eastvale (21-3 – 8th)

The Mustangs were widely considered the No. 3 team in the state before they got crushed by Norco on April 13. After another 5-0 round of Big VIII League play capped with wins against Corona Centennial and Norco, there's no doubt that they're still one of the best of the best.

5. Villa Park (23-4 – 10th)

Sydney Somerndike

After completing another unbeaten round of play in the Crestview League and remaining unbeaten on the season when at full strength, it's simply time to keep moving the Spartans back towards where they were before injuries struck. They beat Canyon (Anaheim) 1-0 on Wednesday.

6. Murrieta Mesa (24-8 – 5th)

Since the Rams had already played 28 games this season, the maximum allowed heading into the Southern Section playoffs, they had to forfeit two games against Vista Murrieta this week. That doesn't affect them in our rankings.

7. Archbishop Mitty (19-2 – 7th)

Unsurprisingly, it's the two WCAL giants looming large atop the Central Coast Section with the playoffs near. Mitty gets its rematch against Saint Francis, against whom it lost 5-2 on April 6, next Wednesday.

8. Clovis North (17-1 – 2nd)

So the Broncos finally dropped a game. And it took them 10 innings to do so. Their season resume is so strong that we can't bring them down too much for not being literally perfect all year. That said, while the Buchanan team they lost to is a great one, it was also an unranked one, so Clovis North had to fall a reasonable amount. They have another round of TRAC play left in which they could potentially return to the very top of the state.

9. Vanden (14-0 – 11th)

With only 14 games under its belt, and only a few games against elite teams, Vanden remains something of a wildcard with playoff time approaching. But you can't do better than 14-0.

10. Buchanan (17-5 – Unranked)

10 shutout innings against arguably the best team in the state? That'll vault you from unranked to the top 10 really quickly. Especially when two of the Bears' five losses this season were against Clovis North. They still have a couple underwhelming losses this season, but one came around the start of the season, and another one has already been avenged, so Buchanan might be here to stay.

11. Camarillo (22-3 – 12th)

The Scorpions finished the regular season 22-3, and are a legitimate threat to repeat as the SoCal champion (or win a section title, etc.) heading into the playoffs.

12. Norco (19-8 – 14th)

Norco Cougars softball

Despite losing 5-4 against Roosevelt since last week's rankings, the Cougars still move up thanks to some other teams falling and a huge win against Corona Centennial. A one-run loss to one of the best teams in the state whom they had already beaten recently isn't cause for concern as far as our rankings go.

MORE: PHOTOS FROM NORCO'S 8-4 WIN VS. CENTENNIAL

13. Westlake (20-5 – 15th)

In two games since this week, Westlake played Oaks Christian down to one run and cruised past Thousand Oaks.

14. Clovis (18-5 – 18th)

Around this part of the rankings, it gets unbelievably messy as a result of many elite teams losing to unranked opponents. Four of Clovis' only five losses, and only losses since the first week of March, have come against Clovis North (twice), Oaks Christian, and Buchanan. With Buchanan showing its meddle against Clovis North, the Cougars' resume looks even more impressive now than it already did.

15. Corona Centennial (8-4 – 13th)

Norco Corona Centennial softball17

The Huskies dropped back-to-back league games against Norco and Roosevelt, but that's not cause to fall much in the rankings.

16. St. Francis Sacramento (18-2 – 19th)

Since falling to Sheldon on April 12, St. Francis has quickly racked up seven straight wins, including Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove, Lincoln (Stockton), and Central Catholic.

17. Sutter (21-1 – 21st)

With numerous teams in the teens dropping, Sutter keeps rising steadily with its only loss coming in mid-March against Elk Grove.

18. Oakdale (21-1-1 – Unranked)

Oakdale hadn't played a tough enough schedule to crack our top 25 up until this week, but looking at what they've accomplished, they should've at least been in consideration before this week. The Mustangs' only non-wins were a loss to rival Escalon in extra innings in mid-March and a tie against Elk Grove a week ago. Some recent big wins were 1-0 versus Central Catholic on April 8 and 12-2 versus Pleasant Grove last Saturday.

19. Central Catholic (19-3-1 – Unranked)

Central Catholic has a very similar case and schedule as Oakdale, with its only losses coming against St. Francis a week ago, Oakdale earlier in March, and 1-0 against Escalon in its season-opener. The Raiders also had a tie against Golden Valley (Merced) nearly two months ago, and arguably their biggest win of the season came after the St. Francis loss when they knocked off Sheldon. 

20. Sheldon (18-5 – 6th)

The one-run loss to surging Central Catholic results in a massive fall for the Huskies, but it really isn't a major condemnation. They've since blown past Pleasant Grove and Franklin (Elk Grove), and can bounce back quickly with wins against Elk Grove and St. Francis.

21. Huntington Beach (21-7 – 16th)

Huntington Beach's winning streak came to an end with a 7-2 loss to Dos Pueblos at the Righetti Tournament.

22. Los Alamitos (20-7 – 17th)

As Sunset Surf League results would indicate and as we've discussed in previous weeks, Los Al's rankings is tied directly to the Oilers' because of head-to-head matchups. Huntington Beach dropped a bit, so the Griffins had to follow suit despite getting back in the wins column with routs of Edison (Huntington Beach) and Marina.

23. Canyon Anaheim (23-6 – 9th)

Not too long ago, Canyon was nearly the hottest team in the state, and now it's barely still in our top 25. The Comanches ended the regular season – and likely their season as a whole – in painful fashion, with back-to-back shutout losses against Villa Park and Esperanza. However, they did pick up a win against Esperanza earlier in the week before losing to them and still have a top-25 resume in California in our opinion.

24. Orange Lutheran (19-8 – Unranked)

OLu has played too hard of a schedule to be easy to rank. Some of the Lancers' losses have come to unranked teams, including losing to Mater Dei twice, but they've beaten many great teams, including Norco and Villa Park within the past month. Regardless of where they're placed, it's pretty hard to imagine they won't be one of the toughest outs in the Southern Section playoffs.

25. Heritage Brentwood (15-3-1 – Unranked)

Heritage only has three losses all season, and all of them were to elite ranked teams – Granada, Mitty, and Sutter. Without many wins over great teams, there's not much separating the Patriots from many of the teams that just missed the cut, but they've done an excellent job taking care of business all season.

ALSO IN CONSIDERATION:

Dos Pueblos, St. Mary's (Stockton), Lincoln (Stockton), Notre Dame (Salinas), Elk Grove, Esperanza, La Habra, Central (Fresno), Pacifica (Garden Grove), Orange Lutheran, Chino Hills, Rocklin, Folsom, Mater Dei, Beaumont, East Nicolaus